Tenant FAQs

Resources to Help You Along the Way

Can I be approved with bad credit?

United Properties does not approve or deny based on credit alone. If your application is approved and your credit score is below 640, you will need to pay a 1.5 months’ security deposit.

Please see our Application Criteria Page for more information.

Can I pay all of my rent in advance?

Yes. You may pay as much as you want in advance.

Can I plant my own flowers?

We encourage residents to take personal pride in the appearance of their property. If you wish to do any gardening, including removing or planting anything in the yard, please submit your request in writing and we will contact the owner for approval. If you wish to make any changes to the landscape, you must first have written approval.

Can I sublease my apartment/rooms?

Unfortunately this not allowed. The lease states, “No subleasing, sharing of premises, or assignment of agreement is permitted”.

Can the co-signer be taken off the lease once we sign?

The co-signer may be removed after the first year, as long as your current situation qualifies you under the standard qualification criteria. All adults living in the home will have to apply, including a new application fee, the same as when you first applied.

Do I get any rent back if I move out early?

Tenants are responsible for all lease terms (including rent) through the end of their lease. If a tenant chooses to break their lease early, they may be responsible for continued rent obligations until the unit is re-rented.

Do I need approval to paint or change something in the home I am renting?

Yes. Any and all changes or modifications to the property must be pre-approved by UNITED PROPERTIES, after they receive your written request at info@rentupm.com.

Do I still have to pay late fees if my check comes in the mail late or gets lost?

Rent is due on the 1st of the month. After that, rent is considered late. If you mail a check and it doesn’t arrive until after the 1st, then it would be considered a late payment, and late fees would apply.

To avoid this, we recommend paying online via the tenant portal, using the CashPay system, or dropping off the check at our office using the rent drop box.

Do you have a limit on the number of pets that are allowed at a property?

For properties that allow pets, there is a two pet limit and a Pet Screening application must be completed.

Please refer to the Application Qualification Policy to learn more about the Pet Policy.

Do you take section 8 vouchers?

We allow vouchers for the listed properties that accept them. Please look for “Lease Section 8 Welcome” on the property listing and reach out to your caseworker to ensure the property you’re interested in will qualify with your specific voucher.

How do I apply for a rental?

All applications must be submitted online. We do not have paper applications.

All adults 18 years and older who will be living in the residence must submit a separate application.

How do I know if a property is still available?

All of the properties listed on our website are available to rent. We update the web site hourly and if a deposit is taken, the property is immediately taken off the market.

How long will it take to process my application?

Application processing times vary and depend on the volume of applications received. We aim to update you on the status of your application in 2-3 business days.

To avoid processing delays, please ensure that all requested information and documentation is provided.

How much are late fees?

Please refer to your lease agreement to determine how much your late fee will be. Current leases state the late fee is $50 and will be applied on the 2nd of the month.

How much is the screening fee?

Each adult (18 or over) who will occupy the property must complete an application and pay the screening fee of $50.00.

The SCREENING FEE IS NON-REFUNDABLE. The screening fee is $50.00 and must be paid with either a credit or debit card or checking account and routing number. We do not have the option of a hard copy (paper) application, as all applications must be submitted online. The screening fee must be paid at the time of application submittal. We will not process an application if the screening fee is not received.

I have given my 30-day notice to move out, but I need to retract (cancel) it. What do I need to do?

Just like your 30 Day Notice to Vacate, merely sign the original Renewal Letter we sent you and submit it to the office as soon as you know. The fastest approach would be to email your Renewal Letter to info@rentupm.com. You may fax it to us at 616-965-2310, or mail it to 1348 Front Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. There is a chance that we may have already secured new residents, so once you have sent your Renewal Letter, you may also want to call to confirm its receipt and to make sure that the lease can be extended. If you cannot find your Renewal Letter, please contact the office for another copy.

If the property goes into foreclosure, do I still have to pay my rent?

Yes. At the time that a notice is posted on your door, the owner still owns the property and it will take a minimum of 6 months, and possibly longer before a lender can take possession. At the time the lender actually takes possession, they will instruct you where to pay the rent. At no time do you want to pay the rent to anyone else until you are certain the house or apartment has changed ownership. There have been cases where a fraudulent real-estate agent comes to the door and says you have to pay rent to a different party. Always check with UNITED PROPERTIES before paying rent to unknown individuals. We will confirm for you the accuracy of any contradictory information. If you pay your rent to someone else while the property is still owned by the original owner, you will be liable to pay double rent. Just because a property is in foreclosure does not mean the owner does not still own their property.

Is the owner allowed to sell this house?

Property owners can sell any house they own at anytime. However, state laws require the new owner to honor your lease. As an example, if an owner sells the house in which you are living and your lease expires 8 months later, the new owner cannot make you move for another 8 months. Most of the time you are in an investment property and the new owner is going to want you to stay.

