Filling out rental applications

Published by Matthew Talamini in on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

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Filling out rental applications

There are a lot of misunderstandings out there regarding rentals and in general about real estate. These need to be cleared out to make sure that the everyday people who are living or looking for rentals can fulfill required documents without any hassle. The question we’ll answer today is that who exactly needs to fill out the rentals application.

General Rule

The common misconception is that the person who pays the rent of the real estate property is the one who should fill out the rental application. However, that is not the case. Anyone who lives at the property needs to fill out the form as well. All above 18 people living at the property as well as someone who co-signs the lease of the real estate property but doesn’t live there needs to fill out the form. Similarly, anyone who moves in the property at a later point must also fill out this document. Minors are out of the scenario. This is because you cannot hold minors responsible for any sort of agreement in any case.

Other scenarios

This ideal situation may lead to questions for different circumstances. Let’s tackle them one by one.

Firstly, there is the scenario of multiple people living in the real estate property but they share the same income. Here, both the adults must fill the rental application but the background details, like the credit history, need only be given of the person who earns and pays the rent. This applies to couples, parents with an adult child, and all other situations involving one person who earns and another adult.

In another scenario, you might be giving out your property to a family where the parents permanently live in the property, but the kids are mostly away at college. Although the children aren’t permanently residing here, they still need to fill out the application if they are above 18 and come to stay for two weeks or more. In another case, the parents could be co-signing a property for their college kids to stay in. If this is your situation, you will get the rental application for your real estate property filled out by the parents who are co-signing the lease, by the student, and any other adult who would be living in the same property. This way if the parents don’t pay you your rent in time, you can demand the children who live there for the payment.

The most confusing situation is when there are room-mates involved. The same rules apply here; you get the rental application filled out by every adult room-mate. The issue arises when either one room-mate changes place before the end of the agreement, or one of the room-mates is replaced with a new person without informing the landlord. To eradicate this issue, you should get the application signed by all current room-mates and inform the tenants that in case a new person comes in, they must also fill the form.

Keep all these scenarios in mind to make sure you never get in real estate trouble regarding rentals again!

Avoid Serious Misunderstandings With Houses For Rent By Owner

Published by Matthew Talamini in on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

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Avoid Serious Misunderstandings With Houses For Rent By Owner

There are many advantages to houses for rent by owner, but there can be a lot of issues and serious misunderstandings when an agreement is not in writing. It is not all about paying somebody else’s mortgage or throwing money away. You do have a responsibility to ensure that the lease agreement is in place and that you make regular payments.

Explore the new neighborhood and make good use of the opportunity to save money on a monthly basis. Advantages of renting a house by owner include:

  • One can live in a better neighborhood. Some houses for rent by owners include water, and you can save money.
  • You are not responsible for maintenance. Plumbing, elimination of termites and paint can be expensive. You save all these costs by renting.
  • One can experience a lot of unforeseen costs when owning a home. Large repairs such as a leaking roof can cost one a lot of money.
  • Pools cost money to maintain. There are great public pools available, and all one has to pay is the membership.
  • When you have to change location, renting makes moving much easier.
  • If for some reason, you can no longer afford the more expensive rental, you can give notice and move to a cheaper rental.

Rental Agreements

There are lease clauses that are legal, but turn out to be very unfair. Courts have the power to change any lease provisions if the tenant can show it is unjust to one party. If you are planning on renting, it is advisable to seek legal advice to help you understand all the terms and clauses of the agreement. There are important factors in a rental agreement:

  • When is the monthly rent due and the amount of the rent? If it is not stated in the agreement, the law requires rent to be paid on the first day of the month/week;
  • Most leases provide a three or five-day grace period for rent payments. The contract should state what the charges for late payments are;
  • Utilities and appliances: Who is responsible for the utilities?
  • Are pets allowed?

