Rental Application Guidelines
Resident Benefits PackageThe Resident Benefits Package is mandatory and includes features such as:
- Keyless Entry System - conveniently controlled by an app on your phone
- Asset Protection Plan - you are automatically covered for fire, smoke, water damage and more, up to $100,000.
- HVAC Filters - delivered to your door quarterly
- Free Concierge for Utilities Setup
- Regular Property Visits - to make sure you are doing ok and check on any concerns you haven't already brought to our attention
- 24/7 Online Portal - where you can submit maintenance requests anytime, pay your rent online, communicate with us or access your electronic documents
- 24/7 Maintenance Hotline - with live phone support
- Free Positive Credit Reporting - to TransUnion for on-time payments (starting Spring 2019)
Who needs to apply and what are your application fees?Every resident age 18 or older must apply and pay an application fee of $69 per applicant.
Does Smart Shield Property Management allow pets?The rental listing will specify on each property if pets are permitted. If pets are permitted, there will be a $300 non-refundable pet fee per pet and an additional pet fee each month per pet. The monthly pet fee will be determined by your "Paw Score" at smartshield.petscreening.com, so take the time to carefully complete your pet profile as thoroughly as possible.. If you have a dog, you must make sure your renter’s insurance policy insures coverage for that breed of dog. Additionally, if the landlord’s homeowner’s insurance policy does not presently insure for that breed of dog, you may have additional expenses to cover the Landlord’s increased insurance premium. We can’t answer specific questions about your breed at a given property until you first apply.
How long will it take to process an application?This generally depends on how long it takes to get back items out of our control, including copies of photo ID, landlord references and income verification. We are generally able to receive all items needed and make a decision within 3 business days. You can help expedite that time, by helping to obtain all items as quickly as possible.
What guidelines are considered to approve an application?
Social Security or Tax-ID Number
- Each adult applicant must present evidence of a valid Social Security or Tax ID Number for the purpose of obtaining a credit report and matching to a photo ID.
Employment and Income
- Applicants must have a combined verifiable monthly income from a local employer equal to or greater than three times the monthly rental rate.
- Any non-employment and/or passive income must be guaranteed for the term of the lease by the government agency or payer.
- Applicants must have a history of satisfactory rent payments and occupancy with all previous landlords.
- Applicants must have given sufficient notice-to-vacate at their last address.
- Judgments and evictions from any previous landlord are considered bad credit.
- Smart Shield Property Management purchases a credit report on all applicants and requires good credit to be approved.
- Credit scores above 650 are considered good credit.
- Scores between 500-650 are considered questionable credit, depending on the rental amount. All scores below 500 are considered bad credit. Questionable and bad credit scores are not automatically approved, but may still be considered depending on the applicant’s overall file and lease negotiations.
Lease Preparation & Risk Mitigation Fee
All leases have a $200 lease preparation fee due upon application approval. Depending on credit an additional risk mitigation fee may be due. It has been shown through both statistical and historical analysis that an applicant's overall credit rating directly affects the risk and likelihood of default, damages and unpaid rent for the landlord. Applicants with a lower overall credit rating pose a significantly higher risk and liability. In an effort to mitigate that risk and allow applicants with a less than perfect credit rating to still gain approval for their chosen property we have implemented a scoring model that allows applicants to pay a fee to offset the increased risk and exposure the landlord faces in approving them with lower than a good credit score.** For multiple applicants the scores are averaged. For example, Tom and Suzy apply for a property and Tom has a credit rating score of 665. Suzy has a score of 580. 665 + 580 = 1245. 1245 / 2 applicants = 622.5 average score. We always round up to the next whole number so the score is 623. Looking at the table above Tom and Suzy would pay $200 as their Contingent Approval fee. Applicants with no credit score showing will be assigned a score of 500 for the purposes of determining the contingent approval fee. All scores are based on TransUnions Fico Classic 04 scoring model.
- Applicants may be denied for any felonies of illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance within the last 7 years, felonies resulting in bodily harm or intentional damage or destruction of property, for example, "arson", within the last 7 Year.
- Applicants may also be denied for any sexual related offenses for any time period.
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
As a company, we do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and welcome Persons of all Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familial Status, or National Origin.
How long is the lease term?Typically twelve months, with the exception that none of our leases end in the months of November, December or January.
What will be my lease start date?All leases start on a Thursday approximately two weeks from the time your lease is signed. If you need it to be sooner, we may be able to accommodate your request with as much advance notice as possible and with a rush move-in fee. No lease start dates can be later than 30 days from the date your application is approved.
How much is the security deposit?The upfront deposit includes a combination of a refundable security deposit plus a pre-paid cleaning and move-out fee related to when you eventually vacate the property. For the most qualified applicant, the sum of these two fees will equal one month's rent plus $300. We use an objective formula for less qualified applicants and these fees may equal as high as two month's rent plus $300.
Does Smart Shield Property Management accept Section 8?Smart Shield Property Management does not accept Section 8 or any other housing voucher programs.
How do I submit an application?Please visit our Rental Application Page
How do I secure the property?We will reach out to you once your application is approved and ask you to pay the lease preparation fee within 24 hours via paypal. Once that fee is paid we will send you the lease for e-signature and will send you an accounting of the funds required to secure the property, including security deposit and any relevant fees. Once the lease is signed and those initial funds are paid we will take the property off the market. Please note that at any given time in the process up until us receiving the required funds the property could be taken off the market and rented to another party, even if your application has been approved.
What are the standards of conduct that Smart Shield Property Management expects from applicants?
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.
Inclusiveness: 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.
Consideration: 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.
Professionalism: We believe that professional behaviour and kindness to others is the key to success. As Property Managers 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.
Truthfulness: 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.
Diversity: 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.
How do I know you are not a scam?
With the advent of online rental advertising, a larger and larger 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 management in North Carolina (license no. C30559) and South Carolina (license no. 23320). You can always find us listed in the North Carolina and South Carolina Real Estate Commissions list of businesses.
- 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 queries, so feel free to reach out at 704.585.7145. Alternatively, you can always send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we make our best to respond to you in a maximum of two business days.
Your rental application:
- We have partnered with Rently to advertise our available homes. Our homes are securely listed by Rently 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.
- Our property photos are watermarked in order to avoid reposting by third parties.
- 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. For example, we use Rently for showings, and Resident Research for rental applications.