Renter's Guide

The perfect place for the potential tenant

Okay! So you have decided to look for a new place to live. Now that you have begun the search it is important to remember this; landlords are looking for a tenant who will pay their bills on time, maintain a clean and well-kept home and has the ability to pay the rent in a timely manner.

Great! Now you have found that perfect place.  It looks like you're ready to apply for the property. Click on the link to view our Rental Application. Print out a separate application for yourself and any roommates that will be living with you. Accurately and completely fill out the entire application and submit via email or in person to our office.

Please Note: We DO NOT require a processing fee for processing your application. W&J Rentals retains the right to implement an application fee at any time without notice.

Just started your search? Take a look at our Property for Rent page to view a list of rentals complete with pictures and details, maps, local schools information and more.

Policies on Qualifying Applicants

W&J Rentals has a few policies that you should keep in mind before we accept your application. **
  • You must schedule an appointment with one of our agents to see the inside of the property.
  • A completed rental application and non-refundable security deposit are required to 'hold' an apartment. This ensures that we are being fair and only reserving apartments for SERIOUS tenants.
  • Rent is due by the date marked on your lease. LATE CHARGES will be assessed at the rate of $25.00 for the 1st 10 days and a $1.00 per day for each additional day. If tenant mails the rent to landlord, the date of payment will be the date the letter is postmarked. There will be a $25.00 fee for any partial payment made for monthly rent.
  • If you are receiving a student loan, you must pay the equivalent of 1 month's rent + Garbage, Sewage, Water (if applicable) and Occupancy Fees, prior to receiving your apartment keys.
  • ALL STUDENTS must have a guarantor. This is the policy for ALL STUDENTS regardless of age.
** W&J Rentals reserves the right to change the qualification standards that are currently listed.

Top 5 Things to Consider BEFORE Renting an Apartment

Finding an apartment can be overwhelming. Not only must you choose a new place from the seemingly endless options available, you often have to sign a long-term lease that holds you to your decision for an entire year. To make your search for the perfect apartment a little easier, we have provided you with a Checklist of Questions that you can ask potential landlords when viewing apartments. To make the process more manageable, you should gain an understanding of exactly what it is that you are looking for prior to beginning the search. Here are the 5 most important things to consider when looking for a new place:

1- Location, Location, Location The first and foremost thing to consider when searching for a new place is location. Whether you are looking for an apartment in close proximity to specific points of interest or want to live in a certain neighborhood, determine the general area you would like to live. If you do not have a particular area in mind, examine the surrounding areas, making sure to acquire a good sense of the overall character of each before making your decision. When possible, visit each location to get acquainted with the environment and absorb the overall feel of the neighborhood. If you do not have the opportunity to get a first-hand picture, do your research. Get the candid opinions of others by talking to friends or reading online discussion boards. Then, take a look at the neighborhood websites, read travel and city guides, or read Wikipedia articles on the areas. Check the crime reports provided by the local police department Finally, utilize all official and government provided information like census data: average age, average income, percent renters, and crime. This last step is often overlooked and can be the difference between finding the place of your dreams and nightmares. After narrowing down your search to a general area, you must decide where you want to live within that area. Are there particular points of interest you wish to be near, such as a park in which you can jog or walk your dog? Do you want to be within walking distance of work, school, or nightlife? Will you rely on public transportation? Identifying specific points of interest and recognizing the desired surroundings further narrows down your searching area.

2- Rent The second consideration is the amount you are willing and able to pay each month in rental fees. You must determine your price span and set a maximum amount for the rent. By searching within an established rent range, you ensure that you only look at viable options. Remember, if you are planning on living with others, this range should be established according to the constraints of the lowest maximum.

3- Length of Lease Determine the length of time you are looking to rent, as many properties require minimum lengths of stay, generally for 12 months. If you want or need a month-to-month rental, your options may be reduced and you should expect slightly higher fees.

4- Building Size Next, figure out what type of building and unit you are looking for. There are various sizes of rental buildings with differing numbers of units, from single family homes to large apartment buildings. Recognize the positive and negative aspects associated with each type. For example, townhouses boast greater privacy, but often lack many of the amenities provided by apartment buildings. Conversely, apartment buildings generally provide more services, but consist of a community-oriented living situation surrounded by others. Units also vary greatly with each building, in terms of both square footage and the number of bedrooms available. You must consider whether you are willing to live in a smaller place in a better location or if you want a certain size living area.