Illegal Lease Provisions

Once you are ready to sign the lease agreement, take note that there are clauses that are against the law:

  • A clause that allows the landlord to change the property’s locks and deny the tenant access to the property if there is outstanding rent;
  • A clause stating that the tenant does not get a refund of a deposit or prepaid rent;
  • A provision stating that the tenant cannot defend himself or herself in court if the landlord should file a lawsuit against the tenant for damages or seeks to evict the tenant;
  • A provision that says a late fee of more than ten percent of the monthly rent is required;
  • A clause that permits the landlord to hold the tenant’s personal property after an eviction;
  • A provision that states the tenant must give up the right to take the landlord to court.

Serious Misunderstandings

There can be a lot of issues and serious misunderstandings when an agreement with houses for rent by owner is not in writing. A rental can be given to a tenant on a month to the month basis. The tenant can insist on a six-month term, and the landlord agrees. If these agreements are not in writing it can be very difficult to prove in court that the term was six months. Oral agreements are often enforceable, but agreements such as where the landlord accepts to make repairs to the property, should be in writing.

Things Can Go Wrong Even Before You Move In

You have signed a written agreement to rent, and you have paid the deposit. What if you lost your job and cannot afford to rent the home? The landlords have the right to retain the deposit. The landlord may also be entitled to some rent or other damages for having to advertise the apartment.

What if you have signed the agreement, and you are not able to move in on the consented upon date as the home is not ready? In this case, you can give written notice to the landlord to terminate the rental agreement. You are entitled to the return of all prepaid rent and deposits.

If you do not wish to terminate the agreement, you may demand that the landlord make the rental unit available immediately. You can bring this action to court, and you can ask for damages as well as for possession in the lawsuit. Damages can include alternative housing, storage for your possessions and costs for searching for another rental.

Strange Landlords

When you consider houses for rent by owner, keep in mind that there can be strange people out there. Some landlords can insist on cash. Make sure you keep all the receipts. A landlord can promise to make repairs, but never turns up for making those repairs or the landlord can be unavailable when needed for an emergency such as a leaking water pipe.

You can run into difficult landlords. It is advisable that you put the dispute you have with the landlord in writing and take pictures of what is broken. Where the landlord promised to fix it by a certain date and time, document this conversation in writing. Send a copy of this letter by certified mail with a follow-up letter describing your conversation you had with the landlord. You can file a complaint at the Fair Housing Act if your landlord is not keeping up the promises.

Purchasing a Property versus Renting

An adjunct professor in personal finance at the University of California at Berkeley, found that “100 percent of the time it was better to rent, rather to own.” He added that he knew he is taking a constraint point of view to conventional wisdom.

Greg McBride, a senior analyst, said that “Home ownership is a store of wealth. The promise of home ownership is that over the long haul, it can result into a rebate of many or perhaps all of your costs, unlike rent, which does not give you any rebate.” Mr. McBride said there is no sense in buying a home if it is going to deplete your emergency or retirement savings.

A new academic article in Real Estate Economics used data from 1979 to 2009 and demonstrated that renting was the superior investment for most of the past 30 years. The article found that unless someone possesses the cash necessary to buy a residence, he or she will be renting one way or another.

The article states: “The choice is between renting the property directly or rent the capital necessary to buy the property. The amount of capital to be rented is a function of house prices, while the bulk of a mortgage payment is in interest, which is the rental payment on this capital.

After 2 years, the typical 30-year amortizing mortgage balance has been reduced by less than 3%. This means that a household that took out a $300,000 mortgage with a 5% interest rate to buy a home has only reduced its mortgage balance by $8,600 after two years despite spending nearly $39,000 in total over this period.”

There are many advantages to houses for rent by owner. It remains your responsibility to ensure that the lease agreement is in place in order to avoid issues and serious misunderstandings and that you make regular payments in a timely manner.

Why is a Realtor Worth It?

Published by Matthew Talamini in on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

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Why is a Realtor Worth It?

The general public seems to believe that real estate agents are all equal. On the contrary, all real estate agents are not the same. This article focuses on the distinction between a realtor and a real estate agent, as well as the advantages you can gain by using a realtor rather than trying to sell your house on your own.

