Frequently Asked Questions
Brownstone Properties strives to offer timely answers to your questions. Below is a list of frequently asked questions from our clients and thorough responses from our management team. We are committed to providing you invaluable service and assistance with your rental property needs. If you have additional questions not listed below, please feel free to contact us.
What steps do I take to rent a property?
At Brownstone, we make renting an apartment or house easy. Simply follow the steps below:
- Download an application from our website or stop by our office and pick one up.
- Pay a $20.00 application fee per applicant.
- After receiving your application and fee, Brownstone will run a credit check. This process usually takes 1 to 2 business days. Please note: during our peak seasons or at the first of the month, the approval process may take a little longer. We will call you with the results.
- All students are required to have a co-signer and complete a Guarantee Application and a Guarantee of Payment form
What do you check on a rental application?
Management complies with all federal, state and local laws including fair housing laws which prohibit discrimination based on race, creed, color, religion, national origin, familial status, sex, elderliness, handicap, or any other protected status.
APPLICATIONS: All Applicants must meet the criteria for acceptance set forth in this Resident Selection Criteria. All person’s age eighteen (18) years of age and older must submit a Rental Application and qualify individually as a Resident. All Applicants are required to provide either a social security number or individual taxpayer identification number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in accordance with Section 55-248.4 of the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Evidence of a history of poor or delinquent credit, absence of credit, absence of gainful employment or income to meet income requirements may be grounds for disapproval.
INCOME: The following guidelines are used in determining sufficient income requirements for Applicants. All income must be verified through Applicant’s employer, or you must provide two recent pay stubs. Gross income for single persons or combined gross income for married persons should be at least three times the amount of rent.
CREDIT: A credit check through a local credit agency is performed on all Applicants. A history of good credit must be established. Judgments or collections that appear on the report may be cause for rejection of Applicant. Any Applicant with a bankruptcy must show a discharge more than one year ago and have established new credit with a positive rating. In the discretion of the Managing Agent, hospital related debt may not disqualify you if you have entered into a written payment plan and you are current with your obligation under the payment plan. Applicants with a landlord judgment (regardless of age or amount, satisfied or not), a foreclosure or repossession will automatically be disapproved.
EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION: Application must provide one (1) year of employment history. If current employment history is less than two (2) years, previous employment will be verified. Current and/or past employment will be verified; including salary, position, length of employment, and probability of continued employment (if employment history is not available, Application must have good credit history, rental reference, and current or new employment must be verifiable).
RENTAL HISTORY: Applicant must have lived at current address for at least one (1) year. If less than one (1) year, previous residence should be at least two (2) years. References are obtained from current/previous landlords, if applicable, relative to payment history, length of rental agreement, amount of rent, damages, and violation history. If Applicant is breaking an existing rental agreement, it must be determined what liability the Applicant has under the current rental agreement, which may affect the Applicant’s ability to pay current rent. Any adverse information relating to these areas is grounds for rejection of Applicant.
- You will be denied if you have a record of being late in paying rent two consecutive times or more than four times collectively.
- You will be denied if you have a record or material noncompliance with the rental agreement, rules and regulations, or applicable local, state or federal laws.
- You will be denied if you have an unsatisfied collection and/or judgment with a previous landlord or have any evictions from previous housing.
AGE: All persons age 18 and older must complete a Rental Application, and qualify individually as a Resident. No person over age 18 may reside in the property without being approved as a Resident and listed as a Resident on the Lease.
INFORMATION VERIFICATION: Applicant will be asked to provide verifiable information or documentation to support application items. These may include, but are not limited to, “Leave & Earnings Statements”, pay stubs; evidence of taxes paid in past years, personal identification, or notarized confirmation of employment. Failure to provide such documentation may be grounds to reject Applicant.
OCCUPANCY REQUIREMENTS: Maximum allowable occupancy for 1 bedroom-2 persons, 2 bedroom-4 persons, 3 bedroom-6 persons. Specific properties, or cities and counties may have further restrictions.
CO-SIGNERS: All full-time college students will be required to have a co-signer regardless of student’s age. Co-signers will be required to fill out the Guarantor Application & Guarantee of Payment and must be approved. Co-signers may be requested for those applications where the Applicant(s) have deficiencies as determined by management.
CATERGORIES OF DISAPPROVAL: The following actions by any occupant of a household shall be grounds for disapproval of Applicant:
- Rental Selection Criteria: Applicant’s failure to meet any of the criteria set forth herein will be cause for disapproval.
- Violent or Disruptive Behavior. A history of violent of disruptive behavior or such a type that would endanger fellow Tenants, staff, visitors, result in damage to property, or disrupt the quiet enjoyment of property by residents.
- Criminal Convictions: A criminal check through a local agency may be performed on all Applicants with approved credit. An Applicant will be denied if any crime of moral turpitude or which poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others appears in a criminal check within the past seven (7) years, which shall include without limitation: Any felony conviction; any crime involving the use of a firearm, other weapons or explosives; any arson; any robbery or theft; any terrorism-related conviction; any drug-related conviction; any prostitution-related conviction; any sex-related conviction, and/or any Applicant who is subject to any sex offender registration requirement; any kidnapping or abduction; any cruelty to animals-related conviction; any misdemeanor conviction involving a crime against persons or property; and the active status on probation or parole resulting from any of the above convictions.
- Drug or Alcohol Use: Any current use of an illegal dry will be grounds for rejection of an Applicant. Any evidence of alcohol abuse that manifests conduct that poses a threat to health/safety of other residents will be grounds for rejections of application. Any report of having sold or used a controlled substance will result in disapproval.
- Inadequate Housekeeping: Any history of inadequate housekeeping will be cause for rejection of an Applicant, which generally includes any conduct, inaction, or neglect which could result in health or safety problems or in damage to the premises or any equipment, appliances, or other items therein.
