Screening Criteria and Application Process

Download a pdf of the screening criteria.

To cover our costs for screening, we charge a fee of $35 per applicant. This covers the expense, to us, of the credit report and other background checks we run. Once we begin screening your application, this fee is non-refundable. So before you pay it we want to make sure you understand the criteria we use when we screen applicants. If we fill the vacant apartment before screening your application, we will contact you to refund your screening fee.

Identification

Upon request, applicants will provide two pieces of personal identification, at least one with photo.

Application Process

We encourage you to review the screening criteria to determine if you meet the requirements. Each applicant over 18 must submit a separate and complete application, pay the screening fee, and see the apartment in person. We will endeavor to provide acceptance or denial as quickly as possible, in most cases, within 7 days. If we cannot reach references or do not receive responses, we reserve the right to deny an application for lack of information. We encourage applicants to provide as many alternate means of contacting references as are available (email, multiple phone numbers, fax numbers).

Order of Screening

We screen applications in the order in which they are received—this seems to be the only fair way. If we receive more than one application simultaneously we will place them in a random order and add them to the queue before we begin screening. Applications that we receive in person at a showing will be considered received simultaneously, regardless of when they’re physically handed to us. 

SmartMove

We will verify your identity, check your credit and run a criminal background check through TransUnion via SmartMove. Because SmartMove is initiated by you, it is a “soft” pull on your credit and will not affect your credit score.  Your private data is protected and the report we receive is purged of private information and account numbers.

When we begin screening your application, you will receive an email from SmartMove.  You need to log-on, create an account, provide a little information and then authorize us to access your report. Please do this as soon as you get the chance.  If you delay authorization, we may move on to screening the next application in our queue. We will pay SmartMove’s fee.

SmartMove requires that you have a valid US Social Security Number and its system will verify your identity.  At our discretion we may make other screening arrangements with applicants who have absolutely no credit history or lack a valid SSN.

Rental Agreement

Upon acceptance, you'll need to sign your rental agreement and pay your security deposit, pet deposits and first month’s rent within 3 days. We do not consider an apartment “leased” until we receive your deposit and signed agreement.

Housing References

We place the most weight on your prior housing references. You must provide the information necessary to verify current and previous rental history for the last 3 years. We reserve the right to request up to an additional 2 years of rental history. References from landlords to whom you are related by blood or marriage viewed as potentially biased, and given a bit less weight. If your housing history includes home ownership, we will consider your mortgage payment record.

Credit

Credit worthiness will be determined from a credit report. Your rent history should be free of evictions. Any patterns of late payments, bankruptcies, collections, judgments and other significant derogatory items may require further explanation and can be grounds for denial of your application. However, we would like to stress we do not expect our applicants to necessarily have perfect credit. We place more overall weight on your rent payment history.

Source of Income

All sources of income must be legally obtained and verifiable. We may ask you to provide proof of income through income tax returns, W-2 forms, paycheck stubs, investment reports, employer verification or other financial data. You are not required to disclose support or alimony payments. We will consider all sources of employment and non-employment income you choose to disclose. Stability of the source and the amount of income will both be considered.

Rent-to-Income Ratio

Your gross (pre-tax income) should be around 3 times the rent. However, if you have a verifiable history of higher rent-to-income ratios, little or no debt or other extenuating verifiable circumstance, this rent-to-income ratio may be exceeded. If a substantial amount of your income or rent will come as a gift or loan from another individual, we reserve the right to request that person provide a statement of intent to provide this assistance and/or cosign on the rental agreement.

Limitations

Occupancy may not exceed two people per bedroom. Smoking is not forbidden, but our preference is for “porch” smokers or non-smoking applicants. Pets require additional screening: Please see our pet policy. Aid animals are always welcome.

Arrests and Convictions

Arrests and/or convictions may be evaluated. We will deny the application of any individual whose occupancy could constitute a threat to the health or safety of other individuals or could result in physical damage to the premises.

Demeanor and Behavior

We will consider your behavior and demeanor of the during the application process.

Incomplete, Inaccurate or Falsified Information

Any information that is incomplete, illegible, inaccurate or falsified may be grounds for rejection or termination of the rental agreement. We reserve the right to hold any incomplete application for completion before we begin screening. It is your responsibility to be sure the application is complete, so review it carefully before sending it in.

In-Person Showing and Renting “Sight-Unseen”

We want you to love your new home before you sign a lease.  Thus part of our application process is an in-person showing for all applicants who will be living in the apartment. If you apply before a showing, please be sure and introduce yourself, verify we received your application and screening fee and confirm that you would like your application entered into our screening queue.

On a very limited, case-by-case basis, we will consider renting an apartment sight-unseen.  We will only grant this exception if you are moving here from out of state or have some other situation that we accept as an impediment to an in-person showing.  If you are in town, you must come and see the space in person.  We reserve the right to remove your application from our screening queue if you’ve not come to a showing by the time we begin screening or all prospective renters cannot attend a showing.

Variance Policy

Failure to meet the screening criteria, may be grounds for denial of your application. However, at our discretion we may accept any applicant who does not meet these criteria with the requirement to pay an additional amount of deposit or obtain a cosigner. Cosigners will be required to complete the application, pay the appropriate screening fee and meet our screening criteria.

Screening Criteria (pdf)