A collection of resources for tenants.
In our current market, properties are renting fast and we want to provide you the best information for finding the perfect rental for your needs. Here are our tips and tricks for finding the best rental:
There are several major websites that are great for searching for rental properties. On most of the sites, you can find the contact information directly to the agent or owner. Here are our top recommendations for searching rentals:
Every rental property has a different agent or owner that has access to show the property and know the application requirements to live at the property. For this reason, the quickest and most efficient way to see rental properties is by contacting the owner or agent directly for each rental.
Every owner will have different application requirements for income, credit scores, pets, and more. If you have circumstances that may not qualify you for a specific rental, discuss them with the owner or agent upfront, before you view the property or pay for an application fee. Alternatively, if you have strengths about your application, don’t hesitate to share them.
US law provides protections for all renters. An agent or apartment complex may not discriminate against you based on your race, religion, national origin, color, disability, and familial status. Familial status includes the number of children you have, marital status, and more. Certain states, counties, and cities have additional protections for age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. Unfortunately, an owner that owns only a few properties does have the ability to discriminate legally, but agents and apartment complexes may never discriminate.
If you are working with someone who is actually a real estate agent, it’s less likely you are going to become the victim of a scam. When dealing directly with owners, be cautious about requests for digital transfers of money or requests for other confidential information. Never send money or file an application before seeing the property in person.
Not all leases are created equal. Review your lease in detail before signing. Realize that owners might be agreeable to minor changes, but agents are not able to change leases without the involvement of an attorney, but still, their company may prohibit changes. Understand your requirements of the lease, including any possible requirements on giving notice before the lease expires. Mark your calendar with future dates, if applicable.
It’s important to properly maintain your rental in order to get your full deposit returned when you move out. While you should rely on your owner’s directions for maintenance, we have compiled general information on maintenance guidelines and mold and mildew prevention for your use as well.
Florida’s Landlord-Tenant law is pretty easy to understand and are an excellent resource for tenants. Although a lease can apply more restrictions than the law, the lease may never contradict the law. View the law here.
The landlords will only have insurance to replace the building in the event of a disaster. You must obtain a renter’s insurance policy in order to protect your belongings from disaster or theft.
Renting is a great option for many people, but purchasing is a better long-term investment for your future. If you have considered purchasing now, or want to plan for purchasing in the future, contact Mainframe Real Estate to discuss your options of planning by emailing info@MainframeRE.com.
Mainframe Real Estate has access to rent-to-own properties. With our help, we can find a property that is for sale and have an investor purchase it on your behalf. Then you can rent that property with an option to purchase. Ask us for details by emailing info@MainframeRE.com.
Still have questions? We want to provide you the answers you need to successfully find a rental. Email us at info@MainframeRE.com with additional questions.
While living in your rental, or before requesting maintenance, please consider these guidelines for maintaining the property and troubleshooting maintenance issues. Per the lease, Tenants will be charged for service calls resulting from the misuse or failure to check these items.
Tenant should check all switches, controls, circuit breakers and reset buttons before calling to report a malfunction. Check breakers first if electrical items or A/C in your home do not turn on. It may be necessary to check the outside breaker above the A/C unit if the unit outside is not running. If you find an outlet not working, please check all GFI’s to see if they have tripped and then reset the GFI. Most GFI’s are located in the kitchen, bathrooms or garage. You should try light switches to see if they operate the outlet.
If you do not have any hot water, or only warm water, first check the circuit breaker to see if it has been tripped. Turn the breaker off, then on and wait approximately 30 minutes and check to see if you have hot water. You should also check the upper panel on the water heater itself, provided the circuit breaker was not tripped. You will need to unscrew the two screws holding the panel in place and check to see if the breaker/switch inside has tripped. Do not adjust the temperature of the water to prevent scolding current or future residents. The recommended temperature is 120 degrees or less.
It is the responsibility of the Tenant to change air conditioning filters monthly.
If the air conditioning does not work, try troubleshooting the thermostat. Do not leave the system ‘on’ if there is a malfunction, as it may cause further damage.
The condensate drain line should be cleaned to prevent clogging, which causes water damage. The drain line can be cleaned by putting a cup of bleach or vinegar down the drain line every 3 months. Some systems contain a ‘float switch’, which will turn the AC system off once the condensate line is backed up. Clearing the condensate drain line will fix this problem.
