Raleigh Property Management
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Tenant FAQs

General

Group 15 Real Estate understands that your most valuable resource is your time and we never want to waste it. For this reason, all of our vacant properties are available for you to see on a self-guided tour anytime that is convenient for you. You can head to the property right now! For more information on how this works, please visit: http://www.group15realestate.com/schedule-a-showing



Most of our properties have videos on the listing page and many of your questions can be answered by watching the video. But, the best way to answer most of your questions is to go see the property. The great thing is that you can see any of our vacant properties at your earliest convenience any time that works for you! Go to this page to learn how to see the property: http://www.group15realestate.com/schedule-a-showing If you still have unanswered questions, just give us a call at 704.215.4961.


Group 15 Real Estate does not accept Section 8 or any other housing voucher programs.


We understand that nobody gets up in the morning excited about reading a legal contract; they are usually wordy and boring. Having said that, signing a lease puts us in a relationship with each other and clearly spells out what expectations we have for one another. In order for neither of us to be disappointed with the relationship, it is critically important that you read the lease, in detail, to understand the expectations we have for each other. Here are a few highlights, that if you miss the expectation, could be a costly mistake:

  • Not Submitting the Move-in Condition Form. Within three days of moving in, you need to provide us with a completed Move-in Condition form. This is very important, as it is the only recourse you will have, in the case of any pre-existing blemishes with the house, to fully recover your security deposit after you move out.
  • Making Alterations without Prior Approval: We understand when you move into a property you want to make it your home. However, if you want to change the paint color or make any alterations or renovations, you must obtain prior approval from us in writing. You do not want to be charged for actually improving the property, but that is a very good possibility. Also, read carefully the section of your lease that describes what type and how many wall hangings are permitted.
  • Maintaining the Yard: The lease states that maintaining the yard is the responsibility of the tenant. If you are renting a home or property that has a yard, you must keep up the yard. This is especially important if the home is in an HOA. If the HOA sends a letter or cuts the yard, you will be charged the HOA fine. We can also maintain the yard for you. Just request this; the cost is generally around $100 per month.
  • Following Maintenance Protocol: It is very important that anytime you see any maintenance issues that you submit any maintenance requests right away. If you do not, the issue could become worse and you could be help responsible. Please always submit your maintenance requests in writing through your PropertyMeld Account; this account is monitored 24/7. Putting it in writing on that account is better for us so that we have a written record in your own words of exactly what the problem is. And it is better for you as it will give you real time tracking of our progress with your work order and will also allow us to communicate those updates to you more easily. If it is an emergency or some other extenuating circumstance prevents you from submitting in writing, you can also call our maintenance hotline 24/7: 888-707-2154.
  • Missing an Appointment or Denying Access: If you make an appointment with a Group 15 Real Estate team member or maintenance vendor and miss that appointment you will be charged a trip fee, per the lease. Also, the lease grants Group 15 Real Estate and its vendors access to your rental at reasonable times and for reasonable purposes, such as inspections, showings, maintenance or site visits. If you deny this access or we are unable to access because the locks are changed or a dog is unsecured inside the property, then you will be charged a trip fee, per the lease.
  • Not Maintaining Renter’s Insurance: You are required to obtain and provide proof of Renter’s Insurance prior to moving in. But, you must also maintain this insurance for the entirety of your lease. This is important to you because a landlord’s insurance policy does not cover your personal property. So, if there is a flood or an electric socket burns out your TV, or a water pipe bursts and your valuables get damaged, that is not the responsibility of the landlord. You are responsible for your valuables. Other benefits include instances of theft, fire or if someone gets injured on the property. Thankfully this insurance is inexpensive. We can also provide you with a quote; please just ask.
  • Unauthorized Pets: You must always ask for written permission prior to bringing any new pets onto the property. Even if you already have any pets, you must obtain permission for any new pets. Per the lease, there are steep fees for bringing any unauthorized pets to the property and the pet may have to be removed. Always ask for written permission first.
  • Not Changing the Air Filters: We will come visit most of our houses once each quarter to change the air filters. However, this does not preclude you from your responsibility, per the lease, to monitor and change your air filters as needed. Depending on your house, if you have pets, or other circumstances, your filters may need to be changed more frequently than our visits. Not changing the filters could cause very expensive damage to the HVAC system or even its total replacement which could cost you thousands of dollars.

