How to rent a home.

How To Rent a Home

5 Steps to the Home Renting Process



How to Rent a Home in North Metro Atlanta

You have decided to rent a house, townhouse, or condo in the Atlanta area. And now you want to know what you need to do to rent a home. Here is a simple 5 step by step guide to renting a home.

Rent a home in Canton, GA Rent home North Metro Atlanta

1. Decide if you want to use a real estate agent to help find a home to rent.

Finding homes to rent without an agent is a lot of work. I often meet tenants who get frustrated looking for homes to rent on their own. They come to me desperate for help.

A real estate agent can search for all the rental homes listed on the MLS. Many of these homes can be found on real estate websites online, but often the information is outdated, if even by 24 hours. An agent will do all the work for you in finding current homes listed for rent on the market.

The fees paid to the agent that finds you a house originate from the landlord's pocket. So it doesn't cost you anything to use an agent to find a house to rent. I have some guidelines that I use with tenants: Agent services for finding rental homes.

You may be required to sign a Tenant Brokerage Agreement with the agent. This insures the agent that the time spent looking for a rental home for you will not be wasted if you suddenly call another agent off a sign you drive by.

Your agent will expect you to be loyal and call them first when you see a house you like. Signing the Tenant Brokerage Agreement demonstrates your commitment to the business relationship.

Sometimes your agent will require a retainer fee to help cover the costs of gas and time driving around to show you homes available for rent. This is a non-refundable fee if you do not rent a house. The fee sometimes may be refunded to you if you sign a rental agreement for a house you like.

2. Tell your agent which homes you like and go inside to take a look.

Your agent will spend the time calling each of the landlord's representatives to verify availability of the homes you like and make appointments for you to get inside and take a look.

Sometimes the homes you like will not be available in the time frame you want to move or they are no longer available because the landlord just received an application from a qualified tenant.

Your agent will map out the order to go look at the homes you want to see. Meet up with your agent and take a look inside each house.

3. Apply to rent the home you like best.

You will be required to fill out a rental application for each adult planning to live in the home you want to rent. Your signed application will normally give the landlord permission to run a credit check and a background check.

The cost for applying varies. A few landlords will not charge a rental application fee if you supply a copy of your credit report. Most application fees range from $25 to $75 per application. It's usually around $35. Some will charge a reduced rate for married couples or families.

If the landlord has a professional property management company processing the paperwork, it may only take them a few hours to process your application. Some landlords take 2 or 3 days to process an application. Your wait to hear back if you are approved can cause you anxiety. At this point you will have to be patient.

4. Sign the lease / rental agreement.

Once your application is approved, you must be prepared to sign the lease. The money you must pay at the lease signing will vary depending on a number of factors, such as move in date and if you have pets. In most cases, these initial fees must be paid in certified funds such as a money order or cashier's check.

The fees and costs when you sign the rental agreement can be any or all of the following:

First Month's Rent

When you sign the lease, you will be required to pay first month's rent in advance even if your move-in date is 30 days away.

Pet Deposit / Pet Fee

If you have a pet, you will normally be required to pay a refundable pet deposit or a non-refundable pet fee. The amount will vary from one rental to the next. I usually see pet fees ranging between $200 and $350. I have seen it as high as $750. I have noticed that the pet fee is not normally linked with the monthly rent in any way. The amount is whatever the landlord wants.

Security Deposit

In Georgia you should not pay the Security Deposit until you get a signed move-in inspection form from the landlord.

The security deposit is usually the same amount as the first month's rent. Sometimes the deposit is a different amount, but plan on it being the same as the monthly rent.

The security deposit is held by the landlord until the end of your rental agreement and you move out. It is fully refundable if you leave the property undamaged. If damages to the property are discovered when you move out, the landlord will deduct the costs from the security deposit and refund the difference.

The move-in inspection normally will take place the day before you move in or the day you move in. In some cases, the tenant and landlord may agree to do the move-in inspection much further in advance of the actual move-in date.

Some landlords will insist on collecting the Security Deposit at lease signing without the move-in inspection. I don't recommend this for my clients, but it can be done as long as it is clearly written in the lease agreement that the security deposit is being paid in advance of the landlord providing the signed move-in inspection form.

"The bottom line costs for getting into a home to rent is two times the monthly rent plus a pet deposit."

5. Move in.

When the date of your move in arrives, be sure to get a copy of the signed move-in inspection form. Move in and enjoy your new home.

And please refer your family and friends to the real estate agent who helped you find a place to rent!

Agent for Renting a Home in the Atlanta Area

Are you looking for a real estate agent to find a home to rent in North Metro Atlanta?

I can help you find homes for rent in Canton, GA and surrounding areas of Cherokee County (Woodstock, Waleska, Ball Ground, Holly Springs), Cobb Country (Marietta, Kennesaw Smyrna, Vinings), North Fulton County (Milton, Roswell, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Atlanta), Forsyth County (Cumming), Gwinnett County (Norcross, Duluth), and Dekalb County (Dunwoody, Chamblee, Decatur).



John Marion is the agent who buys houses in Cherokee County Georgia and throughout North Metro Atlanta
Call or TEXT John @ 703-371-9548