So, what is so special about the title of realtor? In order to be designated as a realtor, a real estate agent must belong to the national association of realtors. As a member of this organization, realtors must abide by a written code of ethics, with consequences similar to disbarment in law and losing a medical license as a doctor. Having been in place nearly 100 years, the code of ethics is annually revisited and updated to meet the needs of our changing society and to ensure realtors follow behavior fitting a professional. So, the main aspect that sets a real estate agent apart from a realtor is this code of ethics.

As a home buyer or seller, working with a realtor should give you peace of mind that you will receive fair and ethical treatment in each instance. As opposed to a behavior code that is simply “understood,” realtors promise to follow this code of ethics, and are held responsible for their actions. In fact, the governing body can subject realtors to punishment if they are lax in following the code.

Although the knowledge that a realtor must adhere to a higher authority is reassuring, there are a number of other advantages to using a realtor in your real estate transaction.

Realtors have experience

Having been through the process of buying and selling multiple homes, realtors have a bank of knowledge to rely on and are prepared for any potential surprises or pitfalls that could crop up. Since purchasing a home is often someone’s single largest investment, it just makes sense to rely on a professional to guide you through that process. If someone takes you to court and sues you for $10,000, there’s little question you will hire a professional, like a lawyer, to make sure you hang onto your money. With an investment of 10 times that amount, isn’t a professional worth it?

Realtors have access to marketing tools

Although you can run an ad in your local newspaper, realtors® have access to a number of other avenues where they can help you appropriately price and market your home. Since immediate exposure is crucial when you are selling a home, pricing and marketing are two of the most important tools at your disposal. If you over-price your home, you could be wasting your time with the wrong potential buyers looking at your home. If you under-price your home, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars and never know it. With access to the local multi-listing service (mls) databases, realtors have access to all local listings from any agency. Through the mls service, your home is featured on numerous websites, so your home receives maximum exposure that is not limited to your specific area.

Realtors know how to negotiate

As part of their job, realtors negotiate on a regular basis. During the negotiation process, there are a number of aspects to take into account, making it invaluable to have a professional in your corner. Considering factors like pricing, financing, inspecting, repairing, title issues, fixtures staying with the home, possessions, and human emotions, just to name a few, there are countless areas where a realtor can help you stay on top of the game during negotiations. Realtors make sure you receive the best deal for your situation, since they have experience with what it possible and/or realistic.

Additionally, the difference between the selling price of the average “for sale by owner” home and the average home sold through a realtor was around $60,000 ($187,200 for fsbo and $247,000 for realtor assisted). Even taking commissions out of the mix, those numbers published by the national association of realtors profile of home buyers and sellers further demonstrate the value of using a realtor national association of realtors profile of home buyers and sellers.

Realtors are motivated

Most people know realtors don’t get a paycheck unless your home is sold (or the purchase goes through). In other words, it is in their best interest to work with you! Can you imagine a world where lawyers didn’t get paid unless they won your case? Or doctors didn’t get paid unless they cured you? If you work with a realtor, they are used to this reality. Knowing they need to get the deal done to put food on their table is a serious motivational tool for your agent. A horse will run faster if you dangle a carrot in front of it, and the same motivation applies for real estate professionals.

Hopefully, you now recognize the advantages of using a realtor® for all your real estate needs. In addition to the realtor® code of ethics, realtors have access to their experience, advertising opportunities, negotiating abilities, and motivation to sell your home, which definitely stacks the evidence in their favor. Be sure to call a realtor® first next time you are ready to buy or sell a home.

Managing Your Rental Properties – Marketing Your Rental Homes

Published by Matthew Talamini in on Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

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Managing Your Rental Properties – Marketing Your Rental Homes

When it comes to rental real estate, marketing a rental home, screening and selecting tenants and managing rental properties should usually be left up to professional property manager or property Management Company. However, there are those of you real estate investors out there who, like me, enjoy being intimately involved in every aspect of your rental properties. Like many of you, I have personally managed my portfolio of rental properties for several years now. The three most significant challenges people come across have appropriately been marketing their rental homes, selecting the right tenants and managing the landlord-tenant relationships. So, let’s get started.