Is the rent negotiable?

UNITED PROPERTIES strives to give you the most value for your money. We understand the rental market very well and have done research prior to setting the price. The house/unit you are looking at is priced very competitively when you compare the quality of the houses managed by UNITED PROPERTIES to many other properties on the market.

My pet has passed away. Why do I still have to pay pet rent?

The extra rent for the pet will expire with the lease. At the time of renewal the extra pet rent will be taken off your lease. You must notify our office in writing if your pet situation changes.

What are the minimum and maximum lease periods?

A property may be leased for a minimum of one year. There is no maximum lease time. In fact, we hope you love your residence enough to want to remain our tenant indefinitely

What are your occupancy standards?

The city of Grand Rapids housing code requires that there shall be 120 square feet of habitable floor area for the first person and 100 additional square feet for each additional person. Additionally, each bedroom shall have at least 70 square feet for 1 person and 100 square feet for 2, and an additional 50 square feet for each person above that. HUD normally says 2 persons per bedroom, plus 1 additional person. You can see that there are many variances that we must look at, but generally the 2 per bedroom, plus 1 is a good rule of thumb.

What do I do if I need to move out?

It is required that you provide a written 30 Day Notice to Vacate using UNITED PROPERTIES’ official notice form. You can mail, email, fax, or hand deliver this. If you do not get our Move out Package within 3 business days, please contact our office.

What happens if I need to move before the end of my lease?

The resident is financially responsible for any time their leased unit is vacant until the end of the lease, or until it is leased again. Once you are certain you will be moving, please let us know. Depending upon the time of year, it may be possible for us to save you out-of-pocket expenses by re-leasing the unit before you leave. The resident is responsible for all cost associated with making the vacated unit “Rent Ready”, and for any leasing agent fees.

What happens if only one roommate wants to move out?

All of our leases state that “Each resident is jointly and severally liable for the payment of the rent.” This means that if someone moves out, they are still responsible for full rent payment.

If everyone is in agreement for one or more (but not all) roommates to move out, there is an add/remove process in place. The completion of this process would remove the departing roommate(s)’ liability. Please contact our office for more details.

What if I have special circumstances that I need to tell you?

Put your special circumstances in writing with your application. We will submit it with your application to our credit department for review. Although we have a very caring staff, it does no good to explain your situation to our leasing agent or receptionist since they do not process applications.

What is ACH, and how do I apply for it?

Automatic Checking Withdrawal (ACH) is a payment option that allows funds to be withdrawn directly from your bank account using your bank account number and bank routing number. It is free and does not incur additional fees.

What protection do I have that my rental won't be foreclosed upon?

If the house or unit you are living in is foreclosed upon, they will do so by posting a note on the property. If you ever see such a notice, it is imperative that you notify us immediately. It is not uncommon for tenants to learn about a property foreclosure before the management company. The Protecting Residents at Foreclosure Act of 2009 allows a resident to occupy the house/unit until the lease expires.

When do I get my deposit back?

ACT 348 1972 of the State of Michigan requires that an itemized list of damages must be made available to you, and any balance of your security deposit must be returned within 30 days. The law also requires the resident to notify us in writing of a forwarding address within 4 days of termination of lease. Failure to comply with this requirement relieves the landlord of the requirement to provide notice of damages.

When is my lease up?

All leases expire at different times. They normally expire 12 months from when you moved in. Check your lease for the exact date. If still uncertain, e-mail us at info@rentupm.com and we can let you know.

Who pays for the electric?

Utility responsibility varies by unit, so we encourage you to check the amenities list of the unit you are interested in to confirm. In most cases, the unit will have its own meter, which means the tenant controls the electricity for their own unit. Therefore, the tenant would be responsible for putting the electricity into their name and paying any bills incurred during their tenancy.

Who pays the regular HOA fees?

The property owner pays the regular Home Owner’s Association dues. However, it is very common for the Home Owner’s Association to send statements and other important notices to the rental address. If you receive such notices, and it is for the normal fees, please forward them to our office immediately.

Will you hold the property for me?

Once at least one application is submitted, you may place a holding on any property by paying the Holding Fee and signing the Holding Receipt. Please refer to our Application Qualification Policy for additional information, including a sample of the Holding Receipt.

Can I make repairs and deduct them from my rent?

No. You may not make your own repairs and you may never deduct any repair costs or inconvenience fees from your rent. However, some minor troubleshooting-such as flipping a breaker or unclogging a toilet-should be done by the resident. But for the most part, residents should not take the risk or liability in attempting their own repairs. For a list of repairs and troubleshooting that are approved, please visit our Maintenance FAQs. Since most repairs do require a professional who is licensed, bonded, and insured, please use our on-line maintenance request to submit your maintenance needs.

