Tenants’ Need to Know
Click on the questions below to find your answer!
What are the screening criteria?
- Occupancy is based on the number of bedrooms in a unit. (A bedroom is defined as a habitable room that is intended to be used primarily for sleeping purposes, contains at least 70 square feet and is configured so as to take the need for a fire exit into account.)
- The general rule is two persons are allowed per bedroom. Owner/Agent may adopt a more liberal occupancy standard based on factors such as size and configuration of the unit, size and configuration of the bedrooms, and whether any occupants will be infants.
- Current, positive, government-issued photo identification that allows Owner/Agent to adequately screen will be required.
- Each applicant will be required to apply individually and state if they are financially responsible. Inaccurate, incomplete or falsified information will be grounds for denial of the application.
- Any applicant currently using illegal drugs will be denied. If approved for tenancy and later illegal drug use is confirmed, termination shall result.
- A household member who self-identifies as Mobility Disabled will be given first priority when applying.
- A non-financially responsible co-tenant is screened for factors relating to maintenance and conduct, but not screened for financial responsibility.
- Monthly income may be equal to 2.5 times stated rent*, and must be from a verifiable, legal source. If applicant’s monthly income is between 2 and 2.5 times the stated rent, applicant will be required to pay an additional security deposit equal to one-half month’s rent or provide acceptable co-signers. Income below two times the rent will result in denial.
*If applicant will be using local, state or federal housing assistance as a source of income, “”stated rent” as used in this section means that portion of the rent that will be payable by applicant and excludes any portion of the rent that will be paid through the assistance program.
- Twelve months of verifiable employment will be required if used as a source of income. Less than 12 months verifiable employment will require an additional security deposit or acceptable co-signer.
- Applicants using self-employment income will be required to submit records to verify their income and/or current 90 days bank statements verifying deposits.
RENTAL HISTORY CRITERIA
- Twelve months of verifiable contractual rental history from a current unrelated, third party landlord, or home ownership, is required. Less than twelve months verifiable rental history will require an additional security deposit or acceptable co-signer.
- Three or more notices for nonpayment of rent within one year will result in denial of the application.
- Three or more dishonored checks within one year will result in denial of the application.
- Rental history reflecting any past due and unpaid balances to a landlord will result in denial of the application.
- Rental history including three or more noise disturbances or any other material non-compliance with the rental agreement or rules within the part two years will result in denial.
EVICTION HISTORY CRITERIA
Three years of eviction-free history is required. Eviction actions that were dismissed or resulted in a judgment for the applicant will not be considered.
- Negative or adverse debt in excess of $1,000.00 showing on consumer credit report will require additional security deposits or acceptable co-signers.
- Ten or more unpaid collections (not related to medical expenses) will result in denial of the application.
RENT WELL GRADUATES
If applicant fails to meet any criteria related to credit, evictions and/or rental history, and applicant has received a certificate indicating satisfactory completion of a tenant training program such as “Rent Well,” Owner/Agent will consider whether the course content, instructor comments and any other information supplied by applicant is sufficient to demonstrate that applicant will successfully live in the complex in compliance with the Rental Agreement. Based on this information, Owner/Agent may waive strict compliance with the credit, eviction and/or rental history screening criteria for this applicant.
CRIMINAL CONVICTION CRITERIA
Upon receipt of the Rental Application and screening fee, Owner/Agent will conduct a search of public records to determine whether applicant or any proposed resident or occupant has a “Conviction” ( which means: charges pending as of the date of the application; a conviction; a guilty plea; or no contest plea), for any of the following crimes as provided in ORS 90.303(3): drug-related crime; person crime; sex offence; crime involving financial fraud, including identify theft and forgery; or any other crime if the conduct for which applicant was convicted or is charged is of a nature that would adversely affect property of the landlord or a tenant or the health, safety or right of peaceful enjoyment of the premises of residents, the landlord or the landlord’s agent. Owner/Agent will not consider a previous arrest that did not result in a Conviction or expunged records.
