1. How can I see a building or apartment?

We have leasing agent for each of our rental properties. Contact the building directly and schedule an appointment or just drop in at our main office. One of the agents will be delighted to give you a tour of their building, the common areas and the apartments that are available. They can help you get to know the neighborhood, figure out how to layout your apartment and guide you through the application process.

2. What income do I need to qualify?

Tenants are required to have an annual income equal to 40 times the monthly rent. If the rent is $1,500 a month, an applicant must document no less then $60,000 (40 x $1,500). If the apartment is to be shared, the sum of all applicants’ income will be considered.

3. Can I use a guarantor?

Yes, guarantors must document annual income equal to 80 times the monthly rent. Guarantors must be from the tri-state area.

4. How much security deposit?

One month’s rent is the standard deposit. Additional security may be required under certain circumstances.

5. How long does it take to process an application?

We may require up to 5 business days to verify information on the application; however, most applications are processed in 48 hours.

6. What checks do I need at lease signing?

Upon lease signing, you will need a certified or bank checks for the first month’s rent and the required security deposit.

7. Do you accept pets?

We are a pet-friendly company, but different buildings have different rules. Pets are assessed and allowed on a case-by-case basis, usually with a pet deposit. If you are considering getting a pet and are already in one of our apartments, please check with us first to avoid any disputes later on.

8. What utilities am I responsible for paying?

Refer to your lease. Generally, the landlord will be responsible for water and trash.

9. When should I have utilities put in my name?

Before you move into the unit. The utility company can set service up to begin billing on your move-in date, even if you had a “whirlwind” lease-signing.

10. Are stoves and refrigerators included with the unit?

Stoves are, but refrigerators are on a case-by-case basis, depending on the building and unit. If there is a refrigerator in the unit, it will not be warrantied.

11. What’s the procedure for renting an apartment with a roommate?

A rental application and credit-check is necessary for each person moving into the unit, even if that person will not be named on the lease. Security deposits are usually split between the roommates.

12. If I move-in mid-month, is that when I pay my rent each month?

No. For any move-in that occurs on a day other than the First, we charge pro-rated rent the second month of tenancy in order to bring the Rent Due Date to the first of each month. These terms will be in your lease agreement, and explained to you at lease-signing.

13. How do I make a request for a maintenance problem?

All maintenance requests must be made through a maintenance request. You can submit a Maintenance Request online. You can print the Maintenance Request Form and deliver to Renaissance Realty Group. You can visit our offices and fill out a Maintenance Request Form.

14. How long should I plan to wait to hear back from someone regarding a maintenance problem?

In a non-emergency situation, please allow three days. If you have not heard from our office in five days, please contact us.

15. What am I responsible for maintaining in my home?

You are responsible for maintaining heating filters and fresh smoke detector and CO2 detector batteries at all times. This may mean changing them at least twice each year or more frequently as needed. Light bulbs that are easily accessible also need to be maintained by the residents. In most situations, yard maintenance may be required. Please refer to your individual residential lease.

16. Do I need approval to paint or change something in the home I am renting?

Any and all changes or modifications to the property must be requested in writing to Renaissance Realty Group for approval before any changes are made.

17. Do I have to patch holes in my walls?

Not if they are from hanging pictures and are not excessive.

18. I smell gas in my apartment. What do I do?

Contact the gas company immediately. They will come out and run some tests. Also, open all your windows. If you have a gas stove, check under the stove top to see if all pilot lights on the stove are lit. National Grid is for Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. ConEd is for Manhattan.

19. I’m starting to see mildew on my windows, what should I do?

Moisture can accumulate inside an apartment dwelling if it is not regularly aired out. Allowing moisture to accumulate can cause mildew and mold to grow within an apartment. It is important that you regularly allow air to circulate in your home by using bathroom fans, ceiling fans, and regularly opening the windows and sliding doors. It is common for mildew or mold to grow if even a small amount of moisture builds up. You should clean up any mold or mildew with a household cleaner such as bleach. If you experience any plumbing leaks from the ceiling or any door or window, please notify us immediately.

20. If I break a window by mistake what do I do?

You can either submit a maintenance request to have the window repaired by us or contact a window company of your own. Either way you are responsible for the cost of the repair.

21. My heater stopped working. What should I do?

If you have a furnace, the pilot light may need to be lit. If you do not know how to light your pilot light please contact your gas company. They will come out and light it for free. If you still have problems submit a request for maintenance work and we will contact you shortly. National Grid is for Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. ConEd is for Manhattan.