Tenant must keep all plumbing fixtures clean, sanitary and in good working order. Tenant is responsible for drain stoppages not attributable to plumbing defects, such as tree roots, defective septic systems, etc. The Tenant should never allow grease, sanitary napkins, etc. to enter the plumbing system. If the Premises has an open (raised) foundation with exposed pipes, Tenant must leave faucets running slowly overnight if a hard freeze is forecast.
A septic system is used for draining waste when public sewer is not available for a property. A septic system exists on a property and sewage flows into this system and then waste water disburses into the ground through a drain field. Tenant shall use the following precautions in order to prevent damage to the system and ensure proper functionality. 1) Use less water to avoid overloading the system 2) Keep vehicles off the drainfield and tank areas 3) Do not use a garbage disposal 4) Don’t flush solids waste except for toilet paper 5) Don’t pour chemicals down the drain as they will seep into the ground.
Tenant is responsible for replacing light bulbs, if necessary. If assistance is required in changing light bulbs, please contact Landlord. If tenant believes a light fixture is not working, Tenant should swap out bulbs to double check prior to making a maintenance request.
Tenants are responsible for interior pest control. This is to ensure that residents, children, or pets do not have adverse reactions to chemicals. For exterior pest control issues, please file a maintenance request.
Tenants must remove garbage from the Premises in a sanitary manner.
Tenant understands that foreign items should not be placed in the disposal. The reset button under the bottom of the disposal should be pressed if it will not activate. If it is determined the unit is inoperative due to foreign objects, Tenant will be expected to pay for the repair or replacement. Always remember to run water when using the disposal. The following items should not be placed in the garbage disposal: coffee grinds, bones of any kind, hair, utensils, straws, egg shells, potato peels, grease, cucumber peelings, apple peelings and any other item that will damage the blades.
There is a drain pan under most refrigerators, which must be emptied occasionally to avoid water damage to the kitchen floor. Keeping the door closed is important for maintaining the proper temperature.
Tenant agrees that it is their duty to regularly test the smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s) and agree to notify Owner or Broker immediately in writing of any problem, defect, malfunction or failure of the smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s). Tenant agrees that they shall immediately test the smoke detector and shall maintain same. Owner shall repair or replace the smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s), assuming the availability of labor and materials in the event we notify Owner or Broker of any defect in writing. Tenant agrees to replace the smoke detector(s) battery, if any, at any time the existing battery becomes unserviceable. Tenant agrees to reimburse Owner or Broker upon request, for the cost of a new smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s) and the installation thereof in the event the existing smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s) becomes damaged by me, my guests or invitees. Tenant acknowledges and agrees that Owner or Broker is not the operator, manufacturer, distributor, retailer or supplier of the smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s). Tenant assumes full and complete responsibility for all risk and hazards attributable to, connected with or in any way related to the operation, malfunction or failure of the smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s), regardless of whether such malfunction or failure is attributable to connected with, or in any way related to the use, operation, manufacture distribution, repair, servicing or installation of said smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s). No representation, warranties, undertakings or promises, whether oral or implied, or otherwise, have been made by Owner, its agents or employees to me regarding said smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s), or the alleged performance of the same, Owner or Broker neither makes nor adopts any warranty of any nature regarding said smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s) and expressly disclaims all warranties of fitness for a particular purpose, of habitability, or any and all other expressed or implied property caused by (1) My failure to regularly test the smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s) or (2) My failure to notify Owner or Broker of any problem, defect, malfunction, or failure of the smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s) or (3) Theft of the smoke detector(s) and/or fire extinguisher(s) or its serviceable battery; and/or (4) false alarms produced by the smoke detector(s). Tenant indemnifies and holds Landlord harmless for any losses and/or injuries caused by Tenant’s breach of this paragraph.
Tenant shall not engage in any wiring work on the inside or outside of the building without written permission from the Landlord. This includes cable TV, satellite TV, telephone, security alarms, etc.
Any broken glass, torn or bent screens are the responsibility of the Tenant.