We are pleased to offer cutting edge technology and a powerful tenant portal that will allow you to easily manage your relationship with Group 15 Real Estate and your rental home at your own convenience 24/7.

  • Pay Rent: We offer several methods to pay the rent, the most convenient is to pay online through your tenant portal. Go to the "My Payments" tab, set up your bank account and pay your rent. You can either pay it one-time or set it up for recurring payments each month. Easy!
  • View Ledger: Go to the "My Rentals" tab and you will see all of the charges and payments on your rental account. Most relevantly you can see what balance you owe at any given time.
  • Online Communication: The best way to reach us with any general questions about your rental or your ledger is to send us a message through your portal which you will find on the "My Account" page. Also, on this same tab you can update your email and phone number, should they ever change.
  • Access Lease Documents: As we mention in another FAQ: "The lease puts us in a relationship with each other and clearly spells out what expectations we have for one another. In order for neither of us to be disappointed with the relationship, it is critically important that you read the lease, in detail, to understand the expectations we have for each other." We make this easy and convenient for you to access your lease anytime on your portal, along with other important documents related to your rental home on the "Documents" tab.
  • Maintenance Requests: This is actually one thing you do not do on your portal. We have a separate login for you through PropertyMeld that we think is a big improvement for your experience. For more information on sending or checking on a request, go to this page.
  • Give Notice to Vacate: When we are ready to move out, we will be sad to see you go, but you will let us know through your portal. Just go to the "My Rentals" tab and click "Give Notice". Just remember, that you must give two calendar month's notice prior to your lease end date, otherwise your lease may automatically renew for one year with a 5% rent increase. Check your lease for more information on how this works.

Your tenant ledger tells you everything you need to know about charges and payments on your account. You can access the ledger by logging into your tenant portal and clicking on the “My Rentals” tab. Here are some helpful tips on how to read the ledger:

  • Read from bottom to top: The oldest charges and payments are at the bottom of the screen. Your most recent charges and payments are at the top of the ledger.
  • Where to see your security deposit: Typically the first charge is the security deposit. Once the security deposit is paid, we hold it in a separate account from your rent and you will see it in the box at the top right hand side of the screen that reflects your security deposit payment. This deposit is held throughout the length of the lease.
  • Monthly rent charges and payments: Our system automatically charges rent to your account on the 1st day of each month. If you have a zero balance and you pay your rent prior to the 1st, your payment will reflect as a credit, shown in parentheses under the balance. Once the rent charges on the 1st, it will offset your credit and bring you back to a zero balance again.
  • Online payments: If you choose to pay your rent online, you will be charged a convenience fee of $3.95 which will post as a charge, and then your payment will be applied to the convenience fee and then your balance. Online payments will be posted immediately (one big advantage to paying online). You cannot make more than one online payment at a time. If you want to pay online a second time, you will have to wait until the first online payment fully clears (which typically takes 3-4 days).
  • Payments via money order, cashiers check or money order: These will be posted on the date we receive it. A late charge is posted to your ledger on the 6th day of each month, if you have a balance due. This means, if you mailed your payment on the 3rd, but we did not receive it until the 7th, you will be charged a late fee, and your payment will be posted on the date we received it in the mail.
  • Applying your payment to your balance: Examples of these fees might be maintenance, service, late fees or something else. Any such charges must be paid in full immediately when they are charged. We will never charge a late fee on any charges other than rent. However, any payments will be first applied to fees and then to rent. So, if for example you have a $50 service charge and $1,000 rent charge and you only pay $1,000, that will be applied to the $50 service charge and $950 of your rent. Which would leave you still owing $50 in rent, which will incur a late fee, if not paid in full.
  • Reference Numbers: All payments reflected on your ledger will show either the check number, money order number, cashiers check number, online Propertyware confirmation number or PayNearMe confirmation number. This should always match your records; if it does not, please notify us immediately.

