Baker Street’s application has a lot of required fields, and sometimes these fields do not offer enough flexibility. We understand that this often happens, so we have some easy solutions. For fields such as “Landlord Name” or “Employer Name”, entering a simple “Not Applicable" or "No Employment” is just fine. For fields with numbers, you can enter in “0”’s; for example, a “Phone Number” can be “000-000-0000”. For fields with an “Email Address,” you can enter an obvious invalid email, such as “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Additionally, it is important to indicate sources of income, even if not through an “Employer”. For example, if you do not work full time, but you have a scholarship that helps you pay rent, you can list that scholarship information (to the best of your ability) under “Employment”. The “Blurb” section in the application is a good place to include any helpful clarifications.
If you are an undergraduate student, the answer to this question is yes because often undergraduate students have little to no credit, rental or employment history, and do not work full-time. Therefore, we require someone else with the above history (a co-signer) to accept your responsibilities of the lease along with you. A co-signer cannot be another tenant who resides on the property with you, and a co-signer is often a parent or legal guardian of the tenant.
If you are not an undergraduate student, the answer to this question is not quite as clear, so ask a leasing team member before filling out the application. If you are unsure, we will never ask you to remove a co-signer on your application, but we may ask you to add a co-signer. Baker Street will make the final decision whether or not a co-signer is required based on your credit, rental and employment history, as well as your current income. If we decide a co-signer is not required, you may be asked to fill out a background/credit check form in addition to the application. Baker Street may also wait to decide if a co-signer is needed until after the background/credit check is performed.
A co-signer is someone who accepts the responsibilities of your lease with you. In other words, if you do not carry out your lease responsibilities, we will expect the co-signer to do so instead. An example would be if rent is due and the tenant does not pay, the co-signer will be expected to pay instead.
A co-signer is often a parent or legal guardian of the tenant. A co-signer is someone with credit, rental and employment history, and income from a full-time job or similar source, who is willing to accept the responsibilities of the lease along with you. A co-signer cannot be another tenant who resides on the property with you.
Yes, if you have decided to add a co-signer, or have been asked to include a co-signer after your application has been submitted, you can easily add your co-signer's information by filling out the Co-Signer Form.
The lease agreement is a legal contract, so each tenant’s social security number is required. If you are required to fill out a background/credit check form, your social security number will be used to run a “soft” background/credit check. A co-signer’s social security number is only used if the tenant does not carry out his/her responsibilities of the lease. We typically do not ask co-signers to fill out background/credit check forms, and if we do, we will ask them to approve the check first, so it will not be done without their knowledge.
Social Security Numbers are important for legal contracts. However, if you do not have one, the easiest solution is to add a co-signer of someone who does. If this is not an option, contact the leasing team at email@example.com to find the best solution.
If you do not include a co-signer on your application, you will be asked to fill out a background/credit check form to run a “soft” background/credit check. We follow all local laws and ordinances regarding the use of background checks. As such, background checks are not included in the decision-making process for tenants residing in the City of Ann Arbor. Credit checks are included as part of that process.
If a tenant does not have a co-signer, we require a housing to income ratio of between 30-34%, a debt to income ratio at or below 36%, and a credit score at or above 650. We have a general application form and a background/credit check for each tenant to fill out and make decisions based on rental history, employment, income, credit, and criminal history (where local laws allow). Circumstances vary, so if you have specific concerns, just ask the leasing team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baker Street has implemented a new policy to no longer charge application fees. Instead, a Lease Processing Fee is charged. This encourages people to fill out applications without the risk of being charged an application fee if they do not sign a lease. The Lease Processing Fee covers the administrative costs of processing applications and the lease. It will be added to the lease ledger to pay online upon lease signing along with the first month's rent. The fee is $95 per adult (18+) tenant. We do not charge a Lease Processing Fee for children under 18 residing at the property. Check out the Lease Processing Fee for more information.
