Tenant FAQ

  • Questions prior to application

    • How do I know if a property is still available?

      All the properties listed on our website are available to rent. However, until we have signed a lease all properties are still listed on the website. So it is possible that we have approved an application for a property, but because we have not signed the lease, we keep them listed. If you find a property that you are interested in and find out that it is no longer available, our agents will gladly tell you about other properties we have available or other properties coming on the market soon. The best way to make sure a property is still available is to call our office at 408-386-5486.
    • How do I apply to lease?

      Within our website, click on the PROPERTIES tab and then click on the property you are interested in applying for. Our website will then guide you through the application process. We do charge an application fee which is used to complete our background check and is non refundable. Your application will not be processed if it is incomplete or missing the application fee.
    • What are your qualifications to rent?

      A full description of our Leasing Policies is available on our website under the TENANTS tab and is also given to everyone who views the property. How long will it take to process my application? Most applications take 2 to 3 working days. The biggest delays are due to improperly completed applications, landlord slow response, and employer slow response. Please insure that the contact information you give us is current and that you have given your landlord the required notice that you are moving.

    • When will I hear from you once I submit my application?

      We respond to everyone who submits an application. You can expect to hear from us with a decision on your application within 24 hours.

    • What if I have special circumstances that I need to tell you about?

      Put your special circumstances in writing with your application. If we have any questions or concerns, we will call you.

    • Is the owner willing to make modifications to the property to accommodate a handicap?

      Fireside Property Management and the Property Owners will work with and comply with all applicable laws. Because some modifications may require licensing and permits, let us know specifically what changes you would like to make and we will discuss it with the property owner and our vendor. Unless the property is federally funded, the tenant is typically responsible for the costs incurred for the changes and bringing the property back to its original condition once you, the tenant, moves away.
    • Will you hold the property for me?

      Normally we do not hold any property. Fireside Property Management understands that when you find something that you like, you want to hold it. Until we have a signed Lease, Security Deposit, and a confirmed move in date, all properties are still available for Lease.
    • Can I have a 2-year lease?

      If you want to sign a 2-year lease, please just make that request when submitting your application and we will contact the property owner for approval. Otherwise, our typical leases are 12 months.
    • Is the rent negotiable?

      Rental prices are set at market rate. However, if you want to make a specific offer, you must submit a complete application along with the appropriate application fees. We will then present your offer to the property owner and if they are willing to accept your offer, we will then, and only then, process your application. If they are not willing to accept your offer, all fees will be returned to you intact. Please remember that our obligation is to the owner of the property and we will continue to show the property until we have an approved application and a signed Lease Agreement.
    • When is the rent due and where do I pay the rent?

      Rent is due on the 1st day of the month and is considered late on the 3rd. You will be provided with a link to our TENANT PORTAL which will allow you to pay your rent online. Rent can also be paid by mail or in person to: Fireside Property Management 2111 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, Ca 95125. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM. If the office is closed, please use the mail slot on the front door to pay rent. Never put cash thru our mail slot after hours. Please make sure that your name and address are on the envelope. Please specify your rental address in the memo field of your check.

    • Do I need renter’s insurance?

      Renters still have exposure to the same types of losses a homeowner has. That is why there is a special type of insurance called renter’s insurance. Neither the Property Management company’s nor the Homeowner's insurance policies cover tenants personal losses or liability.

Tenants are responsible for obtaining insurance for their personal property if they want to be covered in the event of fire, theft, or other type of loss. It is highly recommended that all residents carry enough insurance to cover themselves and their personal property. Please consult with your insurance agent for specific details. Renters Insurance is inexpensive and we recommend that you contact the company that insures your automobile..
    • Do you have a limit on the number of pets that are allowed at a property?

      Each of the properties managed by Fireside Property Management is owned by a different owner. Each property owner has their own criteria. Some allow pets, while others do not. Some allow cats, but no dogs. If the listing on our website indicates that the property does not accept pets, the owner has already made their decision not to accept pets. If the listing indicates that the property does accept pets, we adhere to our company policy of one pet per property. If you submit an application and have more than one pet, we will go to the owner and ask them to make a decision. Your application will not be processed until the owner says OK. If they say no, your application and all monies will be returned to you.
    • Is there a way to negotiate the deposit? Can the deposit be split up?

      Fireside Property Management does not negotiate the deposit. Unfortunately we cannot accept split payments.
    • Can I be approved with bad credit?

      In some cases, depending on how bad your credit is, we may be able to approve your rental application with a qualified cosigner or by requiring a larger Security Deposit from you. If your credit does not qualify you for any of those options, unfortunately, your application will be denied.
    • Can I pay all of my rent in advance?

