Frequently Asked Questions
We are moving in today; how long do we have to switch the utilities into our name?
You must contact the utility companies when you sign your lease, in order to have the utilities in your name as of the day you move in. If you sign your lease and move in on the same day, you will need to contact the utility companies promptly in order to avoid any lapse in utility service.
When we arrived at the house, we noticed that the lockbox or sign is still present. What do we do with these items?
Leave them where they are. Someone from our office will pick them up within a couple of days. If you are not comfortable with the sign in the yard, then remove it & place it on the front porch so we can locate it when we arrive.
Is there anything we need to turn on as we are moving in?
You should check the breakers to be certain they are all on. Occasionally, when a home is vacant, the breakers are turned off for things like the water heater, stove, dishwasher, etc. If the breaker is off for the water heater, it may take a few hours to heat the water in the tank, and you don’t want to learn this when you wake up to get ready for work in the morning.
When is my rent payment due?
This is written into your lease. Generally speaking, your rent is due on the first of each month.
What forms of payment are acceptable for rent?
We accept online payments (via your tenant portal), personal checks, cashiers checks, money orders or credit card payments.
Where do I pay my rent?
If you are paying online, you will access your tenant portal. If you plan to come to our office, we are located at 7598 Nashville St, Ringgold, GA 30736 (approx 1 block from the Ringgold courthouse). If you choose to mail your rent, you can mail it to that same address.
What if I need to pay my rent on a weekend or after business hours?
You can either pay online thru your tenant portal, or you can bring your rent to our office at 7598 Nashville St, Ringgold, GA and put it into the night drop. The night drop is located in the door to the right of our entrance door.
When is my rent considered late?
The answer to this is in your lease, as it depends on the state where you live. Generally speaking, though, rent is considered late on the 6th calendar day of the month.
I mailed my rent on the due date, so the postmark proves my rent is on time, right?
Wrong. The postmark is not relevant to being on time at all. Rent payment must be physically received in our office on or before the due date in order to avoid a late fee.
If I pay my rent online, how do I know you will actually receive the funds by the due date?
When paying your rent online, rent is considered received when you submit your payment.
I paid my rent on time, but the check bounced. I’ve replaced the check payment, but there is a late fee on my account. Why?
When your check bounces (or payment is returned for any reason), and it is not replaced on or before the due date, then it is considered late as it was not in our possession on time.
I can pay part of my rent on time. Will my late fee be reduced?
No. The late fee is a percentage of the rent amount, not a percentage of the unpaid amount.
My rent is late. Can I bring a check to pay my balance?
No. Once your rent is late, we require payment by online payment (via tenant portal), credit card (in office only), money order or cashiers check.
My rent was only a few days late, and I’ve been turned over for eviction! Why?
If you do not have an approved payment arrangement on file BEFORE your payment is late, your account is subject to be turned over for eviction very soon after it becomes late. There is no ‘grace’ period between late and eviction.
I’ve been turned over for eviction, but I have the money now. What do I do?
If you have the balance you owe, in full, including any legal or attorney fees, you may bring this amount to our office in the form of money order or cashiers check only.
I can bring you a check today to pay up my balance. Will that remove me from eviction status?
No. We do not accept online payments or checks while your account is in eviction status.
I can bring you half of what I owe today, and the balance in a week. Will that stop the eviction process?
No. We do not accept partial payments while your account is in eviction status.
If I cannot come up with the money by the due date shown on the paper that I was served with, what do I do?
The best thing you can do is appear in court to protect your rights. If you are in Georgia, you must file an answer to the court papers in order to have a court date scheduled. Contact the Magistrate Court in the county where you live to find out how to file your answer. If you are in Tennessee, a court date has already been set, and it will be shown on the papers that were served to you.
The date to file my answer (in Georgia only) has passed, and I did not file it. What now?
This means that a default judgment has been entered in our favor. You will have to vacate the property within 7 days. If you have the entire balance to pay your account up to date in full, you may contact us to see if we can make arrangements to keep you in the property.
