Application Guidelines

Avoiding Scams

With the advent of online rental advertising, an increasingly large number of applicants become victims of online scammers. It is only natural to feel uncomfortable when paying or sending sensitive data to us. Here are a number of points that will clarify we are a legit company. We kindly encourage you to check each of these before sending in your rental application!

WHO WE ARE: We are a certified, licensed company of rental property managers in North Carolina (License No. C30559), South Carolina (License No. 81720), Florida (License No. CQ1052171), New Mexico (Qualifying Broker: Kristin Johnson License No. 20541), Arizona (Designated Broker: Kristin Johnson License No. BR673098000), and Colorado (License No. EC.100087490). Our business is listed with the Better Business Bureau, one of the most important non-profit organizations in our field. We maintain a 24/7 call-center where one of our team members can respond to all of your inquiries, so feel free to reach out at the number on our website. Alternatively, you can always send us an email at hello@homevault.com, and we will do our best to respond to you in a maximum of two business days.

Our homes are securely listed by a third party vendor on more than 30 partner sites, from Zillow.com to Trulia.com and beyond. We do not advertise our properties on Craigslist, a platform which is sometimes used by scammers. We never ask you to provide sensitive and personal information, or to wire money before you undergo the application procedure. We make sure that your personal data and payments are secure, by using reputable platforms and online systems.

The fee that is paid for the application is broken down in case by $5 – online application, up to $25 – credit report, $35 – administrative / staff expenses.

Standards of Conduct

Have you sometimes wondered why we act in a certain manner in our communications with prospective tenants? The answer is below. We strive to adhere to strict standards of professional conduct and we expect our future residents to do the same.

We welcome and support people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, social and economic class, educational level, color, immigration status, sex, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.

We realize moving and dealing with issues around the home can be stressful, and we go out of our way to accommodate reasonable needs and requests. Your decisions might affect whether a landlord keeps a property or sells it, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions.

We believe that professional behaviour and kindness to others is the key to success. As Property Managers we are here to help landlords, residents, and vendors and provide quality housing. When circumstances combine and make it challenging to meet the expectations of a client, we will communicate that frankly and professionally – and appreciate your doing the same. 

If you find it challenging to meet the terms of your agreement with us, we would like to be informed exactly why.  We might be able to help you, and pledge to do our best when given the opportunity to help you.  When we are unable to help and must enforce the contract, try to understand why. Differences of opinion and disagreements are mostly unavoidable, but it is important to resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. 

We can find strength in diversity. Different people have different perspectives on issues, and that can be valuable for solving problems or generating new ideas. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint does not automatically translate into them being wrong. We all make mistakes, and blaming each other does not get us anywhere.

Terms of Agreement

The following Application Agreement will be signed by all applicants prior to signing a lease contract. While some of the information below may not yet be applicable to your situation, there are some provisions that may become applicable prior to signing a lease contract. In order to continue with this online application, you’ll need to review the Application Agreement carefully and acknowledge that you accept its terms.

