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Apartment Leasing Questions & Answers  

Apartment Faqs And Helpful Rental Information  

Questions? Call Kathy Curtis 

Apartment Rental Questions and Answers

Apartment rental faqs, common questions and answers for apartment search, applying for apartments, leasing or renting resources, apartment rental search answers, qualifications and criteria, additional fees involved, what you need to bring when touring properties, application, and useful information for apartment leasing with my free apartment locator and finder service.   

Faqs - Apartment Leasing, Viewing, Qualifying

  • You will be required to provide a valid picture ID to tour apartment property when you visit the leasing offices: Driver License or Passport, and all adults (18+) must present acceptable identification for this purpose to tour the apartments, vacant units, models or community amenities.
  • Many property leasing offices aren't allowed to tour or show apartments during storm or inclement weather events due to liability issues.  
  • Most properties require that your income equals 3+ times the monthly rent as part of the qualifications for standard apartment approval; you may be asked to provide proof of your income with recent paycheck stubs, offer letter of employment or in some cases bank statements or IRS Returns, the requirements vary by property. There are some properties that require only 2.5 times the monthly rent as income to qualify but that is not the majority.   

What is the criteria when reviewing my application?

  1. As part of the application process, apartment owners or owner representatives review a comprehensive report including credit history, criminal background, and public records search.
  2. Factors that can negatively influence a decision include but are not limited to FICO score, debt to income ratio, rent to income ratio, evictions, judgments, criminal convictions, collections, charge offs, payday loans, repossession, unsettled bankruptcies or recent bankruptcies, and current or recent rental and credit delinquency.
  3. Resident selection criteria include a credit check, background check, rental history check, and income verification. All occupants over the age of 18 will have a background check. Please note property management companies will vary in their qualifications. 
Contact Kathy Curtis 281-414-5258 to assist you with your apartment search today!     


Q. Do I need to come to your office or meet with you in person by appointment? 

A. Not at all. Our business is fully online for your convenience!  Skip the trip and the traffic. You don't have to leave the comfort of your apartment home or office to use my apartment locating service. I can assist you wherever you are. I can meet you at my office by appointment if that's your preference. Call me 281-414-5258 or submit your contact information and I'll call you to discuss the details of your apartment search.  

Q. What do I need bring with me when I tour/visit the apartment communities?​

A. You will need a valid picture ID such as a driver's license or passport to view an apartment. To apply for an apartment, it's helpful to have your paycheck stubs or verification of income, or offer letter of employment, prior employment paperwork, landlord contacts, and or copies of a prior lease or rental history.


Q. What is an application fee; what is an administration fee and why do I have to pay them? 

A. An application fee is required when applying for an apartment and may require an administration fee also. The application fee is non-refundable;  the administration fee may be refundable however this varies widely by property and individual scenario.  Every property management company has different policies. It's always best to ask prior to filling out the application and submitting fees. Apartment leasing offices or landlords charge an application fee to process your rental application for running the credit check, rental history check, employment, income verification, and background checks. The apartment owner pays a third party to process the application and those costs are passed on to the applicant.  Contact me for any potential look and lease incentives.   

Q. How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For A Lease? What Information is Needed?

A. As little as 10 minutes to 10 days, every apartment community or owner representative company can differ in the time frame for approval. Applications are not processed by onsite leasing/management staff. 3rd party companies perform the process once application fees, administration fees and deposits are paid via the leasing office or their online website, per their guidelines. Most apartment leasing offices now accept electronic or credit card payments however some still require a money order or cashier's check for initial fees and deposits. Having all the required documents such as paycheck stubs, employment letter, driver license, copies of leases can expedite the application and approval process. Call 281-414-5258 with questions.  

Q. What are the qualifications or criteria considered to be approved for an apartment?

A. When evaluating and processing your apartment rental application - these items are considered: 

1. Credit History - acceptable credit history as a rule but varies by property,  may be approved with a higher deposit or fee depending on property or management company, as long as other financial criteria is met; 

2. Verifiable employment with income or proof of ability to pay rent - the standard is 3 times the "market rent" for the apartment as gross verifiable income or net verifiable income depending on the property. Cosigners or guarantors can be considered but also varies by property;

3. Rental History - 1st time renters can usually be approved with either a higher deposit or risk fee as long as other financial criteria are met, varies by property, and not all properties charge a higher deposit or fee for a first time renter;

4. A Criminal History Background Check is required for every occupant over the age of 18 when applying for an apartment. Disclose and discuss prior to apartment search - this question is also listed on the rental application and if not disclosed can cause loss of admin fees and security deposits - application fees are not refundable under most circumstances, admin fees may or may not be refundable - it's best to disclose anything that could be a potential issue;

5. Broken lease or any outstanding landlord debt can negatively affect apartment approval and should be discussed prior to the apartment search with your apartment locator to avoid losing costly application fees!  An eviction will be cause for denial or negatively affect apartment approval, again, please discuss prior with your apartment locator! There are select second chance properties that may be able to work with eviction but most will not unless the balance is zero or it no longer appears in rental or credit history.   

Have a Question?

Have a question? I would be happy to help. Suggestions for the site? I'm open to your feedback. Submit your question or comments using this simple form. All correspondence submitted remains confidential.     

