Realty Executives Exceptional Realtors®

Eric Drost

REALTOR® / Broker Associate (973) 219-6923

Eric Drost

REALTOR® / Broker Associate

Realty Executives Exceptional Realtors®


For Tenants and Landlords


Finding a new place to live can be a tough process.  My aim is to make that easier for you.

There are certain elements you should understand as you start the process.

Rentals are in short supply in North Jersey. 

Really nice rentals are in even shorter supply

There are more tenants than there are rental units and a landlord can generally fill their apartments rather quickly. This makes it easy for landlords to be choosy about who they rent to.  It also makes it difficult for a tenant to be demanding.

Never forget that for a landlord, their rental unit is a business and must produce income to sustain itself.  Therefore, they have no desire to see it damaged or not have rent paid on it.

The laws of NJ are very protective of tenants and landlords can be choosy about who they allow to move in.

Pets are great!  Everybody loves them!  But don’t expect your landlord to.  While it is admirable to want to adopt and care for an animal, while you are a tenant it really isn’t a great idea.  Your choice of apartments will be even more limited.  Please don't think you can sneak one in later - your landlord will always find out and will have grounds for wanting you to leave.  And don’t abandon your pet – you mean the world to them and they deserve the best.

Remember that a lease grants you the right to live in someone else's property in exchange for a fee or rent.  However, anything not specifically granted to you in the lease is not a right. For example, unless the lease says "Pets Allowed", you do not have the right to bring in a pet. Just because it wasn’t mentioned doesn’t mean its okay.

Get your landlord's permission before doing anything.  Painting is a great example.  Without permission, you might have to repaint the rental to neutral colors before you leave.  Anything you permanently attach to the unit is considered the landlord's property, unless they tell you otherwise.  Be smart - ASK!

Both parties to the lease have the right to consult a lawyer before signing the lease.  You can only get legal advice from an attorney, so ask the right person.


In general, the following things usually apply to most rentals:

Rental Requirements:

You will likely need a total equal to 3 1/2 month’s rent upfront to rent an apartment:  1 month's rent in advance, 1 1/2 month's rent for the security deposit and 1 month's rent for the Realtor fee.  



Tenants are often responsible for all utilities [electric, gas, possibly water and sewer, and if wanted, telephone and cable TV]. You would need to set up an account at each utility; landlord will provide names and numbers at lease signing.


Credit Ratings:

Tenants are often asked to provide creditworthiness as a way of showing they will pay the rent in a timely manner.  This may or may not be a good system, but it is prevalent. Take the time to review your credit report at one of the free sites, but be careful which site you use. Scams can happen.  It is often considered best to get to the credit site by coming in through a government site that recommends them.

If you do have poor credit, you might find it easier locating an apartment directly from a landlord, especially in an owner-occupied building.  For some reason, landlords that live on site seem to be more willing to be lenient.  Newspapers or yard signs are a good place to find leads. 


Rental Process:

Landlords are usually looking for a very good credit rating, employment verification and clean quiet tenants that will treat his building well. Landlords often use a REALTOR if they are looking for a credit check for the tenant.

The typical process to rent the apartment is often this:

  • Schedule a viewing to see if you like the space. 
  • Fill out the required paperwork: tenant application, information release, [which enables me to share your information with the landlords] and a credit check request. 
  • The tenant application includes a spot for your employer’s information and the landlord will verify employment.  
  • The information release enables me to share all of this information with the landlords.
  • The credit check often includes an eviction and background check and costs $35 per adult tenant and all adults living in the apartment must be on the lease and have the background check. The fee must be paid at the time of submitting the application and is non-refundable once processed.
  • Once these forms are returned to us, we will process the background check, which takes 24-48 hrs. 
  • The information will be submitted to the landlord and they will decide if they will schedule an interview with the prospective tenant based on the information in the application and background check. 
  • After the interview, you should have an answer from the landlord, typically in the next 24-48 hours, whether they are accepting the tenant.



Questions? Need Advice? Complete this form for more information.

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Questions? Need Advice? Complete this form for more information.

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REALTOR® / Broker Associate

Eric Drost

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