You have four options on how to pay the rent. But, only paying online through your tenant portal will post immediately. Using PayNearMe does not automatically update your ledger immediately, but we do have a timestamp of when you paid and we are generally able to post it within a day or two. Payments that are mailed or dropped off are slower to post as we work our way through all of the payments we have received and can take up to three days from when we have received the payment. So, if you know for sure you have paid, please be patient and give it a few days to post to your ledger. In the meantime, we apologize for the inconvenience of the automatically generated email reminders.


We are so sorry! There is not much more frustrating than locking yourself out or losing your keys in the middle of a busy day. If you are reading this, it may be too late to give you this advice now, but we really encourage you to hide a key somewhere or give a key to a neighbor or a friend for just such an emergency; this will be a much better solution than what we are about to say if you don’t have an extra key. Unfortunately, our staff keep a very busy schedule and it would likely take them a day or two to squeeze it into their schedule to meet you with a key, so this probably won’t work for you, plus we would have to charge you a trip fee. The best solution is to call a locksmith to help you get in. But, bear in mind that you are not allowed to change the locks. The locksmith should be able to get you in without changing the locks. But, if for some reason the locksmith, must change the locks, then you will need to notify us of this and we will need to come out and change the locks back and charge you for this trip as well. Hopefully you never find yourself in this situation.


If you signed a lease with Group 15 Real Estate, then your lease will automatically renew for 12 months with a 5% rent increase. If you want to renew your lease for a different term or rate, then you need to email us at least 60 days prior to the end of your lease. This is very important and we cannot stress it enough. If 60 days prior to your lease end date passes without you negotiating different lease terms with us, then you are automatically locked into a lease renewal for 12 months with a 5% rent increase.


While we hope all of our tenants will stay with us for a very long time, we understand that circumstances change and there may come a time that you need to move.

  • When to Give Notice?
    The first thing to know is that the timing of giving notice is very important. You must give notice at least 60 days prior to your lease end date. This date is so important, because if we do not hear from you before then, on this date, your lease automatically renews for another 12 months with a 5% rent increase and it will be too late to give notice for your lease to end.
  • How to Give Notice?
    The only method to give proper notice is by logging into your tenant portal. Go to the “My Rentals” tab and click “Give Notice”. Any other communication regarding your notice is not accepted. You must login to your tenant portal and give notice.

We know that when you signed the lease you intended to stay at least that long, but we understand that sometimes things just come up and you have to move. The biggest thing to understand is that the lease still obligates you to be responsible for the property until the lease end date, even if you move out early; including paying the rent, keeping utilities on, keep the property secure, clean, lawn cared for and everything else in the lease. Having said that, we want to help. So, let us know when you will be moving out and we will do our part to re-rent the property as quickly as possible. Once we have a new lease signed, you will no longer be responsible for the property effective the date of the new lease. This process will include also some fees, which you will find outlined in your lease, for which you will be responsible. Please also understand we cannot process your security deposit until after we have that new lease signed. This FAQ is meant to give you some guidance, but you need to consult the lease for the full details on how to terminate your lease early.


We like to refund full security deposits! We are so glad you are reading this FAQ and will help do your part to ensure you will receive your full security deposit back. As always, consult your Lease and the Resident Handbook for full details. But, here are some key tips:

  • Give proper notice, move out on time and pay the rent until the end of your lease term. The security deposit may NOT be used to pay the last month’s rent.
  • Coordinate with your property manager to turn in all keys, passes and garage door openers by your move-out date.
  • Like Mom always says, leave things better than you found them. We appreciate you leaving the property in great condition. Follow the specific cleaning requirements exactly and thoroughly as found on this Cleaning Requirements Form.
  • Per the lease, have the carpets professionally cleaned by a company with truck-mounted steam equipment and provide your property manager with a receipt.
  • Remove all debris, trash and personal property from the premises.
  • Pay all rents and charges on your account on time.