- Misrepresentation: Supplying false, misleading, or inaccurate information or omitting information shall be grounds for disapproval.
PROPERTIES: Upon application by Applicant, approval of Application, inspection of property (if current tenant) and the payment of the Security Deposit, Agent will remove the unit from the available rental list. Units are not removed from the list and are still made available to other applicants until all three/four conditions have been met. Rental units will not be held off the market for more than two weeks.
How may I see a rental property?
Brownstone staff checks out keys for vacant properties only. Please schedule a time to come by our office from Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. We require a $20.00 CASH deposit and a photo ID. Keys must be returned to our office by 4:30 pm.
How much is the deposit?
Brownstone charges one month's rent as a deposit. Your deposit does not apply to your rent; it is held in a separate account. Your deposit must be in form of a money order or cashier's check.
What is your standard pet policy?
Brownstone management must approve pets prior to the pet being allowed on the premises, and a pet agreement must be signed. Approval is done on a case-by-case basis. Even if all the below conditions are met, management reserves the right to decline any pet. The criteria listed below will be used as a guideline, NOT an absolute right of approval. Always check each property to confirm if the owner is willing to accept pets or not.
- One Pet will be allowed. Either a dog or cat.
- The pet must be at least one year old.
- The maximum weight limit is 25 pounds. (Single Family Homes can have larger breeds generally)
- Applicants must submit a recent color photo of the pet.
- A non-refundable pet fee of $250 must be paid in full at time of move-in.
- An additional fee of $25 will be added to your rent each month.
- Tenant(s) must be at least 25 years old and a non-student.
- No Pit Bulls or Rottweilers (or mixes) allowed.
Who do I call in an emergency?
If you have a fire or police emergency, call 911. Then, contact Brownstone Properties Management at 434-385-1025. If you have an after hours maintenance emergency, please call our emergency number for assistance, 434-941-5399. This number is for after-hours, holidays or weekend emergency maintenance only. Please refer to your Emergency Maintenance Guidelines you received in your lease packet. If there is no answer, leave your name and number and someone will return your call as soon as possible.
Do I need rental insurance?
Although legally we cannot require you to have rental insurance, we highly recommend it. A rental insurance policy typically covers your personal property against certain losses. Contact your family's insurance agent or stop in our office for additional information.
How do I remove a roommate from my rental agreement?
A written request signed by each tenant must be submitted to management for review. We will send a written approval/denial to all parties listed on the rental agreement. Once a tenant is removed from the lease agreement, he/she is no longer entitled to any amount of the security deposit.
How do I add a roommate to my rental agreement?
The new roommate must complete a rental application and submit a written letter, signed by current tenants, with the application. Management will notify the perspective roommate with a decision. Once approved, the new roommate must sign onto the current lease prior to moving into the property.
How do I request my deposit back?
According to Virginia Law, management has 45 days from the end of your lease agreement and the return of possession of the premises by Tenant to mail your security deposit, together with any accrued interest (if required), minus any cleaning, damages or money owed to Brownstone Properties, Inc.
How do I have something repaired?
Tenants may submit a maintenance request online, in the office, or by contacting a Property Manager by phone.
Who takes care of snow removal or lawn care?
Each Brownstone property is unique and may have different owners. Please refer to your lease agreement, under special provisions.
What do I do if I need to file a complaint against another tenant?
For concerns involving another tenant, the building, or the property, you may contact your property manager by phone or e-mail. Contact information is available on our website, or may be located in your leasing packet.
What are my rent payment options?
Each tenant will be assigned an online tenant portal. Payments can be made through the portal using eCheck or Credit/Debit Card. We also accept payments through participating providers with the use of pay slips which can be provided upon request. Third party checks are no longer accepted.
May I rent a washer/dryer or install my own?
You may install your own washer/dryer if the property has the proper connections. If you would like to rent a set, you will need to complete a washer/dryer request in the office. Management will have a set delivered when available. Washer/dryer rentals are an additional $50 per month plus a one-time installation charge of $70.
What happens at the end of a lease?
In order to vacate your lease as of the termination date, you must give written notice two calendar months ahead. If you fail to do so, the lease will automatically renew on a two-calendar-month lease. Therefore, you may vacate anytime after the initial lease termination date provided a two-calendar-month notice is given in writing. Be advised, the notice required is two calendar months, not sixty days.
What is your procedure for acceptance when multiple applications are received for the same property?
Because of our vast variety of properties, we generate a lot of activity. Many people call to respond to a newspaper ad, our website or upcoming rentals. There are almost always several showings of the same property each day.
Therefore, it is not uncommon for Brownstone Properties, Inc to receive multiple applicationsfor the same property within a day or even on the same day. When you call about or view a property, do not assume you are the “first”. Also, if you complete an application, do not assume you are the only applicant. Although you may have the first application completed, it is VERY possible someone may apply for the same unit the same day or even within minutes. We also hold applications for three months and someone could decide on a different property then what they originally applied for.
When multiple applications are received, Brownstone Properties, Inc reserves the right to accept THE MOST QUALIFIED APPLICANT. The following guidelines will be used to treat everyone fairly and equally.
- All applications received will be processed. This allows everyone an opportunity to be considered.
- If all applications are equal, the first applicant will be accepted. * Note-the first application refers to the first application received by Management.
- If the second application is more qualified than the first (example-credit history, job history, higher salary, better landlord/mortgage reference), than the second application will be approved.
- If the third application is more qualified than the first and second, the third application will be approved.
It is suggested that you leave a security deposit when you apply for a rental unit because the unit will not be held until an application is approved and a deposit has been paid. If you are disapproved, the security deposit will be returned.