All applications are emailed to tenants individually. Therefore, if you are living with more than one person, each person will receive his/her application separately to fill out. Note, each email link is unique to that person, so you cannot forward your email or link to another person. If you would like to move forward in the leasing process and receive applications, all we need from you is the full name (first and last) of each tenant and the email address of each tenant. To preview our application, check out our Application Form. You can always contact the leasing team at email@example.com to receive applications or ask any questions!
Because there is no application fee, you will not be charged anything if you change your mind or do not end up leasing the property. If you do change your mind, Baker Street always appreciates receiving that update, so we can pursue other interested parties.
All leases are signed jointly. This means all tenants and their co-signers are collectively responsible and liable for all responsibilities of the lease, including rent payments. If one tenant does not carry out a responsibility of the lease, the other tenants will be responsible and liable. If all tenants do not carry out a responsibility of the lease, all co-signers will collectively be responsible and liable. Therefore, it is highly recommended to sign a lease with people you completely trust to carry out their lease responsibilities. If there is a conflict between tenants regarding any lease responsibilities, Baker Street will not get involved and expects the tenants to resolve the conflict themselves. Check out the Understanding A Group Lease For Tenants guide with more details.
The lease agreement is a legal contract between the tenants and Baker Street on behalf of the Property Owner, which states the responsibilities, which are mutually agreed to by all parties. If the tenants do not carry out their responsibilities outlined in the lease, Baker Street will have the right to take necessary legal action.
Once all applications are submitted and approved, a lease for your property will be drafted and emailed through Buildium HelloSign. Like the applications, each tenant and each co-signer will receive an email with a link to sign the lease in his/her designated spot. Each email link is unique to that person, so you cannot forward your email or link to another person. Once all tenants and co-signers have signed, Baker Street will countersign.
The lease is considered executed after Baker Street has countersigned. However, if the first month’s rent and lease processing fee are not collected within 2 weeks of the lease execution date, unless otherwise agreed to, Baker Street reserves the right to terminate the lease, and the tenants may be subject to the lease termination fees within the lease. To make your first month’s rent and lease processing fee payments, you’ll have to activate your online account. After all tenants have signed the lease, tenants will receive an email to do this. For information regarding payments and online accounts, check out the guides for Making An Online One-Time Payment and Payment And Lease Ledger FAQs.
Baker Street’s standard lease template is written as if tenants are responsible for all utilities (gas, electric, water/sewer, trash/recycling, internet) and services (lawn care, snow removal, landscaping), which is the case for some properties, but not all. If there are some utilities and services tenants are not responsible for, it will be listed on the first page, the Summary page, of the lease agreement. Please refer to your lease’s Summary page if you are unsure. If there is a flat fee for any utilities, that will also be noted on the Summary page. Tenants are expected to set up service for utilities to start on the lease start date, 3 days prior to the lease start date and will be asked to send confirmation of the service set up. Tenants will not gain access to the property until all required utilities are set up.
There are two options if you would like to no longer reside on the property. The first and most common option is to sublease your interest in the premises. For instructions on subleasing, check out the guide, How to Sublease my room or unit.
The second, less preferred option, is outlined in the Lease Termination section of the lease agreement. Please refer to your lease for the termination terms. In the standard lease, tenants may terminate the lease early with 60 days prior written notice and after paying the termination fee equating to four (4) months of rent. You can always reach out to Baker Street’s leasing team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation and possible solutions.
No, there is not a clause in the lease agreement for COVID-19. Housing is essential, and whether the property is an apartment or house, the environment is still safe and habitable. Any scheduling adjustments from a college or university does not change this factor. Therefore, the lease agreement shall remain in full effect. Baker Street has continued to offer subleasing or switching of tenants on group leases, who have had to change plans during this time. For instructions on subleasing, check out the guide, How to Sublease my room or unit.
Yes! If you would like to move forward with the leasing process, but you do not have all of your group members, that is okay with us! For example, if you would like to lease a four-bedroom house, but you only have a group of three at the time, we will gladly send you applications and even the lease before you find your fourth person. Just let us know when you find that additional person or people, and we will send applications to add them as well. Note, if you select to go this route, your group will be fully responsible for the lease and the rent, even before another person is added.