Porches and patios should be kept clean and free of clutter and debris. Driveways should not be exposed to oil leaks or other automotive fluids. Oil/automotive stains are costly and difficult to remove. Tenant may be charged for such stains at time of move-out. If the Premises is located in a community governed by a homeowner’s association, Tenant is responsible for complying with all rules governing these items.
Burglar and fire alarms are provided “as is”. Landlord and Broker are not responsible for providing a working system. If the Premises features an alarm system, it is the responsibility of Owner Tenant to provide a working system. If Landlord assumes responsibility, Owner will pay for the monitoring service and provide a working code. If Tenant assumes responsibility, Tenant will pay for monitoring service and will be required to obtain a working code.
Countertops and Appliance Care: Tenant has been informed that the flooring, counters, and appliances in the Premises may require special care and agrees to adhere to the maintenance and care instructions provided below. Tenant has been informed that if he/she has questions regarding cleaning or maintaining the items, he/she should contact Landlord immediately.
Shrinkage or warping may occur with hardwood flooring, especially around heat vents, or heat producing appliances. If the floors become wet repeatedly (i.e. tracking in wet shoes), or are soaked, warping will occur. Vacuum cleaners, pet claws and moving heavy furniture can cause scratching. Dropping heavy objects can cause dimples, as can certain types of high heeled shoes. Tenant understands that he/she is responsible for the care and maintenance of the hardwood floors. Tenant understands that cleaners are not be used on floors. To remove dust and debris, Tenant agrees to use only warm water on a damp cloth or mop head. Tenant further agrees not to move furniture or appliances across the floors and to use either rubber feet or felt pads underneath furniture to prevent scratches and indentations.
Granite, marble, limestone and slate are porous stones, which means they absorb liquid. When liquid is absorbed, it can damage the stone. Most household cleaners containing acids, vinegars or other cleaning agents will damage the stone and the sealer applied. Porous stone can also be damaged by acidic, food and liquid spills, as well as scouring powders, powdered or granulated cleaners, and creams which contain abrasives that can scratch the surface. Routine care and sealing the stone with a protectant every six months to a year will protect the stone, however, sealing alone will not suffice. A stone cleaner must be used for cleaning. It can be purchased at most grocery and hardware stores. To minimize scratches and wear patterns, Tenant should keep stone free of dust, sandy soil, and dust or sweep all natural stone surfaces often. To maintain the stone’s luster, a stone polisher should be used. To restore the sealant after a spill, a stone polisher with a restoring agent should be used. To minimize water spotting, a good quality marble wax, which is also available at most hardware stores, should be used.
Removing food and liquid spills. Blot food and liquid spills away with a clean, dry cloth turning regularly. Do not wipe across the surface. Clean with a stone cleaner and follow up with a polisher/restorer if the spill occurs on a countertop.
Removing Stains. Stains that are oily in nature (salad dressings, lotions, etc.) can be removed from the stone using a poultice. However, a stone restoration professional should be consulted prior to using. If there is an oily stain, Tenant agrees to contact Landlord before using poultice.
Maintenance Procedures for Stone Counters and Floors. To maintain the beauty of the stone, Tenant agrees to:
Tenant agrees to use warm soap and water and/or a stainless steel polisher/cleaner to clean appliances. For Glass Top Ranges, Tenant understands that Brillo-style and woolen soap pads may not be used. To clean, Tenant should purchase specially formulated pads for glass ranges, as well as glass range cleaner. The cleaners mentioned in this paragraph can be purchased at most grocery and hardware stores. Tenant understands that applying extreme pressure anywhere on the appliances will cause indentations, which will be considered as damage.
If applicable, when using a fireplace(s) in the Premises Tenant shall obey the following rules:
Tenant agrees to hold harmless and release Landlord from all liability for loss or damage based on Tenant’s negligence or misuse of Fireplace(s).
Mold is a fuzzy growth of minute fungus occurring typically in moist warm conditions, especially on food or other organic matter. Mold spore can become airborn which can have a negative effect on human health.
Many homes and condominiums built before 1978 have lead-based paint. Homebuyers and renters have important rights to know about whether lead is present — before signing contracts or leases.
Most owners have not owned their properties since 1978 and have no knowledge of lead based-paint. Tenants should go to the Environmental Protection Agencies website about lead-based paint and view the brochure.