Can I pay my rent by going to your website?

Yes. We allow and encourage you to make payments online using the tenant portal. You can make a one-time payment or set up automatic autopay using ACH. You can also pay online using a credit or debit card; however, a 3-5% convenience fee is charged by the card company if you pay using a card.

Can I split my rent payment?

Rent is due on the first of each month. You may split the total amount due into as many payments as you would like; however, if the full amount is not paid by the 1st of the month is is due, a late fee will be applied to your account.

For example, if rent is due August 1st, you may split your August rent payment into two payments by paying half mid-July and the other half ofnAugust 1st; however, if you pay half of August rent on August 1st and the other half on August 15th, there will be a late fee.

Can I use my security deposit as the last month's rent?

No, the security deposit can only be returned to the resident after a resident has moved out.

Can the deposit be split up?

At this time UNITED PROPERTIES does not have any program to delay paying all of the security deposit before moving in.

Do I have to turn in my keys to the office when I move out?

Yes. It is your responsibility to turn in your keys when the house/unit is surrendered.

Do I need renter's insurance?

UNITED PROPERTIES always recommends residents take out their own renters insurance. Renters insurance protects the resident in many different ways and is extremely inexpensive. Renters insurance covers things like:

  • Spoiled food if the electric goes out
  • Loss of personal property in case of fire, theft or other types of losses
  • Personal liability, which may protect the renter from legal action
  • Please contact your insurance agent for full details and cost.

Do we have full access to the community/HOA services as a resident?

Yes. You’ll enjoy the same benefits as would the owner of the property. However, if the community HOA assesses additional yearly fees for those services; such as swimming pools, club houses and carports or garages, you the resident, will be responsible for payment of those fees.

Do you rent to students?

Yes, we treat all applicants/renters the same. The student applicant must still qualify for the unit for which they are applying. If the student applicant does not meet some qualifications, a co-signer option may be available and/or needed.

Please see our Application Criteria Page for more information about co-signers and when a co-signer option may be available.

How can I have my name taken off a lease?

Each adult would need to go through the approval process again to ensure they qualify without you on the lease and without your income. If they do or if a new roommate is applying to take your place and qualifies, then an Add/Remove form would be published and need to be signed by all tenants, including the departing and/or incoming tenants. If your lease is not within the renewal period, then a $200 administrative fee would apply.

I have given my 30-day notice, but I need extra time to move out. What do I need to do?
Submit your extension request in writing by emailing info@rentupm.com. Our team will review your request and, if approved, an extension agreement will be signed and lease administrative fees would apply.

How do I get help for a maintenance problem?

For best results, please submit your maintenance request online. However, we urge you to utilize the Maintenance FAQs and troubleshooting guide before submitting your maintenance request.

How long should I wait to hear back from someone regarding a maintenance problem?

Depending on the nature of the request, it can be 2 hours for emergencies or a few days for something routine. If you have not heard from our office or our vendor within the above time frame please call our office at 616-965-2300.

How many keys do I get?

United Properties will supply one key per adult upon request. We will provide you with additional keys for $10.00 per key. We do require all keys to be surrendered should you decide to move out.

How much is a pet fee?

There is a one-time non-refundable pet fee equal to $300 for one pet, and then an additional $150 for each additional pet. The monthly pet rent is determined after you submit the Pet Screening application and is based on the FIDO score they assign your pet. Please refer to the Pet Policy at www.rentupm.com/prospects for additional information.

How much of an incentive do I get for renewing?

UNITED PROPERTIES may offer you an incentive to renew. However, these are different from owner to owner and property to property. Renewal incentives also depend upon how your current rent relates to market rates. When you are about 2 months away from your lease renewal, feel free to contact us to find out what the current incentives are.

I have given my 30-day notice, but I need extra time to move out. What do I need to do?

Contact UNITED PROPERTIES as soon as you know that you need extra time. This will allow us to make sure we do not have a new resident scheduled to move in. If we do not, then you must submit a new 30 Day Notice to Vacate. Once such a request is received, you will receive notification that the extension has been accepted or denied. You will be required to maintain the property and all utilities during the lease holdover period. There is a $75.00 charge that must be paid with your new 30 Day Notice to Vacate. Your rent will be pro-rated until the keys are turned into the office.

Is the application fee refunded if I am denied?

Application fees are not refundable and are used to pay for processing the application and running the background check, which is run immediately upon submitting the application.

Is the owner willing to make modifications to the property to accommodate a handicap?

UNITED PROPERTIES has no problem with Reasonable Modification requests. A Reasonable Modification is an alteration to the physical premises allowing a person with a physical disability to overcome obstacles that interfere with their use of the dwelling. Because some modifications may require licensing and permits, let UNITED PROPERTIES know in writing specifically what changes you would like to make and we will discuss it with the property owner. The resident is typically responsible for the costs incurred for the changes and bringing the property back to its original condition once the resident moves.

