Resources to Help You Along the Way
Can I be approved with bad credit?
In most cases, the answer is yes. However, it does depend on what is making your credit bad. As an example, if you have unpaid medical or school bills you should be okay. If you have judgments from past landlords or unpaid utility bills, they must be paid before you would be approved. Depending on the bad credit cause, we may be able to approve your rental application with a qualified co-signer, and/or by your paying a larger deposit. If your credit does not qualify you for any of those options, unfortunately, your application will be denied.
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?
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 costs associated with making the vacated unit “Rent Ready”, and for any leasing agent fees.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I still have to pay late fees if my check comes in the mail late or gets lost?
Yes, the rent is due on the 1st of the month, and considered late on the 2nd. UNITED PROPERTIES recommends either borrowing money or paying by credit card to avoid the late fees.
Do you have a limit on the number of pets that are allowed at a property?
Each of the properties managed by UNITED PROPERTIES is owned by a different owner. Each property owner has their own criteria. Some allow pets, while others do not. Some allow cats, but no dogs. In all cases, if cats are allowed you must provide documentation that the animal’s shots are up to date and that they are “fixed” or “neutered.” If the listing on our website indicates that the property does not accept pets, the owner has already made a decision not to accept pets. If the listing indicates that the property does accept pets, please see our Pet Addendum for complete information. Support or Companion animals, as defined by HUD, do not require an additional cost or deposit.
Do you take section 8 vouchers?
Yes we do. However, not all properties are going to qualify. Section 8 has a limit to what rent can be charged for a unit or house, therefore, you may be limited in your selection. Please contact our office with the name and phone number of your Section 8 coordinator and the house or apartment unit you may be interested in. We will contact your coordinator to make sure the desired residence will qualify.
How do I apply for a rental?
The easiest and fastest way is to apply using our online application. There are no nuisance fees when paying on-line for your application when using ACH. However, there is a 5 % Service Fee for using credit cards. You can also download an application and fax, e-mail or mail it to United Properties. All adults, 18 and older, who will be living in the residence must fill out a separate application, and pay separate screening fees before the application can be processed.
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?
In some cases, we are able to process applications in as little as 2 hours. However, it may take longer if your current and previous landlord is not available. As soon as we can make contact with your current and previous landlord to verify all eligibility criteria, the application process is completed.
How much are late fees?
Late fees are 5% of the rental amount or $35.00 whichever is greater and $1.00 every day thereafter. If you are going to be late, please contact United Properties at email@example.com immediately. United Properties is required to begin multiple actions to collect rent, which may incur more fees, as well as the possibility of you being evicted. To prevent or minimize additional fees and protect your credit, do not delay in contacting the office.
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 $45.
The SCREENING FEE IS NON-REFUNDABLE. The screening fee is $45.00 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 rent”. This means that if someone moves out, he/she is still responsible for full rent payment.
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 a companion and/or support animal?
Any animal, prescribed by a health care provider, that enables people to do work, perform tasks or provide comfort for the benefit of an individual with a disability, is legally considered a support or companion animal. Documentation must be provided for the animal to qualify.
What is ACH, and how do I apply for it?
Automatic Checking Withdrawal (ACH) is authorized agreement between you, your bank and United Properties for rent, and known fees, to be automatically deducted from your bank checking account at the end of each month. Many tenants prefer this method of rent payment because it is quick, simple and avoids the additional $20.00 surcharge for paying by credit card. You can apply for ACH when using our online application procedures.
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 email@example.com and we can let you know.
Who pays for the electric?
Depending upon the apartment complex, the electric bills may be included in your rent. However, in most cases the resident controls their own electric and pays accordingly.
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?
If you have no rental history or have an income ratio lower than our normal standard, you may be able to use an approved co-signer to move into one of our properties.
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. This is the payment method we recommend, and it is probably the most convenient for you. Click here to be directed to our online services. You can set up one-time or continual automatic debits from your checking account by using our no charge online ACH. You can also pay online using a credit or debit card for one time or continual card payments. However, there is a 5 % fee added to your account if you opt to pay by credit or debit card.
Can I split my rent payment?