      No, we can not accept advance rent payments.
    • What are your criminal background standards?

      Please refer to our Leasing Policies which is on our website and given to everyone who views our rental properties. Additionally, applicants that lie on their application can be denied as well.

    • Is the application fee refunded if I am denied?

      Fireside Property Management utilizes a 3rd party screening company to process all of our applications and the application fee goes towards those screening costs. Therefore, the application fees are non-refundable.

    • Can I use a co-signer?

      If you have no or low credit, or have an income ratio lower than our normal standard, you may be able to use an approved co-signer. Please understand that this is our decision to make and is out of the norm.

    • What exactly does the cosigner have to do to be approved?

      Many times an applicant has credit or income issues that cause an application denial. A co-signer is an easy fix. If we are willing to accept a co-signed for your specific circumstances, they will have to complete an application and pay an application fee. To qualify for a co-signer, they must have income that supports their current obligations plus the rental payment and strong credit.

    • Can the cosigner be taken off the lease once we sign?

      If the co-signer wishes to be removed from the lease, contact our office about 3 months prior to the lease termination. We’ll review your payment history, run a new credit report, verify current income, and if whatever condition caused us to require a co-signer is no longer applicable, you can renew without the co-signer

    • Do you take section 8?

      Each of the properties managed by Fireside Property Management is owned by a different owner and each owner has a different opinion. If you are on section 8, we recommend that you email us asking if this specific property owner accepts section 8. If they do, feel free to apply. If they don’t, we will recommend any properties that are currently available that do.
    • What are your occupancy standards?

      Fireside Property Management follows the general 2-plus-1 rule accepted by HUD. That means two occupants per bedroom, plus one additional occupant per household. Occasionally a home may have an additional room that can be considered a bedroom under this rule. If your needs differ from this standard, simply make that request known and we will work with HUD and the property owner to accommodate you

    • How much are late fees?

      Late fees vary depending on the property, please see your lease. If you are going to be late, please contact your Property Manager. Otherwise, Fireside Property Management is required to begin multiple actions to collect rent, which will incur more fees as well as the possibility of eviction. We don’t want to evict you anymore than you want to be evicted. So please, work with us if things get difficult. 

    • Why are you charging for serving a 3 Day Notice?

      Due to your not paying rent, we incur a lot of extra expense and time in delivering these notices.

    • What is a 3 Day Notice?

      A 3 Day Notice is a legal notice that rent is past due and that we can begin the eviction process. If you get such a notice, please contact our office immediately to either correct an error on our part, or to make an acceptable agreement to pay the rent in full.

    • Can I split my rent payment?

      Yes, we can accept a partial payment but keep in mind that any late rent payment will incur a late fee regardless of partial payments made. If you are late or expect to be late, the best thing to do is to contact your Property Manager. Communication at this point is the key. You can contact us at 408-386-5486.

    • Can I pay my rent thru auto-pay?

      Absolutely. Acceptable forms of rent payment are personal checks, Cashier’s Checks or Money Orders. You will be sent a link to set your Tenant Portal for the payment of rent electronically. Checks and online payments are a privilege and the privilege will be revoked if your check or online payment is rejected by your banking institution.
    • How many keys do I get?

      Fireside will supply two keys per home. If you want to have additional keys made, you may do so at your own expense.

    • Do we have full access to the community/HOA services as a tenant?

      Yes. You’ll enjoy the same benefits as the owner of the property would.

    • Who pays the HOA fees?

      The property owner pays the Homeowners Association dues. However, it is very common for the Homeowners Association to send statements and other important notices to the rental address. If you receive such notices, please forward them to our office immediately.

    • I don’t want the owner to come in and do inspections.

      With proper notice, both the property owner and Fireside Property Management have the right to view the property. The owner will have to make arrangements through us to view the property and we will accompany them. You will get, at a minimum, 24 hour notice of any such visit. Fireside does routine inspections 2-3 times per year. You will be contacted in writing before this occurs. 

    • What happens if I need to move before the end of my lease?

      This is covered very thoroughly in your lease agreement. Please call your Property Manager if you have additional questions at 408-386-5486

    • What do I do if I need to move out?

      Make sure that you are not breaking your lease. If you are breaking your lease, that is a whole different story. It is required that you provide a 30-day written notice and deliver to us via mail, email, fax, or hand deliver it.

    • What happens if only one roommate wants to move out?

      Your lease agreement spells this out very clearly. Please read your lease agreement and then contact us 408-386-5486.