Research Current Rental Rates In Your Area

First things first. You have to get to know the rental rates in your area. One of the biggest mistakes landlords make is not thoroughly researching what the market rental rates are in their area. Many landlords just ask for the same or a slightly higher rent than what their last tenant was paying. This approach, especially in the current real estate market, does not always reflect the direction that the local market has gone in. So, you have to do your research. Start online and see what others are asking for properties similar to yours. Most rental properties are not advertised online so you will want to get to know your neighborhood. Starting in the subdivision your rental property is located in, you should become fully informed of each and every home for rent and what the asking rent is.

Call Each And Every Home For Rent Sign You See And Speak With The Owner Or Property Manager

Ask them what they are asking for rent and ask them why. Asking why many times will give you free information as to the local market. If you have no comparable houses for rent in your subdivision expand your search slightly. Take a 5-mile radius and drive around and see what other homes are for rent in the area. The more research you do, the more calls you make, the more accurate your understanding of the going market rate in your area will be.

Set Your Rent At A Competitive Level

Once you know that the asking rent in your rental property’s particular area is said $1100 to $1300, you need to figure out what your asking rent is going to be. Obviously, you want to get as much for your property as possible. However, you do not want to extend your vacancy more than necessary. You should also be able to explain to a prospective renter why you are asking what you are asking. If you have done your research ahead of time, you should have no problem answering those questions. Resist the temptation to set the rent based on what your mortgage payment is. Your mortgage payment has absolutely no bearing on the rental market in your area. A better way to set the rent is by taking an average of what the comparable rental properties asking rent is.

So, if there are 4 properties in your subdivision that are exactly or almost exactly like your rental, equally distributed between $1,100 and $1,300, an excellent asking rent would probably be around $1,200. I say “around” because everyone likes to feel like they have gotten a deal. So, you probably want to ask slightly above what you are really looking to get. In our hypothetical scenario, that might be $1,225 or $1,250. Your goal here is not to be automatically excluded from consideration by your rental prospects because yours is the most expensive rental in the neighborhood. You also do not want to give the property away. This average rental rate approach continues to work very well for me.

Begin Advertising Your Rental At Least 30 Days Out

Once you know what the going rental rates are in your rental’s subdivision or area, it’s time to begin advertising. Ideally, you will want to research your local market rents and start promoting your home rental at least 30 days, but preferably 60, before your anticipated vacancy. The best place to begin advertising is by advertising on home rentals ad websites. In most cases, rental prospects searching online are usually conducting their searches 30 to 60 days out from their anticipated move date. Getting a head start by advertising online is essential. As prospective tenants are turning to the web more and more to begin their search for a rental house and the exposure the web offers is precisely what you need to get started. Your advertising plan cannot stop there though.

Anyone driving in your property’s neighborhood should know that your property is for rent and they should know how to immediately get in touch with you. Your property’s signage should be legible and placed in highly visible areas of your property. The inquiries and leads generated by signs on your rental property are as good as the ones generated by online ads. That is why your plan should include both.

Hold Open House On Weekends

Let’s face it. No one wants to spend their weekends waiting for prospective tenants to knock on the door. However, holding an open house is an extremely useful way to show your property to everyone that is interested in a convenient window of time. You can advertise your open house online and eliminate the need to make special trips out to your property to show it to one individual who may not show up. Open houses also let you speak with prospective tenants in person and “sell” your rental home’s features more effectively. Seeing your home rentals in person is so much more effective than viewing pictures online. Another thing about open houses is that they “tweak” people’s understanding of the local rental market by allowing them to talk to many prospective renters in a short period of time.

That helps people understand firsthand what the market range of the people coming through really is.

When you combine thorough research and preparation with a smart marketing plan, you can dramatically decrease the length of your home rental vacancies. The advice is simple. Create your marketing plan with the four objectives discussed and follow it. You will be very happy with the results.