I was in court, and the court ruled for the Plaintiff. What does that mean?
That means the court ruled in our favor. If you are in Georgia, you have 7 days to vacate, and if you are in Tennesse, you have 10 days to vacate. If you have not moved out of the property within the required time, the sheriff will come to the property and your possessions will be removed and set outside at the street. This is not a pleasant experience, and we do not want to do it if we can avoid it. Your best course of action is to vacate prior to the deadline to avoid this embarrassing event.
Will the eviction show up on my credit report?
Yes. An eviction is a legal action, and it does show up in credit searches. Additionally, if there is a money judgment in our favor due to the balance owed, this will also show up as a judgment on your credit, and qualifies as “landlord” debt. This will make it increasingly difficult for you to rent or purchase your next home or obtain loans or credit for other purposes (buying a car, getting a credit card, etc).
My online payment was returned, and now I cannot log in to make another payment to replace it. What do I do?
When a payment is returned, online payment and check payment options are suspended for three months. If a second payment is returned, these options are permanently suspended.
How much does it cost if my payment is returned?
The returned payment fee is $35, however, if the returned payment causes your rent to be late, a late fee will also be assessed to your account.
When my payment was returned, the bank fees caused me to have less than enough money to pay my rent left in my account. Can I bring half to you now and half next week?
We do not accept partial payments to replace a returned payment. Your payment must be in full, including the applicable fees.
A bank error caused my payment to be returned. Why do I have to pay the fee?
We do not have a relationship with your bank; you do. It is up to you to contact your bank to reimburse you for any fees that their error caused you.
I plan to move at the end of the month, so can I use my security deposit for this months’ rent?
No. Your rent needs to be paid in full by the due date for each month that you will live in the home or apartment. Your security deposit is held for full performance of all the terms of the lease agreement, therefore it is not disbursed or distributed until AFTER full vacancy of the property.
I paid a double deposit when I moved in. Can I use part of that toward my rent?
We occasionally require a double deposit for various reasons during the qualifying process. If you decide to renew your lease, and your account is in good standing, and there are NO late payments or returned payments on your account, we will apply half of your deposit toward your rent at the time of renewal. If your account is not in good standing or has had any late or returned payments during your lease term, the entire deposit will remain in tact until the property is fully vacated.
What will be held from my deposit when I move out?
Your deposit is used to restore the property to its move in condition at the time you moved in, minus normal wear & tear. This means that holes in the walls bigger than the tip of a pencil or marks on the walls from furniture, pens, pencils, crayons, etc will require patching or painting. Stains or tears in the carpet or vinyl will require cleaning or replacing. Missing, broken or non-functioning light bulbs, door stops, mini blinds, etc will require replacing. The carpet must be professionally cleaned, and the property itself must be cleaned to our standards. You may request a copy of our cleaning checklist or our move-out requirements at any time for your reference. There may be additional charges for pet damages, trash left behind, etc.
How do I request a repair for something in my home?
You may login to your tenant portal & submit a maintenance request there. Or you can fax or email a Maintenance Request Form. All requests must be in writing, so a telephone call will not generate a work order. Only emergencies may be phoned in.
What if I have an emergency in the middle of the night?
Our emergency number is 1-888-275-1048×911. This number goes to a voicemail. When you leave your message and hang up, it pages the on-call technician. You will receive a return call shortly. If your emergency requires a tech to respond, generally they will arrive within two hours.
What is considered an emergency?
Generally, any condition that is a threat to people or property. More specifically, emergencies are defined as:
- No heat if it is expected to be below 40 degrees
- No air if it is expected to be above 90 degrees
- No functioning toilet (if you have two, one being clogged is not an emergency)
- No running water
- Any smoke or sparks from an electrical fixture, outlet or switch
- Any water flow that cannot be stopped with a turn off valve
- No hot water
- Sewage backing up into the house
- Roof leak
I could not reach anyone in maintenance before closing on Friday afternoon. Can I just call & leave a message on the emergency line for Monday?
