The city of Dana Point is a great place to buy a home but many want to get a good feel for living here and opt to rent a home before making a big purchase. A large majority of the rentals on the market are for "long term rentals" as many owners want to lease their home out for a minimum of 12 months. There are several steps to renting a home here in California that may be different than other neighboring states. Here is a brief explanation on how the process works.
The first step is to start searching for a rental online. Our website has the ability to search for both homes for sale and for lease. This is a great tool as you can narrow down the search based on price, geographic area, neighborhood or any kind of special amenity that you are looking for like an ocean view. A lot of clients ask us what kind of fee's are involved when looking for a rental. The good news is that for renters looking for a rental our services are free. When a landlord hires a real estate agent to list their home for lease they put it on the multiple listing service. A fee is given to the agent who represents the tenant and is paid by the landlord. Not all agents in California are rental agents, many only do residential sales while other will do both a combination of sales and rentals. Our office has dedicated rental agents who only handle rentals so working with a dedicated professional may help you find a home in a shorter amount of time.
Next, identify several properties that you want to see. Our website has a "request showing" button to indicate what properties you want to see. Our rental agents will then contact you to set a time to show you these properties. The agent can also pick certain properties based on your specific criteria which may be a faster way to find a great property. Once you have found the perfect property you will be submitting a 2 page rental application. The application basically has your contact information, bank information, names of occupants who will be living in the home including any pets. A credit report is submitted with this application that can normally be obtained from any free online credit report companies. Certain real estate agents may insist that they pull the credit but often times if you have a current credit report this can be used.
The owner then has the chance to review all applications and will pick one based on a variety of factors including your credit scores. Having a high FICO score is one of the major factors that landlord's use when deciding on who to rent their home out to. A high FICO score usually indicates the ability to pay the rent on time. If you have a lower FICO score we recommend you write a letter of explanation to let the landlord know why the score is lower. Often times a divorce or other external factors will lower a score and not necessarily demonstrate your ability to pay the rent on time.
Once you have been accepted for a rental home a lease agreement is drafted. You will have a chance to review before you sign. The lease start and end date will be indicated as well as all the occupants who will be living in the home. Other items will be explained like who is responsible for maintaining the yard, storage, parking and other items related to renting the home. The security deposit and first months rent will also be noted with a due date to pay by. Once signed a cashiers check for the security deposit and rent will be required. This is typically given to the real estate company that represents the owner. Some agents will have this amount made out to the landlord so check with your real estate agent on what will be required. It's important to note that once a lease is signed a tenant is responsible for paying the rent for the entire length of the lease. For questions regarding this process please feel free to reach out to us.