Ask a leasing team member to be sure, as this varies based on property. Most properties allow more people than bedrooms to reside at the property. For example, if your group of six would like to lease a five-bedroom house with the intent that two people will share a room, that is usually okay with us. Of course there are always some properties that are the exception of this rule, so always check with us before you commit to doing this. If the property you selected does not allow this, we can always suggest another property that will. Note, if you select to do this, each tenant will still need to be added to the lease. Also note, if there are people residing at the property that are not on the lease, tenants will be subject to fees as this is a lease violation.
Pet policies, including emotional support animals, vary based on property. Baker Street will accept emotional support animals with proper documentation, even if there is a no pet policy. Ask a leasing team member to see what type of pets, if any, are allowed at your property. If you are authorized to have a pet at the property, then there is a $100 Pet Registration Fee, and a Monthly $50 Pet Rent thereafter for one pet. The Pet Registration Fee is a one-time non-refundable charge. If you have two or more pets, then there is a $100 Pet Registration Fee, and then Monthly $75 Pet Rent thereafter. Please find our Pet Registration Form. Check out the Pet Policy and Emotional Support Animal guides for more information.
We are not able to accommodate early move-ins. We often have many properties with the same move-in date and need the time to adequately prepare your unit. Please carefully read your lease start date and be sure you have made arrangements if there is a gap between your past lease and your new lease.
Unless the owner has other plans with the property or there are other legal grounds for not offering a renewal, all tenants in good standing will be offered the opportunity to renew their lease. Baker Street approaches tenants about renewing 6 months prior to the lease end date, but you can always contact the leasing team at email@example.com to inquire about renewing your lease.
Parking varies based on property. Parking for a property will be listed on the first page, the Summary page, of the lease agreement. Check out the guide, How Does Parking Work?, for more information.
The first month’s rent and lease processing fee are due within 2 weeks of signing the lease. The security deposit, non-refundable cleaning fee, and one-time pet fees (if applicable) are due one month before move-in. Therefore, the total upfront costs are:
The leasing process can be as long or as short as you make it, but Baker Street’s goal is to get leases signed as quickly and efficiently as possible. A lease can easily be signed within a 24-hour period during week days. Remember, everything is done online. As tenants, it benefits you to sign a lease quickly too, so that you can secure a property faster and allow less time for others to pass you during the leasing process.
There are not any deadlines to turn in your application or sign the lease; however, the rate that you do this will affect your chance to secure a property. We typically treat the lease signing process on a first-come-first-served basis. Submitting a Wait List Deposit will grant you a higher priority to securing a property, but always remember a property is not officially secured until a lease is signed and the up-front payments (first month’s rent and lease processing fee) have been paid.
There is a deadline for making the payment for the first month’s rent, lease processing fee, security deposit, cleaning fee, and pet fees. Our policy states the first month’s rent and lease processing fee are due within 2 weeks of lease signing. Once a lease has been signed, you will be given a concrete date to get those payments made. If the payments do not come in at the deadline, Baker Street may terminate the lease and/or pursue other tenants until the payment is made.
To secure priority on the wait list, you will need to place a $1,000 deposit. You can send the deposit via Venmo at Baker-Street. The first person to place a deposit will receive next priority to the current tenants, and so on. Note, sometimes the current tenants tell us that they do not want to stay another lease term before they are required, so it is possible to receive first priority after all. If you receive first priority of the property, your $1,000 deposit will be credited to your first month’s rent payment, which is due at lease signing.
As a side note, the security deposit (1.5 month’s rent for Ann Arbor properties), which is different than the wait list deposit, is due one month before move-in. If you place a deposit and someone with a higher priority, such as the current tenants, leases the property instead, you will receive a full refund of your deposit. However, if you receive first priority to lease the property and you change your mind, you will lose your deposit.
The typical lease term is 12 months. However, this does vary based on property, so check with a leasing team member. If the property does not allow any lease terms shorter than 12 months, you can always sublease your unit or room during the time that you do not want to reside at the property. For instructions on subleasing, check out the guide, How to Sublease my room or unit.