Tenant Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I reserve a property?A: No, we do not reserve properties. The only way to secure a property is to submit a completed application, presenting the application to the owner for approval, and then once you have been approved, pay the deposit, first month’s rent, and execute a signed lease.
Q: Do I pay first month’s rent and last month’s rent with my security deposit?A: When signing a lease we require first month’s rent with your security deposit.
Q: How do I pay rent?A: We accept Checks, Money Orders, ACH, e‐checks, debit and credit cards. A convenience fee is charged for debit and credit card usage. Once the lease is signed and your tenancy is activated in the Appfolio system, you can log into the Tenant Portal via wattsrealty.com to setup ACH information or pay by debit or credit cards.
Q: I want to get a pet. What do I do?A: Some properties do not allow pets (subject to tenant's rights laws). All pets must be approved by the Property Owner. If a pet is allowed, a non-refundable fee will be charged and a pet addendum will be included to the lease. This fee and addendum allows you the right to have an approved pet on the premises. The fee is not a damage deposit and the tenant will be responsible for all damages caused by the pet.
Q: Is the deposit refundable?A: The deposit is refundable, subject to compliance with all terms of the lease.
Q: My lease expiration is coming and I want to move out. What do I do?A: A written notice to vacate must be delivered to our office at least 30 days in advance of when you plan to move out.
Q: What is a fully completed application?
A: A “fully completed” Application relies not only on you, but several third parties. For an application to be “fully completed” for an approval/nonapproval decision, the following have to be received in our office:
- A completely filled out Application along with your paid fee.
- Two forms of identification as previously defined in our application process and screening criteria.
- Proof of Income as defined in our application process and screening criteria.
- A third party criminal check. This can take up to 48 hours for us to receive after receipt of your completed application.
- Your credit report with FICO score. This usually is received quickly, but can take up to 24 hours to process by the third-party vendor. If you have a credit freeze, fraud alert or identity theft services, this process can take much longer than 24 hours and may require further action on your behalf.
- If you are a previous renter, your fully completed application is pending receipt of rental reference history we work to obtain directly from your current or prior landlord(s). This requirement may become the single source of any delayed decision on your complete Application. You may need to contact your current and/or previous landlord(s) and ask for a timely response to our inquiry.
Q: What if someone applies for the property the same day I apply?A: Applications are normally first come, first serve. However, in the event that we receive multiple applications for one property on the same day, we first verify that all applications submitted are completely filled out with the proper information in its entirety, and then we notify each applicant that there are multiple applications. Applications are presented to the owner/landlord as soon as all information is received and the application is “fully completed” for them to choose the strongest applicant.
Q: What if there is already a pending application on a property that I am interested in renting?A: Applications fall through all the time for any reason, therefore we keep properties advertised until the lease is signed and executed. We highly recommend submitting a back-up application in the case any pending applications may fall through. If a pending application falls through, we will provide the property owner with the next applicant in the order in which the application is “fully completed”.
Q: When do I need to transfer utilities into my name?A: Utilities vary depending on the property your rent. Most all of our rentals are set up for the tenant to be responsible to pay all utilities. However, there are some properties that do include some utilities. Utilities must be transferred into the tenants name as of the date that you take possession of the property. Utility contact information can be found here. Tenants are responsible for making sure the utilities have been turned off upon vacating the property.
Q: Who needs a cosigner?A: This depends on several factors that range from strength of credit to rental history. If you have poor rental or credit history, you may be asked to provide a cosigner.
Q: You have a property I want to rent. How do I apply?A: You can apply online by visiting the individual unit listing on our website, or you can apply in our office located in downtown Birmingham. Please see the contact page for our physical office address.