What are you looking for in a tenant? Our rentals are urban core historic houses (not apartments) on blocks of owners. We seek responsible tenants with excellent credit, the ability to pay the rent* and written and vocalized commitment to be good neighbors. Our tenants understand the enormous importance of curb appeal, safety and maintenance. For 21 years we’ve rented our historic houses. Most (but not all) of our tenants stay between 3 and 8 years. Our house is almost always the last rental before they buy.
How can apply? Rentapplication* also used by RE/MAX, Century21, Coldwell Banker, Berkshire Hathaway and Realtor.com. Well supported. An end to end. Simple and easy. You can complete it on your phone (see the Application page for more details).
Where can I find the public school catchment? Don't trust anyone but the school district. On catchment borders both sides of the street may not be included, and a kindergarten spot is NOT guaranteed for all catchment children. Also the application process is not the same for all schools.
I'd like to rent a house with three friends. Phila Code states "no more than three unrelated adults may live in one unit without rooming house zoning." That zoning doesn't exist in our neighborhoods and will never be changed to include it. Violating the zoning invalidates our licenses and everyone's insurance. We do not have any rooming house licenses. (That license is extremely rare in Philadelphia.)
Do you have a lot of turnover? Most tenants stay three or four years, leaving when buying.
Do you allow instruments? Our houses are historic row houses primarily on tiny blocks. You'd be surprised how loud a any instrument can be in the house next door or on the street. We do not allow any instruments to be played at the premises.
How do I pay the rent? Venmo!
Do you accept animals?One pet per household is potentially allowable. A pet cat. NO DOGS. EXOTICS (including birds), BUNNIES OR FARM ANIMALS. Animals which currently live with you only. Pet deposits are not required. Pet rent is not charged. We adhere to all animal laws, our insurance company's restrictions and use the Philadelphia Women's Humane Society* pet tenancy model. Even if just visiting a pet must qualify, be an ADULT, house broken, spayed/neutered, trained, indoor and socialized standard domestic animal suited for urban living named in the lease.
How long are your leases? 12 months if the lease inception is May or June. If it's not whenever the lease begins it will end in May/June. Most of our tenants renew their leases for at least three years. Month-to-month is not an option.
Will you negotiate rent or your policies? Sorry but no. Please don't ask.
How does maintenance work? By Phila Code tenants renting houses have more responsibilities than those renting apartmenst. The Code assigns house tenants snow and ice removal, testing all detectors monthly or as the manufacturer recommends and maintaining the pest and vermin-free condition of the house. Every month our tenants also have a shortlist of tasks (which takes about 15 minutes) such as running a sanitizing cycle for the dishwasher and washer, clearing the dryer vent, etc. The list is emailed monthly.
We also spend about 20 minutes every month doing basic maintenance on each house doing things such as cleaning the shower head, all faucet screens and plumbing. Any blockage and products such as toothpaste, shaving cream and lotion create pipe build up and put the entire plumbing system under pressure. Any pressure in the system will cause leaks and damage. We also change the HVAC filters, clean the garbage disposal and refrigerator vents and reset the electrical panel among other things. Twice a year seasonal maintenance is done. That includes professional HVAC maintenance, changing the range filters and thermostat and CO2 detector batteries, shutting off/turning on outside faucets and capped/uncapped, cleaning window channels, maintaining locks, etc. Each house takes an hour or two for six of us.
How do I care for the house? Easy. It’s all spelled out in a house manual, and we do onboarding. Cleaning is water for most things. After all you wouldn’t use dish detergent to clean your car, right? (It will strip off the wax coating and permanently damage the paint just like using vinegar on grouted tile or granite. It destroys the surface.)