No. Any use of the emergency line for non-emergencies will result in a charge to your account. Instead, login to your tenant portal and enter the information there. The techs will receive it on Monday when they arrive at work.
I can’t afford to take a whole day off work to wait for a maintenance tech. What do I do?
All you need to do is give us permission to enter, or arrange for a friend or family member to meet us there, and we can get the work done without you having to miss any work at all. If you have a pet, you must make arrangements to have someone there or have your pet crated while our tech is in the home.
We had the kitchen sink unclogged last week, and now there is a maintenance charge on our account. Why?
Per your lease, any plumbing clog is the responsibility of the tenant. We do not live in the home; we do not use the sinks, toilets, etc. You do. If it was functioning when you moved in, and now it is not, something has obviously been put into the plumbing that has caused it to clog.
My job has transferred me, but my lease is not up for six more months. What do I do?
Contact our office immediately, and we will work out a plan to get the property back on the market to alleviate your responsibility for the remainder of your lease. We will explain your options and any associated costs to you.
Isn‘t there a buy-out on the lease that requires either one or two additional months’ rent to end it?
No. Some leases have this clause. Ours does not. When you sign your lease for a set period of time, we expect you to live up to that period of time.
What types of pets are permitted?
It depends on the property. Some properties allow cats or dogs. Some properties only permit one or the other. Some properties do not permit any pets. All of our properties allow pets that are always caged or contained (birds or reptiles if they are never permitted outside their container). Fish are permitted in all properties, however, aquariums larger than 10 gallons will require you to carry renters insurance.
How much will it cost me to have my pet?
There is a non-refundable pet fee of $150, plus a refundable pet deposit of $150 each and additional security deposit of $100 each.
How many pets can I have?
You may have up to two pets at most properties that allow them.
Are there breed or size restrictions?
Yes. We do not permit any of the generally classified “vicious” breeds, such as Rottweiler, Doberman, Pit Bull, Chow, etc. Check with our office for a complete list of restricted breeds. Size restrictions are based on the specific property, so be sure to ask prior to applying for a property.
Can I have my pot-bellied pig, chickens, goat, etc?
No. We handle rental properties, and they are not designed to accommodate unusual pets, farm animals or non-typical types of pets. Our pet permissions are specifically for cats, dogs, caged birds or reptiles, or fish.
What about puppies or kittens?
We do not permit any pets less than 6 months old. If you have a pet that gives birth during your lease, you must remove all of the offspring from your pet within 14 days after the weaning period in order to avoid a pet penalty charge on your account.
I didn’t have pets when I moved in, but my daughter brought home a puppy. What do I need to do?
Your account will be assessed a pet penalty for having the pet on the property without prior consent. To avoid this, you should have contacted our office prior to bringing the pet home, and obtained written permission for the pet, paid the appropriate pet fees, and signed the applicable addendum to your lease.
There were three of us when we moved in, however, one of us is moving out. How do we handle the security deposit and lease?
The lease will need to be modified to remove the departing person. This will require that the remaining parties must qualify for the property without the credit or income of the leaving party; if not, everyone must vacate or a new roommate must be found as a replacement. As for the security deposit, that must be handled among the roommates. We will not release any portion of the security deposit until the home is fully vacated, and then it will be paid out to all parties on the lease at that time.
We cannot get along, and we want to terminate our lease so we can all go our separate ways. What do we do?
See the information under Early Termination. We will need to find replacement tenants to release you from your responsibility under the lease. Contact our office for assistance in making that happen.
We’d like to add another roommate. How do we do that?
The new roommate must complete an application, and qualify under the normal guidelines. Then the lease will need to be modified to add this new person. When the security deposit is paid out at the end of the lease, this new person will now be listed on the check also, so any security deposit due from this person should be collected by the original roommates upon move in. Keep in mind that some properties have restrictions on how many unrelated adults may reside there, and we always maintain our two person per bedroom policy.
I’m planning to move out at the end of my lease. Do I still have to give you written notice, even though my lease has an expiration date?
