Frequently Asked Questions
CAN WE SEE YOUR LEASE BEFORE WE SIGN IT?
Of course! It is available at the bottom of this page for you to download. BEWARE- many landlords keep their leases private until signing. With me, feel free to send this lease to your friends, parents, or S.U. student legal services. The lease has been signed by over 5,000 students to date.
HOW DO I RESERVE AN APARTMENT?
I will hold an apartment for 24 hours on a verbal request. However, you and your group will be required to meet face to face to sign, or scan/email the signed lease, and pay deposits on the apt by the end of the 24 hour period. If a member of your group is abroad, or unavailable, or can’t get deposits within this 24 hour period, don’t worry, we provide time extensions to work around this. But please remember, on average I will have 2-3 groups vying for each apartment, competing against each other, so it’s important to get your ducks in a row. When you see something you like- TAKE IT! If you don’t, someone else will.
WHAT DO WE PAY AT LEASE SIGNING?
You will pre-pay the last months rent at lease signing. Then you will have an additional 30 days to pay a security deposit equal to one months rent. Both can be paid at once if that is more convenient for your situation, but only one is required at signing.
DO YOU PROVIDE PLOW SERVICE?
Syracuse gets over 120 inches of snow each winter, and as a result regular dependable plow service is critical to mobility. We contract our own private plow, who is directly responsive to your plow requests. Tenants will be charged $60 for the entire winter's worth of plowing, regardless of how much it snows.
CAN WE SUBLET?
Yes. Subletting is your right under NY State law. Semester and summer sublets are common, and signing them onto the lease is easy and painless.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT PETS?I’m cool with cats, fish, snakes, hamsters, etc. If you want a dog, there are special rules that apply- no puppies, must be house broken, must be crate trained and on flea control. Also a non-refundable deposit of $175 dollars is due from the dog owner.
HOW CAN WE PAY OUR DEPOSITS AND RENT?
We have MANY options to pay deposits and rent-
PAPER CHECKS: all mailed checks should be made out to Rentfromben.com, and sent to our west coast office at 368 Granitico St, Las Vegas, NV 89138. Checks can also be hand delivered to our main Syracuse office at 604 Euclid Ave, 24-7, and placed in the secure lockbox in entrance foyer.
ZELLE/Quickpay: use the account email handle firstname.lastname@example.org
COINBASE/BITCOIN: use the account email handle
CASH PAYMENTS: appointments to pay with cash may be made by contacting Ben at email@example.com.
Paypal: use the account email handle firstname.lastname@example.org. If you choose "payment for goods or service", Paypal will charge a 2.9% fee to Landlord, which will be deducted from tenant security deposit at the end of the lease. If you choose "payment to friend or family", no fee is assessed by Paypal.
CREDIT CARDS: pay online by visiting the Payments tab.
WORDS OF WISDOM
There are a lot of choices of landlords in the University Neighborhood. Be an educated consumer when apartment hunting. Always ask for a copy of a lease BEFORE signing.
Investigate the reputation of your potential future landlord by asking his or her current tenants what they think. Check in with student legal services. In the end, if you feel pressured to sign a lease, don’t do it. Good apartments with good landlords rent themselves with no need for pressure!
JOINT LEASES VS INDIVIDUAL LEASES
Many students and parents ask if they can sign individual leases, as opposed to joint leases. Some of our competitors offer joint leases, but we at rentfromben.com do not, and here is why:
First off, individual leases for student apartments and housing ARE ILLEGAL in the City of Syracuse. Landlords who offer this type of lease are breaking the law, and if you have a dispute, that lease can be ruled invalid in a court of law, stripping you of any guarantees and rights that lease offered.
If that wasn't reason enough, individual leases allow a landlord to put ANYONE in your house to fill a room. You may be a female student, expecting to live with fellow female students, but if a vacancy arises, you may end up with a middle aged man as a housemate.
Joint leases provide tenants with MORE protections and rights. Joint leases give you the power to negotiate as a collective group when disputes arise, and the final say over who you live with (your landlord wont have the power to pick your housemates).
In the end, if a landlord is willing to break the law by using an individual lease, what other rules and laws and protections are they going to violate?
WHAT ABOUT HIDDEN FEES?
Many other University landlords have fees that rack up to $30-$50 dollars per month-per person tucked into their leases. These include storage fees, sewer fees, city taxes, light bulb replacements, supply restocking, and landscaping. IN MY LEASE, YOU PAY FOR NONE OF THESE. I PROVIDE THEM AT MY COST, NOT YOURS. The only fee I assess is a trash fee (we take out your trash, sort recyclables, and return empty cans for you EVERY WEEK) of $6 a month.
WHAT IF OUR GROUP IS MISSING PEOPLE TO FILL THE RENTAL?
No problem. Finding a friend or a replacement is easy. In sixteen years, I’ve never had a group get stuck holding the bag with an empty room. There is a housing shortage in the neighborhood- you will always find a student wanting to join your group.
WHAT ABOUT UTILITIES?
You will get your utilities through National Grid. They provide gas and electric. Utilities per person vary based on group size. Apartments with 4 or more residents can expect a monthly average of $25-35 per person. Apartments with 2-3 people can expect monthly averages of $35-45, and 1 bedroom apartments have the highest rate of approximately $65-80 per month in utility bills, but remember rentfromben provides free utilities for most of our 1 bedrooms, so this cost is one you won't incur. Note that in the cases of: 858 Livingston, 525 Euclid, and 801 Euclid, rentfromben pays the utilities and you don’t have to worry about it!
I WANT IT. WHAT NOW?
If you choose to rent one of my apartments, you will most likely meet with my wife, who handles admin functions for our business. Lease signings take about 5 mins, and are conducted at my home (about a mile away from campus right off of Euclid Ave). It’s a quick signing, payment of deposits and that’s it. If you have ANY questions, present them to me prior to arriving to sign the lease.
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Any unanswered questions? Feel free to contact me anytime! - Ben