10 Realtor Tips For Real Estate Marketing

Published by Matthew Talamini in on Thursday, January 11th, 2018

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10 Realtor Tips For Real Estate Marketing

Every real estate agent is interested in realtor tips regarding the best marketing tools for the industry. The goal is to become a realtor with marketing success. Each agent will need to find what works best in the locality and what reaches their target market. As a realtor, you are the one who will have to decide what tools will work for your situation. It is always a good idea to check on occasion to see what the top marketing tools available are and if you are not using them consider them in your market applying the tools that fit.

What are the top 10 realtor tips for real estate marketing?

  1. Website
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  3. Blogging
  4. Direct mailing
  5. Seminars
  6. Referrals
  7. Realtor Newsletter
  8. Virtual Tours
  9. New Gadgets
  10. Implementation

In the world of high-speed internet, social media, online sales, and electronic gadgets along with other high tech tools having a real estate website is not an optional tool in the industry any longer.

Once you have established a realtor website, you can’t stop there you must apply SEO and add various other tools that will get you the best ranking possible by the search engines. There are many individuals and companies available to put their expertise in this area to work for you. You will not need to have to know how yourself.

Blogging is a great way to improve your website ranking on the major search engines. The key here is to use the blog appropriately and consistently.
Direct mailing is not a thing of the past. It has been used for a long time, and with the new technology, there is no wonder some would question the use of maintaining direct mailing as a continuing marketing tool for real estate.

Seminars presented in your community for home buying realtor tips allows you to position yourself as the expert you are and provides the best marketing advantage for a realtor.

Referrals from your past clients are one of the most effective and powerful tools for a realtor. Most realtors who have become a realtor of choice have received this status based on past client referrals and simply their word in the community regarding the excellent service you provided.

The value of a realtor newsletter cannot be overlooked. The realtor newsletter should be available online and as a paper production as well.

Virtual tours should be available on your website. About 90% of realtor clients first start their search for an agent and house online.

It is essential to keep abreast of the new technology and gadgets available in the market. You should pay particular attention to what your clients are using and put into practice the tools that will give you added exposure to your clients.

Implementation is the last realtor tip to consider. This tip is not optional. Implementation assures you will follow through with using the tips you have identified as needed to help you become a realtor of choice.

New Year, New Rental Tools

Published by Matthew Talamini in on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

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New Year, New Rental Tools

The new year means new real estate market trends and opportunities! In honor of the new year, we’ve researched some of the most significant projected real estate rental market trends for 2018.

According to Forbes, the renter demographic is changing. In previous years, the renter market comprised of young people with lower incomes. Considering that last year, 3.3 million renters had over $100,000 in income. Forbes predicts this trend will only skyrocket in 2018. predicts that the demand for lower rents and more units finally be met. After years of fighting for more affordable rents and more housing options, it looks like things are looking up. This trend means more business for realtors, especially in overpopulated areas.

Speaking of more housing options, national Real Estate Investor states that developers project to finish 100,000 rental units per quarter. This growth is a 33% increase in the national average of rental units developed per year!

Forbes projects that landlords will be expanding their rental property portfolios throughout 2018 and new landlords will be entering the market due to new tax reform that favors real estate investors.

Zillow predicts a sharp decrease in home sales due to new tax reform as it will lower the amount of interest one can deduct from their mortgage. This change will increase the number of people opting to rent which means rental real estate will be a hot market in 2018!
It’s safe to say that 2018 will be a big year for tenants and landlords! Manage your business and rental needs with NowRenting! Spend less time dealing with landlords, listings, and leads, and spend more time growing your business!

The 3 “L’s” of Real Estate

Published by Matthew Talamini in on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

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The 3 “L’s” of Real Estate

The most frustrating aspects of real estate market can be broken down into three parts: Listings, Leases, and Leads. Or, as we at NowRenting like to call them, the three L’s of real estate! Here’s how we can help you out:


Our leases component is a major assistance tool for landlords and realtors. We can help you generate leases from a variety of templates. Our lease component turns applicants into tenants in no time due to our electronic signature feature. According to, electronic leases are signed almost 2x quicker than the traditional process. Our ACH feature feature also allows you to collect rent electronically for FREE (due to NowRenting’s partnership with Stripe!) making it convenient for tenants to pay their rent. Landlords can smoothly export all rent transactions to Quickbooks without missing a beat.