  1. Lease Contract Information. The Lease Contract contemplated by the parties is attached or, if no Lease Contract is attached, the Lease Contract will be the current Lease Contract noted above. Special information and conditions must be explicitly noted on an attached Lease Contract or in the Contemplated Lease Contract Information above.
  2. Application Fee (nonrefundable). A Non-refundable application fee (per applicant) will be collected with this application, in order to process the consumer reports on each applicant. In the event a chargeback is initiated against the non-refundable application fee the applicant is responsible for all chargeback and/or collection fees incurred to any reversed credit card payments. APPLICATION COST: The fee that is paid for the application is broken down in case by $5 – online application, up to $25 – credit report, $35 – administrative / staff expenses.
  3. Pet Onboarding Administrative Fee (nonrefundable) & Monthly Pet Administrative Fee. You agree to deliver a pet onboarding administrative fee (if applicable) for the first pet, in the amount of $300 to $500 depending on the pet screening score as provided by a third-party tool, once your application is approved. For each additional pet, an onboarding administrative fee of 50% off the above referenced onboarding fee will apply. In addition to this one time fee, you further understand and agree that rent will be increased by either $20, $25, $30, or $40 per month, per pet, depending on the pet screening score as provided by a third-party tool. 
  4. Holding Deposit (may or may not be refundable). In addition to any application fee, you are delivering to us a holding deposit in the amount indicated on this application. The holding deposit is not a security deposit. However, it will be credited toward the required security deposit when the Lease Contract has been signed by all parties. An option for a Security Deposit Waiver will be offered. Please ask our Applications Specialist for more information.
  5. Approval When Lease Contract Is Signed in Advance. If you and all co-applicants have already signed the Lease Contract when we approve the Application, our representative will notify you (or one of you if there are co-applicants) of our approval, sign the Lease Contract, and then credit the application deposit of all applicants toward the required security deposit.
  6. Approval When Lease Contract Isn’t Yet Signed. If you and all co-applicants have not signed the Lease Contract when we approve the Application, our representative will notify you (or one of you if there are co-applicants) of the approval, and require you to sign the Lease Contract.
  7. If You Fail to Sign Lease Contract After Approval. Unless we authorize otherwise in writing, you and all co-applicants must sign the Lease Contract within 3 days after we give you our approval in person, by telephone or by email, or within 5 days after we mail you our approval. If you or any co-applicant fails to sign as required, we may keep the holding deposit as liquidated damages, and terminate all further obligations under this Agreement.
  8. If You Withdraw Before Approval. You and any co-applicant may not withdraw your application or the application deposit. If you or any co-applicant withdraws an Application or notifies us that you’ve changed your mind about renting the dwelling unit, we’ll be entitled to retain all application deposits as liquidated damages, and the parties will then have no further obligation to each other.
  9. Completed Application. An Application will not be considered “completed” and will not be processed until all of the following have been provided to us: a separate Application has been fully filled out and signed by you and each co-applicant; an application fee has been paid to us; an application deposit has been paid to us. If no item is checked, all are necessary for the Application to be considered completed. A completed application does not constitute “holding” of the property in any manner.
  10.   Lease Contingency Fee:  A lease contingency fee of $150-$700 and $25 per month may be applicable depending on your final application score. It has been shown through both statistical and historical analysis that an applicant’s overall application score directly affects the management of the tenant and enforcement of the lease. Applicants with a lower overall application score present increased administrative costs associated to enforce the lease. To compensate these administrative costs of lease enforcement and allow applicants with a less than a perfect application score to still gain approval for their chosen property we have implemented a scoring model that allows applicants to pay a lease administrative fee to offset the increased administrative costs in approving them with lower than a good application score.
  11. Non Approval. We will notify you whether you’ve been approved within 10 days after the date we receive a completed Application. Your Application will be considered “disapproved” if we fail to notify you of your approval within 10 days after we have received a completed Application. Notification may be in person or by mail or by email or telephone unless you have requested that notification be by mail. You must not assume approval until you receive actual notice of approval. The 10-day time period may be changed only by a separate written agreement.
  12. Extension of Deadlines. If the deadline for signing, approving, or re- funding under paragraphs 6, 11, or 12 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a state or federal holiday, the deadline will be extended to the end of the next day.
  13. Notice to or from Co-applicants. Any notice we give you or your co-applicant is considered notice to all co-applicants; and any notice from you or your co-applicant is considered notice from all co-applicants.
  14. Lease Preparation Fee. A lease preparation fee of up to $225 will be due within 24 hours of approval. This fee partly covers the administrative work required to prepare the lease paperwork and related documents and to prepare for move in.
  15. Resident Benefits Package. $47.95 (includes a keyless entry system) or $32.95/mo (without the keyless system). Residents will receive delivered HVAC/furnace filters (if the home requires them), free online payments via e-check, maintenance scheduling software, resident portal, document storage, free credit reporting, utility concierge service, and one-time late fee forgiveness. This program is not optional. 
  16. Tenant Liability Insurance. Tenant Liability Insurance is required to be carried throughout the tenancy. HomeVault  has partnered with a company that can provide this service or you may choose to use your own insurance provider. The cost with our partner is $9.50 plus a monthly administrative fee of $3.00. The monthly administrative fee will be charged even if a different insurance provider is used.
  17. Keys or Access Devices. We’ll furnish keys and/or access devices only after: (1) all parties have signed the contemplated Lease Contract and other rental documents referred to in the Lease Contract; and (2) all applicable rents and security deposits have been paid in full.
  18. Request for Rapid Move-In. Due to the nature of this business, we do everything we can to accommodate fast move-ins, in some cases it cannot be accomplished for things out of our control. If it is requested to move-in on a different date than the one we initially offer, a $150.00 Off-cycle Move-In fee will apply, and the deposit will need to be paid in certified funds. Please note, we cannot guarantee a rapid move-in in all cases and no move-ins can happen over the weekend even with paying the off-cycle fee.
  19. Signature. Our reception of this application is consent only to this Application Agreement. It does not bind us to accept an applicant or to sign the proposed Lease Contract.
  20.  Gross Receipts Tax. All tenant fees will be subject to New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax. This does not apply to homes in any other areas except for New Mexico.
  21. Communication Method(s). Applicant agrees to communication via email, text, messenger platform and/or phone for future communication.
  22. In the event a foreign language translator is needed, the translator is required to cascade applicable information to the applicant(s)/tenant(s) and/or the Company. In the event a foreign translator is being used, the applicant(s)/tenant(s) agrees to provide the translator’s contact information to Company and the same communication methods as set forth in paragraph 21 will be accepted for the translator as well.

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