If applicant, or any proposed occupant, has a Conviction in their past which would disqualify them under these criminal conviction criteria, and desires to submit additional information to Owner/Agent along with the application so Owner/Agent can engage in an individualized assessment (described below) upon receipt of the results of the public records search and prior to a denial, applicant should do so. Otherwise, applicant may request the review process after denial as set forth below, however, see item (c) under “Criminal Conviction Review Process” below regarding holding the unit.
A single Conviction for any of the following, subject to the results of any review process, shall be grounds for denial of the Rental Application.
(a)Felonies involving; murder, manslaughter, arson, rape, kidnapping, child sex crimes, or manufacturing or distribution of a controlled substance.
(b)Felonies not listed above involving: drug-related crime; person crime; sex offense; crime involving financial fraud, including identity theft and forgery; or any other crime if the conduct for which applicant was convicted or is charged is of a nature that would adversely affect property of the landlord or a tenant or the health, safety or right of peaceful enjoyment of the premises of the residents, the landlord or the landlord’s agent, where the date of disposition has occurred in the last 7 years.
(c)Misdemeanors involving: drug related crimes, person crimes, sex offenses, domestic violence, violation of a restraining order, stalking, weapons, criminal impersonation, possession of burglary tools, financial fraud crimes, where the date of disposition has occurred in the last 5 years.
(d)Misdemeanors not listed above involving: theft, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, property crimes or any other crime if the conduct for which applicant was convicted or is charged is of a nature that would adversely affect property of the landlord or a tenant or the health, safety or right of peaceful enjoyment of the premises of the residents, the landlord or the landlord’s agent, where the date of disposition has occurred in the last 3 years.
(e)Conviction of any crime that requires lifetime registration as a sex offender, or for which applicant is currently registered as a sex offender, will result In denial.
Criminal Conviction Review Process
Owner/Agent will engage in an individualized assessment of the applicant’s, or other proposed occupant’s, Convictions if applicant has satisfied all other criteria (the denial was based solely on one or more Convictions) and:
- Applicant has submitted supporting documentation prior to the public records search; or
- Applicant is denied based on failure to satisfy these criminal criteria and has submitted a written request along with supporting documentation. Supporting documentation may include:
- Letter from parole or probation office;
- Letter from caseworker, therapist, counselor, etc.;
- Certifications of treatments/rehab programs;
- Letter from employer, teacher, etc.;
- Certification of trainings completed;
- Proof of employment; and
- Statement of the applicant.
- Owner/Agent will:(a)Consider relevant individualized evidence of mitigating factors, which may include: the facts or circumstances surrounding the criminal conduct; the age of the convicted person at the time of the conduct; time since the criminal conduct; time since release from incarceration or completion of parole; evidence that the individual has maintained a good tenant history before and/or after the conviction or conduct; and evidence of rehabilitation efforts. Owner/Agent may request multiple Convictions a part of this process.(b)Notify applicant of the results of Owner/Agent’s review within a reasonable time after receipt of all required information.(c)Hold the unit for which the application was received for a reasonable time under all the circumstances to complete the review unless prior to receipt of applicant’s written request (if made after denial) the unit was committed to another applicant.
What are the Low Barrier screening criteria (for Portland residents only)?
What are the insurance requirements?
What is the procedure for checking availability, viewing applying for a home IN PORTLAND ONLY?
What is the procedure for checking availability, viewing and applying for a home for rent?
- All advertising is posted from either on-line sources or from our For Rent signs.
- On-line information is typically “propagated” from our website through a variety of external websites (such as Zillow and Trulia, Hotpads, etc).
- We make every effort to keep our information up-to-date, however:
- Because it is a “fluid” process, some websites may take 24 hours or longer to update their data,
- Therefore, it is not uncommon for units to appear available even if they have a prior application pending or approved.
- Our rental criteria is found on line at our website in the Tenant Information link.
- Appointments may be scheduled by phone at 503-595-4743.
- Appointments are made at the convenience of our showing agent and the current tenant (if unit is occupied).
- All prospects must view the property before submitting an application, we will not accept “place holder” applications.
- Applications are completed on our website and require $55 non-refundable fee to be submitted.