Please provide us with a forwarding address and understand that we have up to 30 days to disburse your security deposit. We will always try to do it as quickly as possible, but sometimes it can take the full 30 days to finalize the process.


No, the owner of your property has hired Group 15 Real Estate to handle all issues pertaining to their property so they can focus on other areas of their life. So, any issues that you need addressed you must reach out to Group 15 Real Estate. And, actually, your lease dictates a fee to your account for any attempts to contact the owner of your property.


Probably! Most of our owners are willing to sell their property for the right price. If you love your rental and want to make it your own, just let us know and we will see how we can help. Before you do, please be sure to understand that we represent the interests of the landlord in any conversations about you purchasing the property. You need to read this Working with Real Estate Agents Brochure to better understand what that means and how it impacts you.


Absolutely, we can refer to one of our great local preferred buyer's agents that specializes in the area where you want to find your dream home. Just reach out to anyone on our staff and we will get this started for you.


Maintenance

It is very important that anytime you see any maintenance issues that you submit any maintenance requests right away. If you do not, the issue could become worse and you could be held responsible. Please always submit your maintenance requests in writing through your PropertyMeld Account; this account is monitored 24/7. Putting it in writing on that account is better for us so that we have a written record in your own words of exactly what the problem is. And it is better for you as it will give you real-time tracking of our progress with your work order and will also allow us to communicate those updates to you more easily. If it is an emergency or some other extenuating circumstance prevents you from submitting in writing, you can also call our maintenance hotline 24/7: 888.707.2154


Our maintenance hotline is available for you to call 24/7 as needed. Please bear in mind that there are very few things that constitute a true emergency which would need to be addressed in the middle of the night. For most such issues, we are going to ask you to secure the problem the best you can (like putting a bowl under a leaky sink) until we can get someone out there the next day. When your heat or A/C go out in the middle of the night this certainly always feel like an emergency and we are very sensitive to how uncomfortable that may be, but even this would have to wait until we can get a vendor out there the next day, just like any homeowner would also have to wait. But, the number is there for you to call anytime and we will talk you through it and come up with a plan. 888.707.2154


Any pest control problems must be reported within three days of occupancy. Any future infestations shall be your responsibility; with the exception when you have no direct cause; such as bats, birds, carpenter ants, termites or rodents in the wall due to a compromised house barrier, which shall be the Landlord’s responsibility.


A circuit breaker may appear on even if it is off. If you experience a partial power outage in the home, check the breakers. Flip completely off, then back on. Bathroom or garage and outdoor outlets are probably on a GFCI. If you lose power near a water source it is usually a tripped GFCI. These are usually located at the bathroom outlet or at the breaker box and are usually a red or yellow reset button. You will be charged if you put in a maintenance request and all that is needed is to switch a breaker on or reset a GFCI.


Damage or stoppage after three days of occupancy will be your responsibility unless it is a mechanical failure. You will be responsible for any clogged drains and toilets due to foreign objects, including hair. Do not throw anything into the plumbing system other than that for which it was designed; especially if you have a septic system.


Should you ever encounter a water leak, you must secure the problem to the best of your ability to prevent any further damage to the property until such time that Group 15 Real Estate arrives to perform final corrective measures. For example, with a plumbing leak underneath a sink, you should turn off the water valve at the sink to prevent the leak from continuing. You will be held responsible for any damage due to unreported water leaks.


Pilot lights are normal use of the home, similar to air filters or mowing the lawn. Should any pilot light need to be lit on the furnace, water heater, gas logs or elsewhere, it is your responsibility to light or arrange for someone to do so.