    • Can I sublease my home or a room within it?

      You may not sublease any part of the property.

    • I have submitted my 30 Day Notice that I will be moving, but I need to retract my 30 Day Notice, what am I supposed to do?

      We are glad that you have chosen to stay. Just like your notice to vacate, your notice to stay needs to be in writing and sent to the office right away. The fastest approach would be to email your retraction to your Property Manager. There is always a chance that we may already have secured new tenants, so once you have sent your retraction, you may also want to call to confirm its receipt.
    • Do I have to turn in my keys to the office when I move out?

      Yes, until we receive keys we consider you to be in possession of the property. Rent charges will stop when we receive keys. Remember to not leave anything you want as everything will be considered trash and disposed of accordingly.

    • Can I use my security deposit as the last month’s rent?

      No. We are sorry, but the security deposit is to cover any and all damage to the property and any necessary cleaning or other charges and cannot be used for any other purpose.

    • Do I get any rent back if I move out early?

      If you move out prior to your lease termination date, you are still responsible for rent. It is our suggestion that you schedule a move-out inspection. Your lease agreement allows us to begin showing the home during the last 30 days of your tenancy. We will advertise and show the property those last 30 days. If we find a tenant to move in and begin to collect rent from them, your rent obligation ceases on that date. You are reminded that you must follow the procedures as outlined under Early Termination in your lease agreement.

    • When I move out why can’t I clean the carpet myself?

      The property’s carpets were professionally cleaned prior to your tenancy and must again be professionally cleaned. If you do have the carpets professionally cleaned, we will not accept Chem Dry as an acceptable service. Also, you must provide us a receipt for the professional cleaning.

    • I have given my 30 Day Notice, but I need an extra week to move out, what do I need to do?

      If we have the home leased already, depending on the move in date, we probably will not be able to accommodate your request. If we can accommodate you, we will and your rent will be prorated at the Month-to-Month rental rate. Please call your Property Manager to discuss this possibility. If the home is still available you must submit a written request with a specific holdover date. Once such a request is received, you will receive notification that the extension has been accepted or denied. You will be required to maintain the property and all utilities during the lease holdover period.

    • What do I have to do to get approval for cable/satellite installation?

      Call our office to request permission and at that time we will be able to tell you of any changes in the policies regarding cable/satellite installation.

    • At the end of my lease, what are my options?

      If you want to renew your lease, please notify us in writing that you want to renew. We will then discuss with the owner and either approve or deny your request. Alternately, you can simply continue to pay your rent as scheduled and go Month-to-Month.

    • How much will it cost me if I break my lease?

      Please refer to your lease, especially the paragraphs about Default and Early Termination. Remember that calculations will vary depending on the circumstances. You can also call your Property Manager at 408-386-5486, and they will go through this with you.

    • I am getting married or a new roommate, do they have to apply?

      Any additional occupants that are 18 years and older, must submit an application and application fee to be approved. Fireside Property Management does this for your safety. We will conduct the following checks on them – Criminal Background Check, Eviction History and the Last 2 years Tenancy. If the results of the screening are acceptable, we can email you the documentation that needs signed or we can schedule a time for all of you to come in and sign the lease amendment.

    • How do I take someone off the lease?

      Any change to your lease must be in writing. If someone has moved out, it might be to your best interest to keep them on the lease, as they are as responsible for the rent payments as you are. However, if they have moved out or in the process of moving out, we simply need something in writing from both the departing tenant and the remaining tenant requesting the change. If the remaining tenant qualifies on their own accord, we will gladly make the change. If they don’t, the remaining tenant may have to pay a higher deposit or keep the vacating tenant on the lease until it terminates. Fireside Property Management can email you the paperwork or you can schedule a time to come to the office to sign the new documents. Please contact your Property Manager at 408-386-5486 to work out the details.

    • How does a Lease take over work?

      Fireside Property Management does not allow someone to take over your lease. Refer to your lease agreement, specifically the paragraphs about Default and Early Termination.

    • When do I get my deposit back?

      Per your lease agreement, your deposit will be refunded, less any charges authorized in your lease, within 21 days of the time you vacated the property. If you fail to give proper notice and a forwarding address, your deposit will be mailed to your rental address with instructions to please forward.

    • My electronic payment didn’t go through. Am I late on rent if I pay by check?

      Yes, if it is received after the 3rd day of the month.

    • I don’t get paid until the 10th and I’m calling to let you know it’s not my fault, do I still have to pay late fees?