- We may use a third party vendor to conduct some of the screening, which includes verification of income, credit and criminal background checks as well as rental history.
- All completed applications are processed in the order of their receipt, as follows:
- Completed Application = all parties over 18 must have each submitted an application;
- Process = approval, denial or conditional approval based on our rental criteria.
- NOTE: Applications can take several days to process depending on references response times. A good idea is to let prior landlords know that they will be contacted and to input landlord emails or fax numbers in the application.
- We determine, based on the application, whether the applicant meets our screening guidelines.
- We verify income and resources.
- We check with current and previous landlords.
- We obtain a credit report, criminal records report and public records report
Applications returned with a Conditional Approval generally require either proof of income and/or additional security deposit in order to be accepted.
Applications are processed in order of receipt with priority going to the ‘first position” and so on. Back-up applications are encouraged.
A unit is not considered “reserved” simply with a completed, approved application.
A unit is reserved only when receive the signed “Deposit to Hold” along with a cashier’s check or money order for the stated amount.
Upon approval, we can generally hold the unit for no more than 10 days once we receive the deposit accompanied with the signed “Deposit to Hold” agreement (within 24 hours of approval).
Without a signed Deposit to Hold agreement and funds received within 24 hours, properties are considered “pending/available” and may be subject to a denial, allowing a back-up application to proceed, or renewed marketing efforts to be initiated.
When we have an accepted application and signed agreements, we remove the unit from our website and our For Rents signs are removed typically within 24 hours.
Is it possible to add or remove a tenant from the rental agreement?
- The Rental Contract is conditioned on “Joint and Several Liability”. This means that any single tenant’s notice to vacate affects the entire unit.
- If the rental agreement is a Month-to-Month agreement, it may be possible to apply for a “reasonable accommodation” to add or remove tenants, based on and Individual Assessment and not guaranteed.
- Request to proceed would include:
- Proper notice of each applicant
- Professionally screening through our company
- An office admin expense of $250 due upon approval of the request, for necessary documentation of the changes.
- -This expense is charged for any removal or addition.
- Approved changes re-set the “occupancy date” of the rental contract
- “SUBLEASING” IS PROHIBITED IN THE RENTAL AGREEMENT
- Anyone who is moving-in must be approved per the same application process stated above and prospects may not take possession until they have been approved and signed the appropriate rental documents.
- If their application is denied, the prospect cannot move in.
- If their application is approved but conditional to a larger deposit, those sums must be received at the time of signing the rental documents.
- An Add / Remove Tenant form is available from our office.
- No partial deposit is refunded when any applicant moves out or terminates. The full deposit remains with the tenancy and is distributed when the unit is vacated.
- IMPORTANT: If the rental agreement is a Fixed-term Lease, roommate changes are not accepted as the lease is conditioned on the persons who have signed the contract and any change to that agreement would be considered a breach of contract. Additionally, if a party moves out, their obligations to the contract remain and no portion of the deposit is refunded.
What is the termination and Move Out process?
- Eventually, tenants will move, and we want them to be prepared when this is necessary.
- We require our tenants to give a 30 day notice prior to moving.
- We can provide the 30 day notice to vacate form upon request.
- The notice must be signed by all tenants living at the home and can be e-mailed, return mail to our office or faxed to: 503-719-7149.
- The 30 days begins on the day we receive the notice in our office.
- If the termination occurs prior to the end of the lease, a fee equal to 1 ½ month’s rent is due and payable.
- Payment must be made prior to the day of vacating in order to avoid the charge being considered a delinquency and subject to the security deposit reconciliation.
- It is the responsibility of the tenant to deliver all keys to our office.
- Please place them in an envelope and make sure to identify the rental property address.
- Garage door remotes and mail box keys may be left in a kitchen drawer.
- Once the property is vacated, we will do the final inspection. Tenants will receive a 24 hour notice to attend and participate.
- The Final Accounting will be mailed to the tenant within the time prescribed by law (Oregon = 30 days, WA = 15 days).
- It is important that we have the correct forwarding address.
- Refund checks for the Security Deposit will be made payable to all of the tenants on the rental agreement, unless a fully signed letter authorizing us differently is received in our office.
