Rental – FAQs

When would be the best time to start my rental search?

The best time to start searching is 20-30 days prior to your move-in date. The reason for this is that residents are required by Florida state law to give a 30 days notice to vacate (More notice may be given, but the 20 days notice is always calculated backwards from the day that rent is due – the 1st). Because of this, the majority of new availability gets advertised between the 1st and 15th of the month.

What should I bring when I visit rentals?

It’s a good idea for you to bring picture ID, a camera to take pictures, application fee(s), and credit/landlord references, since these will be requested on the application. You might also want to bring a recent paystub, a hiring letter from your employer or other proof of income/employment (especially if you’re new to the area).

What money will I need to put down when I want to lease a property?

Landlords generally require first month’s rent, and, although deposit expectations vary widely, security deposits usually equal to one month’s rent. Some owners or managers will also ask for a last month’s rent. The security deposit is required upon signing a lease, and may be required at application (but if so, will be refunded in full if your application is denied – however, your application fee will NOT be refunded).

If I view an apartment but am not sure if I want it, what should I do?

Filling out an application does not obligate someone to rent an apartment. Once the manager receives a complete (and paid for) application, most decisions are made within 48 hours. If you find something else during that time, you should contact your agent immediately to let them know you’re no longer interested in renting the apartment. You should be careful about leaving a deposit on a unit that you are not sure you want to rent – sometimes a portion or the entirety of this deposit may be nonrefundable. Only apply if you’re serious! Any monies you put down are considered a holding deposit. If the applicant is not approved, the “Holding Deposit” is refunded. However, the “Holding Deposit” is NOT refunded if the applicant is approved and chooses not to rent the property.

How much do I need to make to rent a property?

A general rule of thumb is that gross household income should be greater than or equal to three times the monthly rent. For example: if the apartment is $1000, your gross monthly household income should be $3000. Child support, alimony or any additional moneys received monthly can count as income as long as the receipt is verifiable. Excessive credit card debt, discrepancies on the credit report, car loans and other monthly obligations will be evaluated as well.

Do I need renter’s insurance even if my landlord has insurance?

Yes, you need renter’s insurance even if your landlord has insurance. Although your landlord almost certainly has property and liability insurance, your landlord’s policy doesn’t cover the items that you keep inside your apartment, and it doesn’t protect you if a guest is injured and sues you for liability.

How do I make a request for a maintenance problem?

Making a maintenance request is as simple as logging into your tenant portal and filling out a maintenance request. If you live in a property that is not managed by RMS, you will need to refer to your lease in order to contact the owner directly. If you are having trouble making a maintenance request, please call our main office line at (727) 821-1999 and press “3” when prompted.

What is a security/pet deposit?

Sometime landlords or management companies require a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. The security deposit is held in an escrow account and is used by the landlord to pay for any damages due to non-reasonable wear and tear. Normal wear-and-tear is not deducted from the security deposit: as long as you leave the apartment in the same condition as when you moved into it.

A pet deposit is an additional security deposit to cover any damage caused by a pet. The deposit amount can vary based on the owner’s wishes, number of or size of pets, whether it is a house or condo…etc. Some properties may require a one-time pet FEE in addition to, or in lieu of a pet deposit.

Why do I have to pay an application fee?

In an effort to provide the best possible environment for all of our tenants, we run a complete background check as part of the application process. This amount covers the time and services necessary to complete that check. Any application that is not filled out completely, or paid for in full, will NOT be considered.