Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Security Deposit?
The security deposit = 1.5x the rent. At the Claridge Hotel in Oakland, the security deposit = 1x the rent. There is also a refundable $300 deposit for pets.

I have my own credit report can you use it?
Our process involves comprehensive combined credit/eviction/criminal checks so it is not necessary for you to submit your own credit report.

How long does the application process take?
Most applications take 1-2 business days if all documents are provided. Delay is usually caused by incomplete applications or not being able to reach references.

What if I come close but don't quite qualify?
Each application is reviewed on a case by case basis. If you  have excellent credit and references but don't quite meet our income/verifiable funds requirements, a guarantor may  help you qualify.

I'm a student can I qualify?
If your income is insufficient to qualify on your own, we require a qualified guarantor.

What is your rent payment policy?
Rent for each apartment must be paid monthly on the 1st of each month by a single EFT (electronic funds transfer) transaction by one of the authorized tenants or the guarantor. Click here for EFT form.

Are there any extra fees for having a pet?
Yes. We experience higher maintenance/cleaning fees, and in fairness, must pass these costs to pet owners.

Do you allow smoking?
No. Laws in several cities already prohibit smoking in the common areas of apartment buildings. Our building and house rules also prohibit smoking in public places, such as the common areas of the building, and near the entrances to the building, in addition to inside the units themselves. When we detect smoking in a unit, the tenant should expect to  be charged for repainting the apartment and replacing the carpet. Smoking, in addition to being a health hazard for the smoker and those around him/her, pollutes the environment for everyone else. Many tenants will not rent an apartment when they detect a smoke smell. We support healthy living for everyone, and urge all smokers to quit.

Will you consider a month-to-month rental agreement?
Because the costs of turning over an apartment are high, we cannot accommodate month-to-month agreements. We do offer 3, 6, or 9 month leases at a premium of $125, $100, or $75 extra per month respectively.

Do I really need renters insurance?
Yes. In order to protect your belongings from burglary, moisture damage, fire damage and other occurrences, as well as to provide you with liability coverage. The landlord's insurance policy does not cover your property. Once you calculate the replacement cost of all your belongings, you will realize that it is an investment worth protecting. Renter’s insurance is required, and if you do not obtain it or provide requested proof of continuous coverage, forced-placed insurance may be obtained for you, which may differ from the insurance you would obtain for yourself.

Can I rent a unit without physically seeing it?
We prefer that you view the apartment before you actually sign a lease to rent it. If you are not able to see the apartment due to distance or logistical reasons, we suggest you send a trusted friend to check out the apartment and neighborhood before applying for it. Please understand that you are taking a risk by entering into a lease without viewing the apartment and walking the neighborhood, and if they do not meet your needs, you will nevertheless be responsible for the rent through the term of your lease. As an alternative, we encourage you to pre-apply, get approved, and then select your apartment after you arrive here and can see your choices personally. This will expedite your rapid move-in, making everything much easier and faster.

When should I apply for the apartment?
Apartments rent quickly, so we encourage you to submit your full application with supporting documentation as soon as possible to enable more rapid processing and approval.

I signed my lease for a currently occupied unit. What if the current tenant does not vacate, or the apartment is not ready on-time?
While we do our best to communicate with both current and future tenants to ensure a smooth transition, a late move-out (hold-over) by the existing tenant, or high priority maintenance issues to make the apartment ready for move-in occasionally arise which prevent us from delivering the unit on the scheduled date. In the event that a unit is not ready, we will work with the future tenant to locate a temporary alternative unit until the original unit is ready. If no temporary alternative unit can be accessed, there will be no rent charged for those days.

My company is willing to rent me an apartment do you honor corporate leases?
The strict laws of San Francisco do not allow us to offer corporate leases. We will consider a corporate lease for East Bay apartments only.

What else should I know?

a) Security Deposit Refund: To get more of your security deposit back, please return the apartment to us in perfect re-rent condition when you leave. It costs us far more to have an apartment cleaned or repaired than it would take you, and we would have to charge you for it. Expect charges at $ 50-100/hr, depending on the skill level required to clean, or repair any damage. We would much rather not have the administrative burden to hire the vendors, schedule the work, check it, process the payment and so on - or to charge you for the work. We would save the time, you would save the money. Let’s win together!

b) Trash and Hauling: Please make sure that you take away and remove all your belongings from the apartment and from the building when your tenancy has terminated. Do not leave furniture or other personal items in the apartment or in the basement or common areas, as we will charge you for hauling it. Hauling vendors are expensive! It will cost much more for us to haul your stuff than it would cost you, and we will have to charge you for it accordingly. We suggest you save money by taking your excess items to a recycling and resale facility, like Goodwill or Urban Ore. Many people also use craigslist and a variety of apps to dispose or give away their excess stuff.

c) Ventilation and Mold: Important! Be extra mindful to design and maintain free flow of ventilation in areas that may trap moisture, such as closets, bathrooms and kitchens. It is your responsibility to prevent dampness and mold in your apartment, by making sure there is plenty of ventilation in all areas. This means keeping windows open from time to time, using ventilation fans etc. It also means ensuring that your stuff is stored in a way that allows sufficient free airflow, and that you check and make corrections on a periodic basis: every few weeks would be a good rule of thumb. Sufficient ventilation and airflow prevents mold, and bleach kills mold. If there is mold, we will have to charge you for cost of remediation in your apartment. Your renter’s insurance will likely cover you for the cost of your stuff but may not cover you for liability for the remediation.

d) Drain Clogs: Be very careful about what you send down the drains. Grease, hair, feminine products, non-bio-degradable items are the most frequent culprits. Clogged sink, dishwasher and bath drains are the most frequent complaint -- so please use a hair trap on every drain, and be extra mindful of materials you flush down the toilet, or allow in the dishwasher. If we find that the clog was caused by something you allowed down your drain, we will have to charge you for the plumber's visit -- and it is not cheap!

e) Electrical Problems, Roof and Plumbing Leaks: Our buildings are old. The systems inevitably deteriorate over time. The wires and pipes are most often buried inside the walls; so finding and diagnosing leaks or electrical problems involves educated guesses, estimating probabilities, playing the odds, and trial and error. This will take testing several theories, opening/closing walls one by one, multiple attempts with various vendors, time to see whether a possible fix actually worked etc.

The bottom line is that making repairs to building systems is often a lengthy (and expensive) process. We cannot guarantee speed or predictability in effecting system repairs. In fact, you should expect and plan that effecting such repairs will be as frustrating and time-consuming for you as they are for us and our vendors. If guaranteed uptime is important to you, we suggest you lease in a brand-new building. The downside is that such apartments are much more expensive and lack the charm of the buildings we operate. It’s a tradeoff, and we want to make sure you are conscious in making your decision, with the pro and the con plainly in view.

f) Referral bonuses: We invite you to refer your friends to us -- and if they rent one of our apartments, we would be delighted to thank you with a $100 referral check per apartment.

If you still need assistance or have questions, don't hesitate to contact us.