- When vacating the Property:
- Do not turn off utilities! Just remove your name from the account. Please let us know if the utility company needs any additional information from our office.
- Leave the heat set at 55 degrees if vacating in the months of October through March.
- Please leave the property as clean as you found it.
- The carpets will be professionally cleaned per the rental agreement (and will be deducted from the security deposit).
- If responsible for yard care, please return the yard to “move-in” condition.
- Remember to stop any newspaper or periodical service to the property address.
- If you were approved to install a satellite dish during your tenancy, please remove the dish from the property and take it with you.
- We will be marketing the home to re-rent prior to the vacancy and will provide proper notice when we have appointments to show it.
Will The Garcia Group review a deposit refund dispute?
Internal Review Panel (IRP) for Final Accounting for Tenant Security Deposit Refunds
As addressed on ORS 90.300, a Final Accounting of the Tenants’ Security Deposit must be mailed out “within 31 days after tenancy terminates and the Tenant delivers possession.” Security Deposits are refundable except for “only the amount reasonably necessary: (A)To remedy the Tenant’s defaults in the performance of the rental agreement including, but not limited to, unpaid rent; and (B)To repair damages to the premises caused by the Tenant, not including ordinary wear and tear.”
It is important to know that there are no incentives for anyone on staff at The Garcia Group to over-charge or under-charge any amounts retained for Tenant Security Deposit refunds.
The Garcia Group does not collect interest on Security Deposits in the bank. By law, any amount not refunded to a Tenant is paid back to the Owner’s account (not kept by the company). We do not profit whatsoever by the amount of money either returned to the Tenant or forfeited to the Owner.
At The Garcia Group, we work diligently to insure that the Final Accounting for Tenant Security Deposits is timely and accurate:
- We abide by all current statutes in both state and local Tenant/landlord law when making our assessment towards how much money (if any) the Tenant is responsible for.
- We do our best to document the property’s condition at the move-in and we allow Tenants to provide additional documentation to note anything they may discover when taking possession.
Unfortunately, there are times when a Tenant feels they have been over-charged on their Final Accounting. There are also times when Owners feel they have been under-charged for losses incurred.
For this reason, we have established our Internal Review Panel (IRP) whose primary mission is to provide a fair and objective outlet to help resolve Client/Tenant disputes. Although it has no legal authority, the process receives overall approval for its outcomes. The function is not to negotiate settlements on all claims – but to review issues and/or complaints in order to weigh their merit and offer the best suggested course of action, which may (or may not) include a recommended settlement.
The process is:
- A claim is submitted on-line in the space provided.
- It is assigned to a panel within our company to review within 5 business days.
- A suggested resolution is submitted to the manager for approval.
- A decision is rendered and subsequently communicated to the parties within 48 hours later.
- If an additional settlement is recommended a check is sent out within 7 days.
- If no further action is called for, the matter is considered closed.
If you would like to submit an issue, please use this space to initiate your confidential request:
What are the policies for paying rent?
- Rent is due on the 1st of the month. It is late if it’s not post marked by the 5th of the month.
- Rents should be sent by US Mail to PO Box 999 Lake Oswego, OR 97034.
- We do not accept hand delivered rents unless you have a pre-arranged appointment.
- Make checks payable to: The GARCIA Group.
- Rent may be paid by personal check, cashier’s check or money order.
- Rent may be paid on-line through our website. This service is revoked if the funds are returned as non-sufficient.
- We can accept credit or debit cards with an additional processing fee through our website.
- We do not accept cash or post-dated checks.
- We do not accept rent checks from anyone not on the lease.
- If your rent is late and paid after the 8th of the month, we require a cashier’s check or money order for your rent payment.
- You may include your late fee in this check, or pay the late fee with a separate personal check.
- If rent payment is returned as NSF and payment is not made by the 5th of the month, a late fee will be levied.
- Security Deposits must be made by separate checks and are not accepted on-line.
How are property condition reports done and how often do you inspect the unit?