Is there any way to negotiate the deposit?

At this time UNITED PROPERTIES does not have any program to adjust the security deposit.

What am I responsible for maintaining?

Residents are responsible for maintaining furnace filters, light bulbs, relighting pilot lights if they go out, checking breakers and fuses if the electric is not working, unclogging toilets or sinks and in certain situations, yard maintenance. Please refer to your individual residential lease.

What are your criminal background standards?

No applicant will be accepted who has been convicted of a violent or fraudulent felony within 10 years or any felony within 5 years. 

Please reference our Application Qualification Policy for additional information.

What are your qualifications to rent?

Please visit our Application Qualification page for a full list of our criteria.

What do I have to do to get approval for cable/satellite installation?

Please submit your request in writing to info@rentupm.com and our team will review. At no time does UNTIED PROPERTIES allow satellite dishes or cables to be installed through any roof or aluminum/vinyl siding or building trim.

What happens if I want to renew my lease?

UNITED PROPERTIES will send you a renewal letter that will give you the following options:

  • To renew for another 12 months.
  • To switch to a month-to-month lease at an increased amount.
  • You indicate clear intent to move.

This is sent to you approximately 60 days prior to your lease expiration as a reminder that your lease is about to expire. All adults on the lease will sign the letter and return it to UNITED PROPERTIES before the actual lease expiration.

What if I don't want the owner or property management company to come in my house or apartment and do inspections?

With proper 24-hour notice, UNITED PROPERTIES is permitted to enter the unit with or without permission from the tenant to conduct scheduled inspections and maintenance work. If the tenant denies entry and a proper 24-hour notice was given, there will be a missed inspection fee applied to the tenant’s account, and the visit will be rescheduled.

What if we have ants/roaches/spiders or other pests?

Per the lease agreement, tenants are responsible for pest control. If you would like our team to dispatch pest control, please submit a maintenance request online or call our office.

What is a Demand for Possession - Non Payment of Rent? (AKA 7-Day Notice)

A Demand for Possession – Non Payment of Rent is a legal notice that rent is past due and that we have begun the eviction process. If you get such a notice, please contact our office immediately to communicate when you will have the rent paid in full, possibly halting the eviction process.

What is the best method of communication during the application process?

Once you have submitted an application, you can email our applications team at applications@rentupm.com. We encourage you to wait 2-3 business days after submitting your application before reaching out for an update.

What qualifications does the co-signer need to have to be approved?

A co-signer must have a credit score of 720 or greater; or have a credit score of 640 or higher, make three times the monthly rent, and live in Michigan.

When is my rent due and where can I pay my rent?

Rent is due on the 1st day of each month. Rents not received in the office on or before the 1st will be considered late. The exception to this is weekends and holidays, in which case the rent is due on the next business day.

We encourage tenants to make payments online via the tenant portal; however, physical payments can be dropped off in our secure drop box at:

1348 Front Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Acceptable payments include personal checks, Cashier’s Checks, or Money Orders. We are unable to accept cash.

Who pays for the heat?

Utility responsibility varies based on unit, so we encourage you to check the amenities list of the unit you are interested in to confirm. In most cases, the unit will have its own meter, which means the tenant controls the heat for their own unit and, therefore, the tenant would be responsible for putting the heat into their name and paying any bills incurred during their tenancy.

Why should I rent from your company?

As the leader in service, UNITED PROPERTIES works very hard to be the best, professional, knowledgeable, and courteous property management company you will find. We work very hard to provide the highest quality resident services you’ll ever experience. We use professional vendors (painters, handymen, electricians, plumbers, carpet cleaners, etc) to ensure that your unit is in good condition. We give our personal guarantee of speedy response to all questions or complaints.

Why would I need a co-signer?

You may need a co-signer for a variety of reasons, including not meeting the income requirements, not having rental history or poor history, or owing money to a previous landlord.

Please visit our Application Qualification Policy to review all requirements.

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Read Reviews & Leave Reviews

Any time something needs to be fixed or looked at Ethan with maintenance is ALWAYS the biggest help! Thank you again!
Adrienna Bonter

I am an investor, and I have always had a great experience with United property management. Thank you UPM
Myra Jeter

United Properties was always responsive to maintenance requests and a pleasure to interact with. I would recommend them for any rental property.
Chad Wrisley

Want to Learn More About Property Management?

If you’d like to learn more about our properties and what it’s like to work with United Properties, get in touch. We’d be happy to talk more about our rental properties, our application requirements, and our leasing process.

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1348 Front Avenue, NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504
616-965-2300 | info@rentupm.com