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Q. How much does your apartment locator or apartment finder service cost?

A. Our service is 100% FREE to you. Our service is paid for by the property owner, as long as our name and company is listed in the initial registration and on the applications. No hidden fees or gimmicks. Please let the leasing offices know that Kathy Curtis, Texas Apartment Locators referred you, and if you lease online, select "apartment locator" as "how you found the property" or the source of referral. Please contact me or the leasing office if you're unable to find the appropriate spot to list my name. We are strictly paid on a commission basis so please keep me in mind. Online applications can be confusing, and often when you register on the property website, there's no place to list my name or company! I'm always a text, email, or phone call away 281-414-5258

Q. My credit is not good, will you still be able to help me find an apartment? 

A. Yes, is the answer in many situations. As an experienced agent, I have access to properties with the flexibility to consider certain credit issues. There may be a higher deposit or non-refundable risk fee depending on your particular credit score, rental history, etc. Most apartments don't base approval on credit score alone. During our initial consultation, I'll ask questions in an attempt to prequalify you:  questions about credit score; income; prior or current rental history, background, etc. I'm not being nosey, the more I know, the better I can help. It's best to express concerns upfront. All properties adhere to the Federal Fair Housing Act which requires them to treat everyone equally but they do have different qualifying criteria! I'm not able to guarantee your approval however if I'm given all the facts, I'll do my best to match you with properties that have worked with similar situations. 

Q. Why should I use your service to find my apartment instead of apartment hunting on my own? 

A. There are so many online apartment listing sites and apps but not all the properties are listed because they don't pay to advertise on them. The prices aren't always accurate, sometimes they can change on a daily basis and there's nothing about qualifying criteria. We do all the work for you when you use our apartment locating service!  

I'll narrow down your apartment search to a manageable list of properties that most closely match your requests! I can find reduced prices, specials, look and lease incentives and discounts you wouldn't ordinarily find on your own. We're in contact with the apartment leasing teams daily. My broker company, Texas Apartment Locators, has done business with apartment owners in Houston, Texas since 1975 and we are a trusted and reputable name in the apartment rental and locator industry.  

Q. What if I am a first time apartment renter? 

A. No problem! Most Houston apartments are able to work with first-time renters, providing other financial criteria or qualifying criteria is met. Some properties may ask for additional security deposits or 1st time renter fee as a one time charge; some will require a cosigner; students may need a co-signer or guarantor. 

Q. How Long of a Lease Will I Need to Sign?

A. Most apartments offer 12 month lease terms for best price and to be eligible for any offered special. Some will offer 13 to 18 months, a significant advantage to avoid rental renewal increases! That locks in your rate for that time period. A 6 month lease can increase your monthly rental price at most properties that offer them.      

Q. I'm ready, what do I do next to get started using your service to find my new apartment?

Email your contact information, text or call me at 281-414-5258. I'm here to successfully navigate you through the apartment search process. We'll have a quick conversation to discuss what's important to you such as floorplan, price range, location or area, pets, etc.  Always a Free service!   

Fill out this form and we'll find your apartment for you free

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Did You Know when you lease an apartment in Houston . . . ?

There are fees to apply for an apartment, and every occupant over the age of 18 must also have a background check!

“One Time Fees”

(These fees may be required to be in money order/cashier’s check form, unless credit card/online payments are accepted upfront prior to occupancy).

Typical Examples of Fees:

Application Fee per adult, may be higher for a married couple

$35 to $65 is customary

(Non-refundable fee paid by applicant for processing and verification of application information).

Lease Fee/Administrative Fee

$75 to $250 is customary

(Non-refundable fee required to offset expenses incurred by management. If the application is rejected by management, the non-refundable lease fee will be refunded as long as information is deemed truthful. If applicant cancels after the standard set time listed on application, from 48 to 72 hours of submitting application, the non-refundable lease or administration fee can be retained by owner/management. If the application is canceled or rejected by apartment owner/management, the Reservation Fee is typically refunded).

Security Deposit or Reservation Fee

(Becomes a refundable Security Deposit upon execution of the lease agreement*. Amounts vary by property and floorplan. Deposit may be applied by apartment owner/management to satisfy all or part of the resident’s obligations upon move out.* If the application is canceled or rejected by management, will be refunded unless there is false information).*

OR

Sure Deposit – In lieu of a standard security deposit the apartment owner/management may require a sure deposit, this is non refundable.

Did You Know when you lease an apartment in Houston . . . ?

 There are fees to apply for an apartment? Everyone over the age of 18 must also have

a background check. 


Is Your Current Apartment Lease Coming Up For Renewal or Ending? 

Call me as soon as possible to search for your new apartment home 281-414-5258 or 281-842-7965  Most properties require a written 60 day move out notice! Be sure you have satisfied the terms of your current lease! If you do not give a written move out notice, you will incur a balance from them if you're moving out and that balance could land on your credit report or rental history report!  

IS YOUR APARTMENT LEASE ABOUT TO EXPIRE?

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AptExpert.com; AptClearLake.net; aka Tx Apt Locators; Texas Apartment Locators; 

Texas Apartment Locators Houston, LLC. Broker License #567659 Kathy Curtis Agent License #428519  

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