Answers to your common questions
Am I only responsible for my portion of the lease?
It is always important that you select your housemates carefully. Each and every applicant is responsible for the entire lease as the lease is “joint and several”. With this, you are each signing for the entire lease- it is not divided out by the number of tenants/applicants.
Am I required to have a guarantor/co-signer?
We require all students to have a guarantor co-signer. Our general rule is that the tenant must make 3x the annual rent in income to be qualified to lease a space. Having a guarantor assists in meeting this requirement.
Can we split the rent into separate checks?
No. We ask that you please have one single check, each month, for your unit. This helps to ensure that you and your housemates are all on the same page with getting the rent in on time (as required in the lease), and also helps to ensure accurate application of the single payment to your account.
Can you hold a place before I apply?
Due to the high demand of our properties, and the time sensitive nature of some rentals, we cannot hold a property without a full application in-hand.
Do I have to sign a 12-month lease?
Yes. All of our properties run on 12 month cycles based on an average 30 day month, for a total of approx. 360 days, so we do ask that all tenants sign a 12 month lease. If you would like to be out early, you may ask that we open your property for rent sooner. In this case, we would be happy to advertise and help show your unit, however there are no guarantees. There is a high demand for rentals in this area, so it is often times not an issue.
Do I pay first month’s rent and last month’s rent with my security deposit?
We require first month’s, last month’s and a security deposit. Your deposits may be made in 3 steps as a convenience to you. Your first deposit is due with the application. The second deposit is due with the lease. The third deposit is due prior to receiving any keys or access to the property/moving in.
Do you offer an Electronic Payment Method?
Yes. If you would like to pay your rent using electronic rent collection, you may do so using our online portal at vbc.managebuilding.com. You will login using your VBC tenant portal logins. There is a small convenience fee charged to use this option which is used to cover the costs of the service.
Does it have to be a bank check?
It is important that funds be guaranteed to prevent possible returned checks and bank fees. We ask that all checks be in the form of money orders or certified bank checks. Please do not mail cash via the postal service- we will not be responsible for cash that is lost or stolen in the mail.
How do I pay rent?
As a convenience to our tenants, rent may be paid in several ways. We offer online payments through the Tenant Portal, as well as payments in person (at our office in Hadley). You may also mail in your payment to us at PO Box 246, Hadley, MA 01035.
How many parking spaces are available with my lease?
Each lease includes one parking space per tenant over 18 years of age.
How old do you have to be to apply?
You must be of legal age to apply for one of our rental units.
I want to get a pet. What do I do?
We do not permit pets in most of our properties. Please review your lease or contact us directly to talk about your situation.
I want to move out, but my roommate wants to stay. What do I do?
If your lease has ended, your roommate should reach out to us with their request and new/replacement tenant if applicable. If your lease has not ended, you will need to make arrangements with us and may still be responsible for the remainder of your lease term.
Is the deposit refundable?
The deposit is refundable if you are not approved for a unit. If you are approved for a unit, and back out for any reason, your deposit may not be refundable, however we will always do our best to minimize any possible damages or charges.
My lease expiration is coming and I want to move out. What do I do?
At several points during your lease, we will reach out to see what your plans are following your lease renewal. Please let us know what your plans are and we will be happy to send you the documentation and instructions for completing out your lease and coordinating a move-out.
What about maintenance or issues?
We maintain a full time maintenance crew that is here to assist when any issues arise. The best way to submit a maintenance request is through our Tenant Portal. Contacts for this will be included in the “Important Numbers” document prior to move in.
What about parties at the house?
We pride ourselves on having some of the nicest apartments available in the valley. We regularly complete full renovations on our properties, and all of our units have been fully renovated within the last few years. By you choosing one of our locations, you are choosing a place that sets a higher standard. In making that selection, we hope you too agree that taking care of your unit is important. It is important to note that we do have a clause within our lease that limits gatherings within your unit. This is common practice with many landlords in our area. Effectively, we do not tolerate parties that are in violation of the lease, and should one occur, we will take proper action to handle the situation. Our properties have neighbors, and are located in close-knit communities. We have a commitment to our neighbors, and we expect our tenants to respect their neighbors and neighborhoods.
What if I cannot get a guarantor?
If you cannot get a guarantor, either a parent or direct relative, we cannot accept your application. We understand that signing a guarantor form can naturally raise concerns, but this is a requirement for each and every applicant. Rest assured that the same documents you are being asked to sign, and the same conditions you are being required to meet, are a standard set for everyone in your group. This should ensure added protection for the group as a hole.
What if we want to add an extra person?
Adding one extra person may, or may not be ok. If you are interested in adding an extra person, beyond our advertised number of bedrooms, please inquire. We do permit, up to, one extra person, per unit in some cases. However, an added person does inevitably add to our costs, so we do charge a nominal additional amount of 5-8% per month for the extra person. This helps to cover added wear and tear, water or sewer expenses, added trash, plowing and parking, etc.
Who is responsible for paying for repairs & maintenance requests?
Repairs and maintenance requests are generally covered by the Lessor, with the exception of issues that are caused by your direct negligence or in violation of your lease.
Whose is responsibility for utilities?
Utilities are the responsibility of the tenant. This includes cable, phone, electricity, heat, water, and trash. We will handle the plowing of the driveway and mowing of the lawns. We will provide you with a document which details important numbers for utilities, etc. prior to move in.
Why is there a fee due with the application?
We charge a nominal Finder’s Fee per tenant, that is applied towards the costs associated with processing your application, including (but not limited to) any commissions, processing, and/or ordering of the necessary credit and background checks. This fee is refunded to you if you are not approved for the unit.
You have a property I want to rent. How do I apply?
We recommend you email or call our office to schedule a showing of the property. If you’ve seen the property, and would like to apply, you may do so electronically or through printed documents. Let us know and we will be happy to direct you to the proper link or send the documents needed to apply for one of our units.
Any other questions?
If you have any other questions, email is always the best form of communication. You may also call our offices at 413-584-RENT. You may email Jeannine directly with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.