Yes, as long as all the rent is paid on or before the 1st of each month. For example, let’s say we are in the month of July and your rent is due on August 1st. You may split your August payment as many times as you want in July as long as your rent is paid in full August 1.
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 alike. The student applicant must still qualify under the guidelines of the property for which they are applying. As stated previously, some properties may require co-signers for a student applicant to qualify – if they lack income, credit and/or rental references. Even though a co-signer may apply for a student with no employment or bad credit, if the student doesn’t qualify due to criminal history or previous rent default, the application will be denied?”
How can I have my name taken off a lease?
Each adult would have to go through the approval process again to see if they qualify without your income. Assuming they do, an Add or Remove Resident to Lease Agreement will be issued. The agreement must be signed by all residents and returned with a $200.00 administration fee.
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 a half month’s rent of the property being applied for. The monthly pet rent for properties allowing pets is $50.00 for dogs, and $25.00 for cats. For example: If you have two dogs, two cats, or a dog and a cat, the monthly pet rent would be $50.00. There is a limit of 3 animals per home. Not all dog breeds are accepted, i.e. Pitbulls, Mastiffs, Rottweilers… etc. Please call our office if you need further clarification.
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?
UNITED PROPERTIES uses a national 3rd party screening company and the fee goes towards their screening costs. Unfortunately, the application fee is non-refundable.
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?
Applicants with a violent within the last 10 years and a nonviolent felony within the last 5 are automatically denied.
What are your qualifications to rent?
A full description of our application qualifications can be found on our web site, Resident Rental Policies page.
What do I have to do to get approval for cable/satellite installation?
You must have written permission to have cable/satellite installed. UNITED PROPERTIES will provide you with an instruction sheet for the contractor giving authorization and details regarding how the service may be hooked up. If a resident allows cable/satellite to be installed and it is not according to the instructions, the resident will be responsible for removal, proper installation and any damage to property caused by the unauthorized hookup. At no time does UNITED 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 notice, both the property owner and UNITED PROPERTIES will inspect the property a couple of times per year. Once, after about 120 days from when you move in and again when any maintenance is done.
What if we have ants/roaches/spiders or other pests?
The only reason you would have pests in your home is because they have found it habitable to live there. It is very important to remove any food source accessible to them, and keep the home in a clean sanitary condition. Per your lease, treatment of household pests is the resident’s responsibility. If the problem continues, most grocery or hardware stores carry traps and sprays that are specific to the type of pest you may have and they normally resolve your problem in a few days. If the problem continues even after you have attempted store bought solutions, please feel free to contact us. We will do an inspection and give you a list of options to rid your house/unit of the pests in question. See our Maintenance FAQ’s for more information.
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?
What qualifications does the co-signer need to have to be approved?
The co-signer needs to complete an application and pay the screening fee. For a co-signer to qualify, they must have strong credit and been employed for a minimum of 3 years at the same job.
When I move out, why can't I clean the carpet myself?
Do it yourself carpet cleaners cannot begin to do the professional job that a commercial carpet cleaner does. Your lease states carpets must be professionally cleaned. UNITED PROPERTIES has approved carpet cleaners that give us a very competitive price, making it is less expensive to have us do them after you leave than for you to hire a professional once.
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 holiday’s in which case the rent is due on the next business day.You may also drop your rent off in our secure drop box in person at:
1348 Front Ave, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM. If the office is closed, please use the secure payment drop box near the front door. Acceptable forms of rent payment are personal checks, Cashier’s Checks or Money Orders. We are unable to accept cash.
Who pays for the heat?
Depending upon the apartment complex, the heating bills may be included in your rent. However, in most cases the resident controls their own heat and pays accordingly.
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?
United Properties understands that when you find something you like, you want to hold it in order to prevent another applicant from getting your desired residence before you are approved. If that is the case, here is what we require:
- You must submit an application with the screening fee
- You must pay a Holding Fee (which is equal to one month’s rent at the desired property, and upon approval transfers to your security deposit).
- You must sign a Property Hold Receipt.
The prospective resident has 24 hours to provide all documentation, (proof of income- last two pay stubs showing a YTD amount or bank statements from the past 3-6 months). A lease must be signed no later than 30 days from when the Holding Fee Receipt is signed.