Inspections are generally scheduled within 60 – 90 days after a tenant moves in, and normally once per year for our residents. We use an on-line app within our database to conduct routine inspections, which takes traditional pen and paper inspections and makes them digital. This makes the process more professional and more transparent. Transparency and trust are the key for all relationships. All of the data is backed up, so it’s secure and easily accessible at all times. Photos tell the story and everyone can actually see that a “clean” house is actually a clean house. Everything that is needed to know or remember about the property remains at our fingertips.
How do you handle maintenance and repair requests?
- The Garcia Group has contracted a professional repair call center to quickly and efficiently handle all of our emergency calls 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. They can be reached by calling our office and choosing extension 9.
- For normal maintenance and repair requests, Tenants should use the On-Line Maintenance Request link in order to submit a work order, which will be delivered directly to our Portfolio Manager for processing. Tenants may also call our office and press Ext 9 to go to our intake service, in order to have the work order submitted.
- WE UNDERSTAND THAT MANY REQUESTS ARE MADE IN THE EVENINGS AND ON WEEKENDS. We will acknowledge your request in a timely manner as best as we can, however we will make a distinction between “emergency” and “non-emergency” issues when dispatching technicians.
- Tenants only need to make 1 request at a time, as multiple attempts to contact us do not make us respond any faster.
- Please keep in mind that, prior to authorizing a repair, we must first receive owner approval and have their funds available for that property in order to do the work. Our goal is to limit the inconvenience to the tenant without violating our service contract with the Owner, or overstepping the boundaries imposed by law.
- No one likes being inconvenienced with a broken system, whether it is a running toilet, a broken oven or a heater on the fritz. Our role is not to frustrate the situation any further. Our aim is to address each request with the importance it deserves. We are proud to say that most of our tenants reciprocate with genuine understanding and respect for us, as well. We want to continue to foster the best relationships possible.
- We want to emphasize that our goal is to do everything we can to get the problem remedied and then if necessary, subsequently sort out the responsibility that caused it. In other words, if a drain is plugged, let’s first get it working. Later, if we determined that a tennis ball had been shoved into it, we might need to charge the tenant, because of inappropriate use. However, if the drain was clogged due to old plumbing, we would not be compelled to try and charge for the call. Fairness is simply good business.
We enjoy working with our tenants and in striving to provide them with a quality housing experience.
Forms & Video Links
We believe that in order to have Great Rental Properties, we need to maintain Great Tenant Relations. We work at keeping an open and positive dialogue, especially during those times that arise when issues may create friction or tension. We cannot promise a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but we can strive to be 100% attentive to those needs and demands that come from being a rental housing provider. To that end, we offer the following links to pertinent information for our tenants.
- CITY OF PORTLAND RENTAL SERVICES
- CITY OF TUALATIN RENTAL STANDARDS
- SCREENING GUIDELINES
- Lead Based Paint Booklet
- Mold Information
- Safety Addendum
- Tenant’s 30 Day Notice To Vacate
- Tenant Termination Notice
- Assistant Animal Addendum
- Deposit Refund Form
- Rules and Regulations
- Form to Add / Remove Tenant
- Reasonable Accommodation
- Temporary Occupant
- Sample Rental Agreement
- Move-In / Out Checklist
- UTILITIES INFORMATION GUIDE OR
- UTILITIES INFORMATION GUIDE WA
- Unstick a garbage disposal
- Stop a running toilet
- Test a smoke alarm
- Unclog a toilet
- Unclog a sink or basin with a ZipIt
- Program Garage Door Keypad
- How to clear a clogged bathtub
- How to fix a slow faucet
- Unclog with vinegar and baking soda
- 7 ways to get rid of ants
- How To Change Your Furnace Filter:
- Find the Main Water Valve
- Turn off water under the sink
- Shut the water off at the street
“When I got engaged, I was referred to The Garcia Group to manage my condo in Tualatin by a friend. Meanwhile, my (then) fiancee found a house for us to rent in SE Portland, and coincidentally, it was managed by The Garcia Group too! So, I have been both an owner and a tenant of theirs, and I can honestly say The Garcia Group has excellent customer service all around.”