The Leasing Process (9 Steps)
1. Tenant Views the Space Online- To hold the property, they make a good-faith Deposit/Offer to Rent.
2. Tenant Inspects the Property Live- Before a lease agreement is drawn up, the tenant visits the space to see if it’s move-in ready and acceptable to their living standards.
3. Rental Application- Any offer made will require the tenant to authorize a rental application and pay a small fee. This gives consent to the landlord to legally perform a credit and background check.
4. The Property Manager/Landlord Completes Background Checks- The Property Manager/Landlord runs a consumer report that allows them to view the tenant's background.
5. The Property Manager/Landlord Verifies References- On the completed rental application, the tenant should have listed references such as past employers and landlords. The Property Manager will contact the individuals provided via phone and ask about their experience with the tenant and if they have paid rent on time during their tenancy.
6. Approving the Tenant-When the Tenant is approved, a lease agreement will be written by the Property Manager/Landlord that includes the terms negotiated. The main negotiated items of a lease are the following:
Monthly Rent Amount ($) – How much the tenant has to pay and due on the 1st of each month.
Security Deposit – Equal to the monthly rent amount.
Utilities include electricity, water/sewer, trash, cable, and Internet.
Fee(s) – Such as parking, pets, and security.
Move-in Date – The day the tenant will take occupancy.
Term – A standard lease is 12 months.
7. Lease Signing- When both parties sign the lease it becomes legally binding until the end of its term. The most common way to sign is in person.
Tenant’s Obligations – When signing, the tenant is responsible for paying:
First (1st) month’s rent; Security deposit; and
Any other fees that are due during the 1st month of occupancy.
Landlord’s Obligations – When signing, the landlord is responsible for providing:
Move-in Inspection – Before or when moving in, the tenant and property manager will inspect the property. Photos may be taken and documented.
8. Taking Occupancy- Access to the property is granted on the 1st day of the lease term (unless otherwise agreed). If the tenant moves in before the start of the term, the tenant pays rent based on the pro-rata number of days entering early on the property (ex. if the tenant moves in 10 days early and the rent is $1,500/mo, the tenant is obligated to pay $500).
9. End of the Lease- At the end of the lease period, the landlord and tenant must decide whether to renew the lease. If the landlord chooses not to continue, the tenant must move out and provide their forwarding address.