Application Criteria & Evaluation

Please note we do not accept applications from the following: Section 8 vouchers (except as indicated), owners of Rottweillers, Bull/Staffordshire Terriers, Dobermans, Chows or other aggressive-breed dogs; multiple adult roommates (more than 3), out-of-state co-signers, or illegal aliens. (Other restrictions apply.)

How the application process works:

Step 1: Apply

click the apply now orange button After you have toured and decided on your home of choice return to the rental listing page. Locate the property of your choice and click on it. Look for the orange “Apply Now” button to begin the application.

Each person age 18 and above who will reside in the home on a full or part time basis must fill out an application and pay the $45 application fee at that time. We do not process applications without the app fee.

In addition to the questions on the application there are 4 documents we require:

  • A legible photo ID.  Often, making a photocopy of your photo ID on a copier just renders a black and white rectangle with little detail.  Without a color copier you may have to take a picture of your driver’s license, for instance, and email it to us.  Call us if you need our email address.
  • 2 most recent pay stubs for each adult applicant.  We shall also send a Verification of Employment to your employer so please provide a fax number.
  • Any two bills from a service provider such as a cell phone, water, cable or telephone bill.
  • If you are currently a renter, the first and signature page of your lease.

Step 2: Pay Application Fee

At the time you fill out the online application you will be asked to provide your credit card information to Appfolio, the company that screens our applications. This will pay the application fee.  Applications can not be submitted without a credit card payment.  North Atlanta Realty, Inc. does not see or collect your credit card information.  If you do not have a credit card call the listing Agent; we shall ask the system administrator if there is a setting in the program that can be changed to allow another payment method.  We do not process credit cards in our office.

Step 3: Pay the Reservation Fee

Approval time depends on the thoroughness of the information you provide in the application and responses from work and landlord references. Notify your company and your landlord that we will be contacting them.

Once your application has been approved we shall remove the property from our website during which you shall have 24 hours to provide the Reservation fee, equal to one month’s rent, via cashiers check or money orders, or via Paylease.com. This is not a security deposit, which shall be due at move-in.  The Reservation Fee covers the first month’s rent and is non-refundable once you’ve been approved.  If you provide a Reservation Fee payment prior to submitting an application and that application is not approved a refund shall be mailed to the address you designate within 72 hrs.

Notice: Once your application is approved, you will have 24 hours to provide the Holding Fee equal to one month’s rent; otherwise, we shall once again post the property to the internet and offer the property to the next qualified applicant.

There are 3 basic underwriting criteria:

  • Reasonably good credit, especially the past 12 months. If you have weak credit but other positive compensating factors we can work with you: credit score of 535 to 575 shall require double deposit.
  • Debt-to-income ratio not to exceed 50% and gross income 3 times the monthly rent. Residents may combine income.
  • Excellent landlord references for past 3 years. If you’ve left owing a landlord money or you’ve ever been evicted you will immediately be turned down!

Each person, age 18 and above, living in the property full or part time must submit separate applications. If you are self-employed we will need tax return for the last year. If you are a foreign national you must provide a copy of your passport or visa.

Credit History:

credit karmaTo determine satisfactory credit worthiness we run a report through a credit reporting agency. If you have weak credit you must have other compensating factors which may include putting up a larger security deposit. A steady job, sufficient income, and a good rental history will help; however, you should not have any open, unpaid collections or judgments that have been opened within the past two years, and no bankruptcies that are still open , or that were discharged or closed within the past 6 months. If you’re not sure whether you have collections or judgments on your credit report, go to creditkarma.com for a free report.

FREE Credit Scoring Book: Get your FREE COPY of Fair Isaac & Company’s 20 page booklet entitled, “Understanding Your Credit Score” at the link below.

Income History:

We must be able to verify income that is at least 3.5 times the rent. Verification from your employer and copies of last two year-to-date pay stubs are required. Self employed and owners of companies present unique challenges. We generally require a copy of last year’s 1040, 1120 and copies of current year’s 941s or DOL-4s (Ga.).

If you are self employed we will require the most recent form 1099 plus most recent form 940, or other quarterly estimated tax report (with original signatures)

Rental History:

Must be free of evictions, judgments, and unpaid rents If you are terminating a lease early you must provide a letter from your current landlord stating all requirements for early termination have already been met. If you are moving from a private home rather than an apartment complex you must provide a copy of your current lease and 2 copies of any recent utility bill.