Yes. We have no way of knowing whether you plan to move or stay unless you give notice. Your lease expires but it does not require you to vacate, so you have to tell us.
What if I give my notice and need to extend my move out date?
If we have not yet received a deposit from a new tenant for your property, you can extend your notice. If we have already accepted a deposit from a new tenant, extending your notice may make you liable for costs or expenses related to the other party not being able to take possession of the property on the anticipated date. If extending, we require a written request to extend for up to 7 days. You can extend twice (assuming no new deposit has been received). If you need more than 14 additional days, you will be required to submit a new 30-day notice to vacate.
What if I give my notice and change my mind about moving?
If we have not yet received a deposit from a new tenant for your property, you can rescind your notice. If we have already accepted a deposit from a new tenant, rescinding your notice may make you liable for costs or expenses related to the other party not being able to take possession of the property on the anticipated date. If rescinding, we require written notice.
How do I know what you’re looking for on the move-out inspection?
When we receive your notice to vacate, you will receive a packet of information from our office, including a checklist of items that we’re looking for. You may also request this from our office at anytime.
If I cannot finish the cleaning before I move out, how much will you charge me?
In your move out packet, which is sent to you upon receipt of your notice to vacate, you will find a general price sheet indicating what certain items will cost if we have to do them after you vacate.
I’ve moved out, but my roommate is still there. Can I get my portion of the deposit back?
No. See the section on Roommates addressing one party leaving before the other(s). The security deposit will not be distributed until the home is fully vacated by all parties.
MOVE OUT GUIDELINES
In order to maximize your security deposit refund, please read and follow the guidelines below.
Your security deposit cannot and will not be applied to any charges or balance due until after you have fully vacated the property. If you owe a balance when you deliver your notice to vacate, it is subject to collection or legal action if not paid immediately. We will not delay collection of your balance until disposition of your security deposit.
All door keys, mailbox keys, garage remotes, gate/pool cards, etc. must be in our office NO LATER THAN 12:00 PM (noon) on your move out date. If you are unable to deliver them, you MUST contact our office to make other arrangements for returning them (at your expense). NOTE: Rent charges continue to accrue DAILY until ALL keys/garage remotes have been received in our office.
Before we process your security deposit, we will inspect the premises to be sure it is left clean and in good repair.
Your security deposit will be processed and disbursed within 30 days. If you prefer to receive your security deposit earlier, or by direct deposit, complete, sign and return this form AT THE TIME YOU TURN IN YOUR KEYS.
We MUST have a forwarding address to mail a check to you. Please confirm this when dropping off your keys.
We appreciate your taking the time to restore the property to the condition in which you found it. When working thru the process of moving out, pay particular attention to the following items, as these are the most common charges we see upon move out. Your move out charges may include items not shown below, depending on the property, condition, and others factors.
- Return all keys, remotes, access cards, etc.
- Remove all picture hooks, nails or screws from the walls
- DO NOT spackle or touch-up paint – if a wall needs repair/repaint, contact our office for instructions.
- Clean bathroom(s) thoroughly including ALL fixtures, mirrors, cabinets, walls and floors
- Remove all personal items, trash, debris, and packing materials from property
- Clean and sweep all closets & storage areas and remove all hangers and debris
- Clean all kitchen appliances (including dishwasher) and cabinets inside and out.
- Clean all windows and leave them closed and locked
- Be sure all blinds & screens are clean/undamaged
- Sweep the patios/deck area and garage
- Mow and clean the yard, including flowerbeds
- Replace drip pans on stove.
- Replace the heating system filter
- Replace any burned out light bulbs and clean fixtures
- Leave the premises undamaged, beyond normal wear and tear
Dirt is not considered wear & tear – not on floors, walls, fixtures, etc.
Click here for a chart of estimated charges. We will use this chart as a starting point when calculating the disposition of your security deposit. These are NOT quotes, but rather minimum estimates of what you may be charged. NOTE: Doing it yourself is much cheaper.
If you would like a copy of our detailed cleaning instructions to help guide you, please click here.