Tenant Frequently Asked Questions
- When should I start my rental search?
The general rule of thumb is to start your search 6- 8 weeks out from your desired move-in date. This timing can vary depending on the season, usually about 6-10 weeks in the Fall/Winter; 4-6 weeks in the Spring/Summer.
- I need help with my rental search. Can the team at Foundation help me?
Please see our Tenant Overview page for the differing Tenant Service packages available.
- What are Landlords looking for in an applicant?
Our clients are generally seeking for applicants with great credit (FICO 700 and up); legal, verifiable employment, a minimum gross monthly household income of 3 times the monthly rent; and solid, verifiable tenancy references.
- Who needs to submit an application?
Any person 18 years of age or older who will be living in the property, regardless of who earns the income.
- Help! I submit my application on-line on your website but it doesn't seem to be working?
Call us! 415-507-9600
- What information should I be prepared to submit when I am ready to apply?
Our online application makes applying very easy, but you need to be thorough. You should also have your income verification (Paystubs, offer letter, W2, , recent tax return , recent bank or asset statements) on hand and ready to submit. You may submit income verification via email, fax, or drop-off at our office anytime.
- I do not have standard W4 income - how can I qualify?
Check out our handy visual aide!! Foundation Homes Income Verification Chart.pdf
- What will my security deposit be? When will I get it back? Can I apply it to the rent?
You should be prepared to put up 2 times the monthly rent for unfurnished units and up to 3 times the monthly rent for a furnished unit. Owners/Managers have 21 days from the day you vacate the property to return you security deposit less any withholdings for damages. Security deposits are not applied towards rent at any time of the lease.
- Will my credit score be considered when I apply? What if I have a short sale or a foreclosure? Can I have a Guarantor?
Credit is always a consideration. That said, it is one of several factors when we qualify an applicant. If you have negative remarks in your credit history that are bringing your score down, we recommend that you be prepared to offer 6-12 months or the entire lease in advance. You might consider offering a higher rent to make up for your credit history. You may also wish to consider offering a Guarantor - generally speaking, a Guarantor should be someone with excellent credit, excellent income, and an in-state property owner willing to submit to a credit check and co-sign for your lease. However, if you do not meet our qualifying standards, an Owner does not have to accept any of these offers. Note, an Owner is never required to accept an applicant who does not qualify, and acceptance with conditions will be at individual Owner's discretion.
- I have a pet (or pets), how will this affect my application and my ability to rent a property?
With the exception of registered Assistive Animals, "Pet Policies" will vary depending on the property and Owner. The #1 rule is to be upfront and be prepared to make concessions. Pets, no matter how small or well-behaved , represent additional risk. Be honest with how many and what kind of pet you have no matter the species, breed, size and demeanor. To sign a lease otherwise would be considered a breach, and grounds for eviction. Be prepared to pay the maximum security deposit (2 times the monthly rent for unfurnished units and up to 3 times the monthly rent for a furnished unit). You will likely be asked to sign a Pet Agreement which will outline your obligations to the property as they pertain to your pet(s) and depending on the landlord or building policy a "Pet Rent" varying from $25 - $125 per pet, per month.
Can I have a BBQ on my deck?
City and town ordinances vary. For single family homes, generally, yes you may use a BBQ as long as you keep it the required safe distance from your house. For the multi-family apartment buildings we manage in San Rafael, unfortunately BBQ's may not be kept on your private balcony due to city fire codes, as wood decks are considered "combustable". Please see City of San Rafael Fire Prevention: San Rafael Outdoor and Open Burning PDF