Criminal History:

We do not rent to any individual who has ever had a conviction of or a pending charge of a felony crime or who, within the last 3 years, has had a conviction of or a pending misdemeanor charge involving illegal substances or a crime against persons or property.

Co-Signers:

We only accept co-signers to help meet the income requirements.  They are not a substitute for credit worthiness.  Co-signer must live within 50 miles of Atlanta and have a FICO score of 700 or above. Maximum debt ratio, including mortgage(s) and rent amount, auto loans, credit cards, etc. is 60% of gross income. Maximum mortgage(s) and rent payments alone cannot exceed 40% of gross income.

Occupancy:

The number of occupants is limited to 2 persons per bedroom. All occupants, 18 years of age and over must submit a separate application and application fee. We allow a maximum of three adult roommates (and your children).

Pets:

pets in rental homesPolicies on pets vary according to the home. However, none of our homes permit the following breeds of dogs: Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Rotweilers, Chows, or near relatives. “Baby-sitting” pets of friends or relatives is never allowed without written permission. If you currently own a dog or cat do not apply for a property that has a “no pet policy”. Pet policies are strictly enforced and we don’t accept “I’ll give my pet to my mother-in-law”, etc.

Lease Signing:

When you’re approved you will need to set an appointment with the property manager to execute a signed lease within 72 hours, after which, unless agreed otherwise in writing, the Property shall be placed on the market until a lease is signed and management shall resume offering the property to other prospective renters and accept other offers.

Utilities:

utilitiesYou’ll be responsible for applying for utilities. Usually you can just have utility companies transfer service to your name on the day of the move-in. Check with the property manager.

On move-in day, you and your property manager will meet at the property to conduct a move-in inspection of the property. You’ll need to bring your security deposit (cashiers check or money orders) and proof of insurance (see below) to the move-in. Security deposit is equal to one month’s rent (minimum). If a pet is allowed there is an additional pet performance fee ($500 for one, $600 for two pets, 50% of which is refundable at move out if there’s no pet damage).

Acceptable forms of deposit are cashier’s check or money orders only; cash or personal checks are not accepted. Make checks payable to North Atlanta Realty, Inc..

Once your application has been approved be sure to file your CHANGE OF ADDRESS with the post office and call for utilities. (Gwinnett Utility Phone Numbers)

Lease Term:

The leases run a minimum of 12 months. Often, a two or three year lease will be available. Short term leases are not available unless noted in the property listing page. Our leases automatically renew on an annual basis unless the Resident sends a notice of termination 60 days prior to the renewal date.

Payment of rent:

Please note our policy is rent is to be paid in advance; therefore, the due date for payment of rent is the first business day of the current month. Because we have individual clients to pay quickly (they usually have a mortgage to pay) we do not allow a grace period.  We shall provide a secure on-line Tenant Portal through which you can make electronic payment of rent or other charges that are due.  There is no cost for use of the Tenant Portal.

MISCELLANEOUS:

Insurance:

Renter’s insurance is highly recommended but liability insurance with a minimum $100,000 coverage is required. Basic renter’s insurance covers your personal belongings but not the structure. Liability coverage is required for accidental or intentional damage caused by the property’s residents or guests. For example, a washing machine that overflows and floods the home; a grease fire that damages the kitchen; a car that damages the garage door, are all events that can and have happened. If you choose not to purchase renters insurance you will automatically be enrolled in our umbrella liability policy for $9.50 per month, added to your rent.

Locks and Keys:

Prior to move-in all exterior door locks (excluding roll-up garage doors) will be re-pinned and new keys issued to you and the management company. This is a shared expense, with the owner/landlord picking up approximately half the cost and the resident paying the rest: $25 trip charge + $5.00 per lock.

Trash Service:

In most area of Gwinnett, trash service is assigned by the county to their chosen provider, and billed annually to the landlord. In other metro Atlanta counties, and in some municipalities in Gwinnett, you pay the service provider youself. In those Gwinnett areas where the owner is billed on their tax bill, you will reimburse the owner monthly through North Atlanta Realty, Inc. $18/mo. is added to your rent. That puts you on par with all the other tenants in all the other counties: you trash, your expense.

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