5- Amenities As mentioned above, the size and type of rental buildings greatly affect the range of amenities offered. Because the respective features vary greatly, it is necessary to specify the amenities important to you, distinguishing your wants from your needs. First, determine what necessary features must exist for you to even consider it as an option-these features are your "deal-breakers." For example, if you will only move somewhere that allows Fluffy (your pet cat), then "pet friendly" is a deal breaker. Once you have identified your requirements, you can categorically rule out all properties that fail to provide for your needs.

Next, create a list of amenities that you would like to have, but could live without if necessary. Remember that just because you admit that you do not need something does not mean that you will be forced to live without it. The point of separating the wants from the needs is to determine what a place absolutely must have in order for you to even consider it. Further sort the desired features according to their varying degree of importance.

Renters Insurance

Your landlord will have insurance on the building where the leased premises is located. Tenant's property is not insured by landlord's insurance. Tenant is responsible for their own property that is located in the leased premises. Renters face the same risks from fire, burglary, and vandalism that homeowners do. You need to protect all the belongings that you have worked so hard to get. Renters insurance is too affordable not to have.

1- The Cliffs Notes Version Simply put, renters insurance allows you to replace your belongings if they are damaged or destroyed due to a covered event. You pay an insurance company to cover you up to a set dollar amount, based on the value of what you own. Renters insurance may not cover all your things, or protect you from every kind of loss, so keep reading.

Just as important is the protection that renters insurance gives you when other people get hurt or suffer damages at your place. Renters insurance policies also provide liability protection. So if someone sues you for tripping over garbage piled up in your kitchen, you are covered for your legal expenses and any judgments made against you, for which you are legally liable, up to your policy's limit.

2- Know Your Limits It's important to understand that renters insurance doesn't cover everything, especially that bet you made with your brother-in-law about the Redskins going to the Superbowl. While big ticket items like jewelry and watches are covered, there will typically be a cap on the payouts if they are stolen. This includes hard to value items like antiques and collectibles and business assets. Some events, both natural (like floods and earthquakes) and man-made (like wars) are also excluded.

The good news is that you can often take out a special policy or buy an extension to your policy (called a rider) to adequately cover items like expensive jewelry and priceless antiques that would not be fully covered under your standard renters insurance policy. Take time to research specific items of exceptional value.

3- Different Kinds of Coverage One important difference between policies is how they value your stuff if it needs to be replaced. Policies that use the "Actual Cash Value" (ACV) method pay for what your stuff was worth at the time of the claim, whereas "Replacement Cost Coverage" pays you for what it would take for you to buy it back new. This is especially important where computers are concerned, since the actual value starts dropping as soon as you leave the store but it will still cost you a pretty penny to replace that stolen laptop.

Also, your policy will most likely include a deductible, which is a set dollar amount that you would have to cover before any insurance payments kick in. For example, if your $1,500 flat screen TV is stolen and you have a $100 deductible, your insurance company will only reimburse you $1,400 if you purchase replacement cost coverage.

Replacement cost coverage is typically more expensive, and may be harder to find in some areas. And the lower your deductible, the higher your insurance premiums will be. Read the fine print or ask your agent to know what kind of coverage is being offered and what the deductible on your policy is.

4- A Matter of Records In the unfortunate event that you have to file a claim, it's critical that you have some record of what was lost or stolen. This is called a "home inventory" and it needs to be kept up to date. You should write down a list of your things, including a detailed description, purchase date and price paid. You can even download a free Home Inventory Brochure complements of the Insurance Information Institute.

Once you've done a home inventory, make sure you keep it somewhere safe and NOT at your place. This may seem like common sense, but only in hindsight to folks who have lost their stuff (and all of their records) in a fire.

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W&J Rentals
c/o Vito Dentino Agency
321 Third Street
California, Pennsylvania 15419

Phone: 724-938-7745
Fax: 724-938-2955
Email: Contact Us