22. The water in my sink/tub is draining slowly or my toilet is running without being used. What should I do?

Submit a maintenance request or contact the office immediately. In most cases a slow drain is an easier fix than a clogged drain. A running toilet is wasting water and the number one cause of high cost water bills.

23. What do I do when my garbage disposal is clogged?

Clear all substances from the drain. Never place your hand inside the garbage disposal to check for, or retrieve, objects! Check for any small, hard particles caught in the bottom of the disposal. Move the parts in the garbage disposal around with a broom or mop handle. After removing the broom or mop (or other tool), press the little “RESET” button under the garbage disposal. Next, try turning the garbage disposal on by using the regular switch. If it still does not work, call us and we will call a plumber to fix it. If you are found to be responsible for the clog, you will be charged for the plumber’s visit.

24. What do I do if there is a leak in my roof?

We suggest finding the lowest point in the ceiling — generally, where the leak is found — and then inserting a sharp object (scissors, nail, etc.) to make a small hole. Be sure you have a bucket or other container in place, to catch the water. This should limit the amount of water-damage to the ceiling. Then call the office and we will arrange for repairs A.S.A.P.

25. What if I want to install a dishwasher, or an Air Conditioning Unit?

You must get permission from the ownership/management in writing. If approval is granted, the unit must remain in the apartment after move-out. The owner is not obligated to reimburse for this out of pocket expense. New York State Law provides that anything connected to the property or built in becomes the property of the owner. Any installations need to be done by a licensed, insured and approved vendor.

26. What happens if I lock myself out of my house?

If you get locked out you can elect to contact our office and pick up a key and return it without a charge. If we need to let you in to your apartment there may be a charge as stated in your lease agreement. You may also elect to contact a lock smith of your choice. If the lock smith is required to replace or re-key the lock, they need to make sure the locks are re-keys alike and two keys must be given to the office. If we find out the locks are not keys alike, you will be assessed the cost to make it so.

27. Returning your Keys

Please bring all your keys (apartment, garage key/remote, mailbox, and building entrance) to our office. You will be charged a lost key charge for any keys not returned and a lost remote charge if you fail to return the garage remote. These charges are stated in your lease agreement.

28. Security Deposit

We have 21 days to return your security deposit to you. Once we determine the apartment is clean and in good condition and we have received all keys/remotes we will return your deposit to you. Please make sure to leave a forwarding address with our office so not to delay the return of your security deposit.

29. What is the procedure for moving out of my unit?

If your lease is about to end, that does not mean you are required to move, or that we anticipate a move-out. We are always happy to negotiate a lease renewal or extension. However, if you decide to move-out, you MUST mail, fax, or email us a written “30 Day Notice” of your intent to vacate. Follow this with a call to the office to confirm receipt of the notice. You can print the Deposit Refund Form and deliver to Renaissance Realty Group. Please Note: If you are not moving out at the exact end of the month, pro-rated rent will be due which MUST be paid at the beginning of the month.

30. Do I need to have my carpets and drapes professionally cleaned when I move out?

Yes. It is part of your cleaning obligation in your lease agreement.

31. What if it’s only a roommate moving out?

The departing roommate needs to inform us of their move-out, in order to allow us to remove their name from the lease. Any new roommate must go through the same approval process as the original person. (However, this does not mean that roommates will be added to the lease, nor granted rights to tenancy as provided by Rent Stabilization Ordinances.) Security deposit refund upon the move-out of a single roommate will be due that roommate from the person remaining in the unit, or the new rooomate, NOT from Renaissance Realty Group.

32. What happens when my lease expires?

For non rent-stabilized apartments, your lease will automatically become month to month. You will not need to do anything. Once you decide to move out you will need to submit a 30-day notice. At this time please follow the procedures under Deposit Refund Form and deliver to Renaissance Realty Group.

33. What if I want to end my lease early?

You are required to pay rent until the end of your lease. If for some reason you need to leave before your lease is up please contact our office at 718-376-5400 so we can discuss the matter further.

34. Will my rent be raised?

We review rent increases annually. If your rent is below market we may elect to raise your rent. Your rent can only be raised once a year and is usually done on your anniversary date, a year from the date you moved in. A 30-day notice will be sent to you letting you know the increase amount and the date the increase will take effect.

