Fair Housing-Better Apartments’ is an equal opportunity housing provider. We are compliant with the Federal Fair Housing act and its guidelines as well as State and Municipal landlord-tenant regulations. We do not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual-orientation, age, disability, source of income, national origin, or familial status.
Application Process-At this time, in an effort to protect applicants' sensitive and personal information, Better Apartments does not have an online application process. It is felt that the potential for online data theft is not considered to justify the convenience. For that reason, Better Apartments' collects hard applications and fees in person or by mail. Our mailing address for applications and fees is published on page two of the application. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
All potential residents over the age of 18 must submit a rental application with corresponding $45 non-refundable screening fee and truthfully answer all questions on the form. Supplemental materials, such as income documentation, regardless of source, may also be required for screening purposes. In the interest of expediting results, it is suggested that applicants provide some form of income documentation; however, it is not required in all cases.
It is expected that all applicants seeking housing are experienced or knowledgeable and understand the importance of properly completing an application. If supplemental materials or documentation is required by the screening company, the applicant will be contacted and provided with an opportunity to submit said materials. Incomplete applications may be denied, while applications with falsified information and/or references will be denied.
It is important to note that for a variety of reasons, primarily accuracy, efficiency, and privacy, Better Apartments contracts its screening services to Bemrose Consulting, one of the larger Portland Metro screening companies. "Comprehensive reusable" tenant screening reports are not accepted.
Completed applications are forwarded to our screening firm, Bemrose Consulting, where they will check credit history, criminal history, and employment history as well as rental references to confirm that they meet the rental criteria outlined below. If the screening company determines that an applicant or group of applicants meets the rental criteria, Bemrose Consulting will make a recommendation regarding the “approvability” of a potential resident. If the screening company recommends that the application be approved, Better Apartments will approve the application. Similarly, if the screening company recommends a denial, Better Apartments will deny the application. Better Apartments always accepts the recommendation decision provided by its screening company. For your information, the application process generally takes around three business days; however, delays and denials do occur if references do not respond or do not reply in a timely matter.
Once again, screening fees are non-refundable and please allow a minimum of three business days for application processing. If an application is denied, prospective tenants are encouraged to re-apply after a 30-day period.
Rental criteria-To qualify for an apartment, you must meet the following criteria;
- Income-The applicant or group of applicants’ monthly income must be at least three times the monthly rent amount. If income is less than three times the rental amount, the application may be denied.
- Rental History- Applicants must have satisfactory rental references from at least one third-party landlord. A satisfactory rental reference is from a landlord or manager of a residence where the applicant resided for a minimum of one year. The reference itself must also be satisfactory. Lease violations, late payments, damages or other negative information may result in a denial. If you have been evicted or sued for any lease violation within the past five years, we will reject your application. If you have no prior rental history, a co-signer may be decisive for approval. Applicants who have negative and unresolved rental history with Better Apartments may be denied. Applicants who have negative and unresolved rental history with other property management companies or landlords may be denied. "Unresolved" is defined as no verifiable or demonstrable intention of making amends, negotiating, or repaying debts to previous landlord(s).
- Credit history-Applicants must have a valid social security number so that their credit report can be pulled by the screening company. Applicants’ credit record must currently be satisfactory. Satisfactory is to be defined as no major outstanding debts or debts "written off" by creditors as "un-collectable" or in other words, sent to collections. If the credit history shows any major unpaid debts, property liens, judgments, unpaid child support, or bankruptcies, we may reject the application. A Bankruptcy can be a very difficult obstacle to overcome for prospects. It must be at least two years since the bankruptcy; the applicant must also have positive credit since bankruptcy.
- Criminal history- If the applicant has ever been convicted of a sexual offense, he or she will be denied. If the applicant has ever been convicted of a violent crime of any type, such as assault or domestic violence, he or she will be denied. If the applicant has been convicted of a felony within the past ten years, the application will be denied. Most non-traffic misdemeanors less than five years old will also result in rejection. If the applicant has been convicted of a crime involving fraud or theft or any other type of dishonesty within the last ten years, the application will be denied. A criminal history indicating a pattern of criminal behavior may be denied.
Guarantors- Occasionally, an applicant can successfully apply with the assistance of a co-signer. This generally occurs in a first-time rental situation (applicants with zero rental history) and is at the sole discretion of the screening company. The guarantor must submit an application as a co-signer. A qualified co-signer is a business or property owner in Washington State that generates five times the amount of the rent in monthly income.
Apartment Availability Policy-Units become available when they are ready for occupancy, in other words, “move in ready”. A vacant apartment will not be deemed available until it has been prepared for a new resident. We rent available apartments to applicants in the order that their applications are approved not received; however, applications accepted with deposits take priority. In other words, in a competitive environment with many applications pending, the first applicant approved with a deposit on file will be offered the unit. In non-competitive environments, approved applicants are required to make the decision to rent the specific unit they were approved for within 24 hours of notification. A deposit is generally considered an affirmative decision. It is assumed that approved applicants who do not respond affirmatively or provide a deposit are no longer interested in the unit and have found other accommodations.
Lease Terms-Better Apartments’ does not offer month-to-month residency. In order to maintain affordable rental rates, all contracts are for 12 month periods.
Occupancy guidelines- To prevent overcrowding and undue stress on plumbing and other building systems, and in accordance with federal housing guidelines, the number of residents permitted to reside in a unit is restricted. Federal Law requires that we allow no more than two persons per bedroom plus one additional person per apartment home. In other words, up to five people are legally permitted in a two bedroom unit whereas up to seven people are legally permitted in a three bedroom unit.
Keep in mind, all residents remaining on the premises for more than 14 days must be approved and sign a responsibility agreement. Guests that do not do this are considered unauthorized occupants.
Pet Policy-Some, but certainly not all, of Better Apartments' units are pet-friendly. In order to move in with your pet, we require both a non-refundable pet fee of $300 per animal as well as strict adherence to a pet agreement, which requires the purchase liability insurance coverage. Please click forms on the navigation bar to survey the pet agreement addendum.
All pets must be approved prior to move in and applicants are encouraged to bring their pets with them when viewing a vacancy or when applying for screening. Approval of all animals will remain at the landlords' or landlord's agents' discretion. Approval decisions are based on references (if available) breed type, perceived aggressiveness, and size. Lastly, one residence may not be home to more than two animals or pets.
As aforementioned above, there are restrictions on the breed of animals that can occupy Better Apartments’ units. No pets or animals with a history of violence, by breed or by case, will be approved. “Unnapprovable” breeds include, but are not limited to; Pit Bulls, Staffordshire terriers, Boxers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, American Bull Dogs, Labs and Dobermans. Any mixed breed of dog that has the appearance, or behavioral characteristics of any of the aforementioned breeds will be denied. This should not be considered a comprehensive list as insurance companies add and subtract breeds from the potentially dangerous dog list on an annual basis.
In accordance with ADA and FHA regulations, verified service animals are not subject to pet fee charges. However, owners of verified service animals must document the need and make a formal written request for reasonable accommodation. Service animal handlers/owners must also demonstrate that the animal will not be a danger or nuisance to any persons on the property or the property itself.