What Renters Need to Know in 2015!

The rental market has been heating up since the housing meltdown in 2008 and homeowners who walked away from their, gave up their home, got cash for keys or however they have chosen to change their address, the process for renting a home or apartment is much different than it was five years ago. Paperwork is King or Queen. lol.


While agents work with renters on a daily basis to service their rental needs, it can be a very frustrating ordeal for both sides. Why? Because not all agents or (dare I say) renters are the same. Here are some tips to making the rental process a smooth one:

1. Renters choose one (1) agent ONLY to work with. There is only one Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that has the same properties and if you jump from agent to agent they are showing you the same properties in the same MLS. If that agent has proven themselves unworthy of your patronage then write, text or call them and let them know. If you just jump to another agent without telling them, that will create confusion and frustration because you didn’t let the agent know so that agent thinks they are still working for you.  For example, one of my colleagues was working diligently with her rental client and she didn’t inform the other agent that she was working with her agent nor did she inform her agent that she signed a leasing agreement to move into her new place in 5 days. Now my colleague will be out of that commission after all of the showing  of rental properties which includes driving to each property.

2. Be prepared to bring in paperwork. Be prepared to fill out paperwork. If you are renting an apartment or house in 2015, you will be filling out paperwork. Gone are the days where you just show up and pay money (unless it is a private owner) and just move in. If the property is listed with a brokerage firm then the owners want the agent to handle all of the vetting (screening) of all prospective renters. Therefore, a credit/background check will be run to determine if there are any evictions, a criminal record and yes your credit history. This information is used by the owner to determine who will get the apartment or home. The agent does not have the last word unless it is the agent who actually owns the property or the owner has given the agent the power of attorney (verbal or written) to make that decision.

3. Be prepared to go into the office FIRST. Before the agent will take you to see any available rentals know that the agent wants to know if she or he is going to be able to assist you. For example, if your credit report reveals that your score is low (400-550), or you have past evictions, the agent may not be able to assist you. Please know that it is not the agent, it is the owner who has stated their criteria for renting their home or apartment. In some instances, agents may take you to see one apartment or home before you go to the office but if they do not, don’t expect it.

4. Every office doesn’t accept the same Credit Reports. Be aware that the Realtor/Agent that you are working with has no control over the fees associated with the credit application. For example, our office charges $36 per person for anyone 18 or over. If you are a married couple with the same last name the fee is $45. However, if you find an apartment or home that you like, the other office may require that you pay their fee and may not accept the report that our office has run. The agent has no control over that. That fee is usually non-refundable even if you do not get the apartment or home.

Be aware that the Realtor/agent is working hard FOR YOU, but you have to be willing to WORK WITH them in order to make it all work.

To Your Rental Success,



20150207_184811_resized_2The Atlantic City Press missed a great opportunity to share with the Atlantic City residents who weren’t able to get into PAL on Saturday, February 7, 2015 because folks had to be turned away for being filled to capacity to share a good happening in Atlantic City. Despite the job losses from casino closings and foreclosures, residents of Atlantic City still have lives to live and children to keep busy and in positive action. To that end residents like Shameka Roberts and her crew also known as Xclusive Drill Team along with Xclusive Jr, Hot Topic and Blaze are offering our Atlantic City Youth a positive outreach for their creativity in dance.

It was a wonderful time had by all with recognition, appreciation and acknowledgement bestowed upon all deserving parties such as the single mother of four who is also a college student who has given her all to make sure the group had what was needed in order for her children as well as the other children get it done. Their acronym is C.A.R.E. – Caring, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.

There was also a 50/50 Raffle and the winner, a gentleman, graciously shared his portion with the children.

It was a great event and I look forward to supporting these young people who are definitely Youth In Positive Action.

Atlantic City Youth in Positive Action


vacantAs of January 2015 the City of Pleasantville, NJ has instituted a new Ordinance, City of Pleasantville Abandoned Residential Property Ordinance (#22-2014) and the Abandoned Property Rehabilitation Act (P.L. 2003, o. 210), the City is requiring the mandatory registration of all vacant properties in the municipality,

As stated in the Ordinance:

An Annual registration fee shall accompany the registration form. The fee and registration shall be valid for the calendar year or remaining portion of the calendar year in which the registration was initially required. Subsequent registrations and fees are due January 1st of each year and must be received no later than March 31st of the year due. In the event that such payments are not made by March 31st of the year due, a late fee in the amount of $50 will be charged in addition to any other fees due.

     The fee for registering an Abandoned Residential Property shall be $500.

All questions or additional information can be directed to Kevin Cain at 609-484-3614.

This new ordinance may prove to be a financial burden however time will tell.



CHANGE is Happening in Atlantic City!

I have been working on contracts and getting frustrated etc. as is sometimes the case in the Real Estate Arena. Deals come and deal go but life goes on.

Moving on, a few things happening in Atlantic City. The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York announced grants for affordable housing projects. Atlantic City and Vineland was included to the amounts of $847,000 for Atlantic City and $263,500 for Vineland.

Med2There are a few projects going in Atlantic City. On South Carolina and Mediterranean, they are even working on Sunday to get the project completed. I don’t know their exact timeline but I am seeing progress. I envy those residents as they will be directly across the street from Ginsburg Bakery with the yummy smells of cinnamon-raisin floating around every a.m. Lovely smells to awaken to every morning.

The grant to the Atlantic City Housing Authority & Urban Redevelopment Agency will assist in financing its latest HOPE VI project, which will be a 90-unit apartment comprised of 18 buildings in the back Maryland section of the city. These units will be a mix of market rate and subsidized housing.

As I look around for more changes, I found this project of which I do not know any of the particulars so I took a picture:

20150201_083703_resizedThis is across the street from the Resorts sign on Absecon Boulevard and across the street from the High Gate condominiums in Atlantic City.

Big Changes are in store for Atlantic City and this can only mean that the City is preparing for an influx of new residents to move into the area. This should be a good thing as change is always good. It looks like with the mixed residential projects on the horizon, the residents who live here should benefit as well with new housing for all income levels.

Momma always said, “Time will tell”.