35. Am I allowed to make “improvements” to my unit?

All improvements (shelves, paint, etc.) must be approved by the management company in writing. Any improvements that result in the unit needing to be returned to pre-move-in conditions (wall-color, shelves, etc) may lead to deductions from your security deposit.

36. Is there a “curfew” on noise-levels?

Yes. Our Tenant Rules & Regulations are provided to all tenants at lease-signing. Tenants may not make any loud noise after 10 p.m. and before 8 a.m. However, all noise (including music, television, and conversation) must be kept to reasonable volume at all times of day, out of respect for other tenants. (We also ask that tenants with adjoining walls refrain from vacuuming or other household chores which create noise within the curfew hours.)

37. What kind of security is there at your properties?

Different buildings have different security measures, including secure entry or security gates, but they are not necessarily standard to all buildings. We recommend that all tenants keep their doors locked at all times. We also recommend placing some kind of barrier on the track of sliding doors and/or windows, to prevent them from being opened from the outside. We also recommend that tenants invest in Renter’s Insurance. Renaissance Realty Group and the individual building owners assume no responsibility for the safety of the contents of tenants’ units.

38. What do I do about a noisy neighbor, or other neighbor complaint?

First try to handle it directly with the neighbor in question, and in a friendly manner. If the problem persists, contact the management company. (If the noise is extreme, after 10pm, please call the local police department if you feel it is warranted.)

39. On what day is rent considered late?

Please refer to your individual lease. In most cases, however, rent is considered late if it is not received in our office by 5pm on the fifth day of the month. It is your responsibility to get your rent to us on or before the due-date. If you know you will be unable to pay rent on time, contact Debby Strenger in our office at 718-376-5400. We always try to work with our tenants in these matters, but if no word is received from you in advance, you may receive legal notices as well as late fees (refer to your lease for late fee information). Please be considerate of our time as well as your record, as it takes us a great deal of time to visit each property for rent collection, or to post notices when rent is late.

40. What are acceptable forms of rent payment?

Acceptable forms of rent payment are personal checks (from a tenant), Cashier’s Checks or Money Orders. We are unable to accept cash at this time. We look forward to offering rent payments online or by automatic debit very soon.

41. What happens if my rent check bounces?

You are responsible for the bank’s Nonsufficient Funds (NSF) fee. Generally, this fee is $25.00. You must also replace the bounced check with a Cashier’s Check or Money Order. We will not attempt to re-deposit the check.

42. Will you accept a rent check from someone other than me?

No. Rent checks will only be accepted from those persons whose names are on the lease. If you require assistance with your rent for any month, the person assisting you should write a check to you directly. Note: If you need to write your rent check from a Business Account, please provide us with a copy of your business license to prove it is your company.

43. If there is a matter in dispute with the management company, can I withhold my rent until it is settled?

No. According to New York law, you cannot withhold rent from the person to whom it is owed, in order to influence matters under dispute. You also cannot deduct any amount from your rent, without first clearing it with the management company or owner, in cases where you have handled repairs or other matters by yourself. In such cases, it is standard for us to reimburse a tenant after they have paid their full rental amount.

44. What do I do if someone if parked/parking in my parking space?

Try the diplomatic route first: Place a note on the car, and find alternate parking for that day or night. (When parking on the street, remember to check all posted signs! Renaissance Realty Group is not responsible for parking fines.) If the situation continues, call a Tow Company. Also, write down the information of the car (description, license plate, etc.) and contact us at the office so that we can locate the tenant in question.

45. When is my rent due and where can I pay my rent?

Rent is due on the 1st of each month and is considered late on the 5th. Late fees are applied to all payments that are received in our office after the start of business on the 5th. Rent can be paid by mail or in person to: Renaissance Realty Group, 1946 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11223 The Renaissance Realty Group office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. When paying rent please be sure the envelope is properly labeled. Please specify your rental address in the memo field of your check.

46. Do I need renter’s insurance?

As Tenants / Renters you are not homeowners, but you still have exposure to many of the same types of losses. That is why there is a special type of homeowner’s insurance called tenant’s or renter’s insurance. Landlord’s / Owner’s insurance does not cover tenant for personal loss or liability. First and foremost, tenants should be aware their personal property is not covered by the landlord’s insurance policy. Tenants are responsible for obtaining insurance for their personal property if they want to be covered in the event of fire, theft, or other type of loss.