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Allison Witkowski

Sales Associate

Rental Properties

Looking to Rent a Home? Be Prepared!

As a Realtor with ReMax Properties, I meet lots of clients, some who are looking to sell, some who want to buy, and some who due to other circumstances would like to rent an apartment, town-home or single-family house.

As a rental expert managing landlord properties and a tenant advocate, I want to let you know "the Real Deal" when it comes to finding that perfect rental.
In order to find the right apartment, town-house, or house to rent, you must be prepared for what to do before you set out to look at homes, what to do during the search, and what to do once you've found the right place.

As a prospective tenant, here is the information you need to know:

Before you start the search:

1. Create a list of anything and everything  you'd like your new home to have. Would you like a dishwasher, hardwood floors, washer and dryer, or pool? Would you prefer an apartment, town-house, multifamily home, or single-family home? It's a great idea to set priorities on your preferences. Remember to make a distinction between what you want and what you need!

2. Always be prepared! Have on hand some important information that your Realtor will need. This includes:

  • Credit check: www.freecreditreport.com;
  • Resume/letter of recommendation;
  • Completed lease application;
  • Pay stubs/bank statements may be needed if you started a new position within the last six months or are currently unemployed.

3. Keep in mind that many landlords will want to verify your work references. Contact your references (including your former landlord) ahead of time so that they know they may receive a call. A great tip to getting a great reference is to ask the person ahead of time, "I'm going to be looking at places to rent, and I'm going to need references. If I were to put you as a reference, would you be willing to give me a glowing recommendation?" Remember, if you don't ask for it, you may not get it!

During the search:

4. It's best to look at the potential units during the daytime. It's important to know how much natural light enters a home. It's also easier to see in what condition the unit is in and whether more work is needed on the unit to make it more habitable.

5. Always do a walk-though of any unit you're seriously interested in. You're also going to want to ask about any damage you may see (always do this before you sign the lease!) Make a list of any damage you see and give this to your Realtor. Your Realtor will get the landlord's initials on the list and will attach this to your lease in order to absolve you of responsibility later. This prevents many headaches down the road!

6. Ask questions! The time to ask is before the lease is signed. Some great questions to ask are:

  • How large is the water heater?
  • What's the parking situation?
  • What are the neighbors like?
  • Are there shopping malls/supermarkets nearby?
  • What is the pet policy?
  • What are the utilities that you will be responsible for?

7. Introduce yourself to your potential neighbors! The most important neighbors to meet are the ones that you will share walls with, which are the ones on the same floor and those above and below you. Find out their thoughts on noise, what they like about the area, and most importantly, find out if they're friendly!

8. Bring a tape measure and a list of your larger furniture's measurements so you can see how things will fit and what you might need to buy.

9. See a few places that fit your characteristics of a potential place to live so you can have an idea of what your budget generally gets you as a home.

Once you've found the right place:

10. Be prepared to act quickly when you find something you like and make sure your Realtor knows how much you like the home! A rental that might be on the market one day can be gone the next day! That's why it is imperative to act quickly and give your Realtor your credit report with score, the initial deposit, and lease application so that your Realtor can give the landlord all that information before someone else comes in to rent the same property. The lease application demonstrates your serious intent to rent the property, and this generally means the property is held for you until negotiations are over between both Realtors.

11. Take a look at your lease and be sure you understand it. If you have any questions, make sure to ask your Realtor.

If you are looking to rent a property and need additional information, or a landlord needing assistance to find a qualified tenant, you can visit my website at www.njrentalqueen.com.


Are you looking for a House for rent or an Apartment in Ridgewood, Glen Rock, HoHokus, Saddle River or the surrounding area in Bergen Cournty?  Are you a part of a corporate relocation. Do you need long or short term housing, a furnished or unfurnished rental.

I can help you find the perfect rental whether it be a Houses for rent, Condo rentals, TownhousesGarden Apartment, or a 2-Family rental all across the Bergen County area. 

Obtaining a rental is a process no matter which type of home your looking for, I can help make it as painless as possible.

"Always Ask for Allison" and I will make sure you get exactly what you want! 

I can be contacted at allison.witkowski@remax.net or give me a call at 201-790-5544.