Any mechanical failures, such as window not opening or door not latching shut, are the responsibility of the Landlord. Any other damage to doors, screens and windows are tenant neglect and will be your responsibility to pay for the repair. We understand you, personally, may not have caused damage and a guest, or even a stranger, caused the damage. However, it remains your responsibility to pay for the damage and then pursue the offender to compensate your expenses, if you wish.


If any of the following appliances are provided, please note:

  • Dishwasher: Use at least weekly to prevent seals from drying out. If it appears to have no power, check for a wall switch that provides power.
  • Stove: Do not use oven-cleaner on a self-cleaning oven.
  • Refrigerator: Water filters are your responsibility to replace as needed. Vacuum the back of the refrigerator at least once every six months.
  • Washer, Dryer and hook-ups: Check hoses and washers when installing units. Check wall and floor frequently for evidence of leaks. Clean dryer vent after each use. The dryer vent hose may periodically get clogged and need to be cleaned.


Do not use for bones, grease, eggshells, onion skins, celery or other items which may clog; do not overload. If it stops working, check the reset button on the unit. There is also a nut that can be turned on the bottom of the unit with an allen wrench to loosen it and start it working. Check the circuit breaker. If still not working, submit a maintenance request.


You may not use any wood burning fireplace or woodstove without first hiring a chimney sweep to evaluate and clean the fireplace and provide a receipt to Group 15 Real Estate. If you do this and then use the fireplace, you assume responsibility for understanding how to use the flu, damper and other components of the fireplace.


Do not use grills or fire pits within 10 feet (horizontally or vertically) of anything that will burn. Only burn outside in a fire pit specifically designed for that purpose.


You may not kerosene heaters. Do not use the oven to heat your house.


When temperatures drop below 20°F outside, water pipes are at risk of freezing, which can cause expensive damage. To prevent water pipes from freezing:

  • Disconnect all hoses from spigots.
  • Leave cabinet doors under sinks open overnight if on an outside wall.
  • Leave faucets located on an outside wall dripping overnight.
  • Make arrangements with friends or neighbors if will be away during winter.
  • Leave heat at minimum of 50°F even if you will be gone an extended time during winter.
  • If water heater is in outside utility closet, may need to place electric space heater with it.
  • If you are on a well and there is a light bulb in the well house, make sure it is working.

You will be responsible for the cost to repair frozen pipes that break due to failure to follow these instructions along with any subsequent damage to the property.


Mold is everywhere. Some key points to remember:

  • Every home has mold; mold testers admit they find mold in 100% of homes tested.
  • Outdoors has two to five times more mold than inside a home.
  • Dead mildew, turns black; which does not mean it is toxic “black mold”.
  • There are over 1,000 species of mold; the toxic variety is extremely rare.
  • Read this guide from the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldguide.pdf

  • Clean and dust home on a regular basis.
  • Remove moisture on windows, walls, and other surfaces as soon as possible.
  • Immediately notify Group 15 Real Estate of any evidence of a water leak, excessive moisture or standing water; contain and clean up the problem prior to our arrival.
  • Immediately notify Group 15 Real Estate of any malfunction of any part of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, or laundry systems.
  • Immediately notify Group 15 Real Estate of any inoperable doors or windows.

  • Immediately attempt to remove any mold, mildew or similar growth with common household cleaning or anti-microbial products. Notify Group 15 Real Estate immediately if you are unsuccessful in your attempt to remove.
  • If mold remediation is required as a result of your failure to follow these instructions, you will be held responsible for the cost.
  • If, after reading the EPA Guide, you become concerned about toxic mold, you may, at your expense, pay for a mold test and analysis and provide the results to Group 15 Real Estate. If there is an agreed upon actionable item from the test results, you will be reimbursed for your expense. Otherwise, the cost of the test will remain yours and the matter will be considered resolved.