NowRenting eliminates the frustration of gaining leads. Tell us about your dream tenant and we will provide you with unlimited leads that match your criteria! Gone are the days of sifting through junk leads. Our listings feature syndicates with multiple other realtor sites, making your property visible to everyone searching for rentals. Simply filter through your leads in the leads dashboard and easily communicate directly in the application! Once you’ve gotten your pre-qualified leads you can easily turn them into applicants via our application portal!! Zillow states that finding leads is the hardest part of rental real estate. With our leads feature, finding leads is a breeze!


Anyone who has had to list properties knows that listing properties is time consuming and monotonous. Our listings feature allows you to list an unlimited number of properties with ease and convenience into our database. This component lets you connect listings to your profile and market your business. According to Forbes, realtors can increase sales by 31% by spending less time listing properties, and more time gaining business.

What more could rental professional need? NowRenting has all of the answers to your rental frustrations.

5 Reasons to Use Technology in the Real Estate Business

Published by Matthew Talamini in on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

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5 Reasons to Use Technology in the Real Estate Business

Decrease Frustration

Wasted time turns into frustration. Decrease daily real estate industry annoyances with new real estate technology. The Pew Research Center recently published a study claiming productivity increased by over 46% at a real estate agency with added technology support. Why is this? Well, implementing useful technologies offers agents an alternate route to overcome frustrating barriers. Simply put, add new technology and increase productivity!

Save Time

The average realtor spends countless hours a week manually listing properties. Realtors can employ, a digital rental assistant to take over the leads, listing and leasing process. This tool allows realtors to spend more time selling and showing properties to converts vacancies into signed leases! Jeremy Wackson of Zillow claims, “The internet really opened the doors. Agents are freed up to help get the deals done.”

Grow Business

Realtor Magazine claims that 55% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a real estate agent who uses technology. Technology is a sign of efficiency and being up to date on everything going on in the market! Using technology signifies a modern approach to a changing industry.

Stay Competitive

The real estate business is a highly competitive industry. Taking advantage of digital technology helps realtors stay competitive by reaching a more comprehensive volume of prospective consumers. Forbes states using technology will increase sales by 31% just by increasing exposure.

Gain Effective Advertising

Technology offers a modern advertising outlet. Social media site such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow people to advertise their services quickly, efficiently, and (most importantly) cost effectively. According to the national realtor’s association, over 91% of realtors use social media for advertising purposes. These digital outlets promote their business with ease.

5 Interesting Facts About the Rental Market

Published by Matthew Talamini in on Monday, November 27th, 2017

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    > 5 Interesting Facts About the Rental Market

5 Interesting Facts About the Rental Market

Home values are increasing faster than incomes.

Zillow reports that homeownership is at a 50 year low (not counting the short-lived all-time high in 2004). Home values are starting to increase almost 2x as fast as wages. It’s nearly impossible to keep up with the finances and requirements needed to become a homeowner.

TransUnion reports that renter households have increased by over 9 million between 2005 and 2015

The increase in renters from 2005 to 2015 has been the largest increase in 10 years. People are entering the job market with lower paying salaries making it difficult to save for a house! Considering everything that goes into buying and saving for a house, it is more feasible to simply rent while considering to forgo buying a house.

The busiest rental time is May-September

Have you ever noticed that more rental properties become available in the summer? Well, according to, almost 62% of moves happen during the summer while it’s warm. More people looking to rent means more people can list their properties at with higher rents during this time.

The Idea of Renting is becoming more and more attractive.

U.S. News states that over 54% of Americans choose to rent properties over purchasing houses. Renting a property is becoming more of a lifestyle choice as it offers more freedom to tenants during transitional stages of their lives. Renting is merely a more convenient option as there are not the added burdens that go along with purchasing a house.

Rental properties are appreciating in value

More people are opting to own rental properties. Forbes recently announced that rental properties serve as a long-term investment that is more stable when compared to the stock market. This ultimately provides rental owners with a steady income. Owning a rental property can increase one’s annual revenue by almost 30% over time.