      Fireside Property Management charges late fees and we are sorry, but they are not be waived. But, please communicate with us and keep us in the loop or we will have to start eviction proceedings if we don’t hear from you.

    • I paid rent at 5:30 in the drop box on the 3rd, will I be charged late fees?

      Your lease agreement specifies that your rent is due on the first and you have a 3 day grace period. This is 3 days total grace period. We check the mail and the drop box the morning of the 4th (even on weekends and holidays) and if the rent is not there, you will be charged late fees.

    • I’m going out of town and won’t be back until the 8th. Can I make arrangements to pay my rent upon my return?

      Rent is due on the 1st and late fees are accrued for all rents received after the 3rd day of each month. To avoid late fees, you should pay your rent before leaving, but if you can’t, please contact us and let us know when rent will be paid so that we know and don’t serve an eviction notice.

    • If the property goes into foreclosure, do I still have to pay my rent?

      Yes. Per the management agreement we have with the owner, we are required to collect rents as the agent of the owner, until the property is no longer belongs to the owners. Per the rental agreement, the tenant is required to pay rent until the term of the lease is fulfilled. If the lease has rolled over to a month-to-month lease or the lease expires, the tenant can vacate after providing the required 30 days written notice.

    • If the property is foreclosed upon, what happens to my Security and Pet Deposits?

      Per California laws, we will immediately return any and all Deposits we hold to you as soon as it is confirmed that our Principal (the Owner) has truly been foreclosed upon.

    • What is a companion or support animal?

      Any animal that’s prescribed by a health care provider to people to do work, perform tasks or provide comfort for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

    • My pet is a support or companion animal. May I rent the property now?

      First you still need to apply to ensure that you meet our acceptance criteria such as credit, income, and criminal background. We will also need a written notice from your healthcare provider confirming your animal companion status and normally your Service Animal will have a certification that we need to get a copy of.

    • How do I submit a Maintenance Request?

      All Maintenance Requests must be in writing. For faster service, please submit your maintenance request online at our web site under the TENANTS tab. But before submitting a Maintenance Request, please refer to the RESIDENT HANDBOOK uploaded to your tenant portal at move in. There is a section on common minor repairs that can be easily done by tenants. If your issue is covered in the RESIDENT HANDBOOK, we will ask you to consult this before we send a maintenance person.

    • How long before I hear back from someone regarding a Maintenance Request?

      Once you have submitted a Maintenance Request, the repair person should be there within two business days, or should have at a minimum, made telephone contact with you. Phone requests are only accepted for absolute emergencies, such as flooding or structural damage to the home. If you have not heard from our office or our vendor in three days, please contact your Property Manager at 408-386-5486.

    • What is considered an emergency?

      Examples of emergencies are active water flooding and anything you believe to be dangerous to your health that can’t wait until the next business day. No heat in the middle of winter is a priority call, but is not considered an emergency. **For FIRE, GAS or Natural Disasters, call 911 First!**

    • What am I responsible for maintaining?

      You are responsible for changing heater filters and fresh smoke detector batteries at all times. Light bulbs also need to be maintained by the residents. Yard maintenance is your responsibility unless you were informed otherwise at the time of your lease signing. Please refer to your lease.

    • Can I plant my own landscaping?

      Not without owners approval. If you want to do some planting please let us know ahead of time and we will work to get approval for you.

    • Can I make repairs and deduct them from my rent?

      No, you may not deduct repairs from your rent. Some minor repairs/troubleshooting can be done by the tenant, such as flipping a breaker or unclogging a toilet. But for the most part, tenants should not take the risk or liability in attempting their own repairs. For a list of repairs and troubleshooting that are approved, please refer to the RESIDENT HANDBOOK uploaded to your tenant portal at move in. Since many repairs do require a professional who is licensed, bonded, and insured, please use our online maintenance request form to submit your maintenance requests.

    • Do I need approval to paint or change something in the home?

      Any and all changes or modifications to the property must be pre-approved by Fireside and the property owner. All requests must be in writing and if you are requesting a paint color change, we must have a sample to present to the owner. In most cases, at the end of your tenancy, you will be required to return the home to the original colors (your property manager will let you know about this prior to approval).

    • We have ants/roaches/spiders or other pests.

      Prior to your moving in, the home was treated by a professional exterminator therefore you should only observe insects/pests that are dead. If you experience live insects the first week of your tenancy, our exterminator will retreat the home. Please contact us at 408-386-5486. Per your lease agreement, the owner is responsible to treat for wood eating insects (Carpenter Ants and Termites). Other than that, treatment of insects is the tenant’s responsibility.

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