November 21, 2022

Leasing Process & Steps

Interested in leasing with us? Baker Street embraces technology to make leasing with us simple and easy!

Finding Your Place

Baker Street manages over 150 units in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Between all of our properties, we can almost always help you find a great place that fits what you're looking for!

Property Search

You are welcome to contact us at for a fast response regarding any properties or listings that we have available.  If you are not sure which property works best for you, we can help narrow down your search!  You can send us details as to what you are looking for, including:  budget, move-in date, location, number of bedrooms, etc., and we will be able to point you in the right direction!  If you prefer a DIY-style search, a good place to start is our Listings page, which is where all of our current listings are located.

Virtual Tours

To enhance our leasing service, Baker Street offers virtual tours for most properties.  This allows future tenants to preview a property before even stepping foot in the door!  Virtual tours are a great tool to narrow down your search, or for those who cannot make it to a tour in-person.  If you would like to request a virtual tour, just contact us at and we will gladly send one over to you! We also offer live video tours for those who do not currently live in the area.

Schedule an In-Person Tour

If you are able and feel comfortable, we recommend touring a property in-person before signing a lease, or at least before you move in.  Scheduling a tour is easy!

Contacting us at is the best way to set up a tour.

Wait List

Due to the city ordinance in Ann Arbor, we cannot tour properties located in Ann Arbor until 149 days prior to the end of the lease and the current tenants have been offered a lease.

If you are in competition with another group for a property the best way to receive priority is to fill out applications for your group. If your application is approved you can then security a priority place on the wait list by placing 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. 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.

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.

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.

Filling out an Application

Once you have toured and selected your place, you will need an application. Everything is done online!

Receiving Applications

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 us at to receive applications or ask any questions!  Our FAQ page is also a helpful resource for answers to commonly asked questions regarding the application process.


Unless approved ahead of time, anyone who does not have full-time employment will need a co-signer on the application.  This means each person will have his/her own co-signer.  A co-signer is someone who also signs the lease agreement to act on your behalf if your lease responsibilities have not been met. A co-signer cannot be another tenant who resides on the property with you, and a co-signer is often a parent of legal guardian of the tenant.

Background and Credit Check

Applicants may also be emailed a form for a background and credit check, especially if there is not a co-signer on the application.  This form is used for tenants only and will not be used for co-signers.  We use TransUnion SmartMove to process all of our background and credit checks, which is a “soft” credit check.

The City of Ann Arbor prohibits us from using information from the background check to make a decision regarding eligibility of a tenant.

Adding Future Tenants to a Lease

If you would like to move forward with the leasing process, but you do not have all of your group members committed yet, 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.  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.

Lease Processing Fee

Baker Street has implemented a new policy to no longer charge application fees. Instead, Baker Street charges a Lease Processing Fee. 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 will be added to the lease ledger to pay online upon lease signing. The Lease Processing fee is $95 per person. Check out the Lease Processing Fee for more information.

Cleaning Fee

We charge $100 per bedroom as a non-refundable cleaning fee. This fee will be charged to the ledger and due prior to move in.

Signing a Lease

After all of the applications are approved, signing your lease is the next step. This part of the process is also completed online!

Receiving a Lease

Once all applications are submitted and approved, a lease for your property will be drafted and emailed via 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. Therefore, each email link is unique to that person, so you cannot forward your email or link to another person.

You can always contact us at if you or your co-signer is having trouble receiving a lease or to ask any questions! Our FAQ page is also a helpful resource for answers to commonly asked questions regarding the lease-signing process.

Signing a Lease

Once you have received your email, you will be directed to sign the lease electronically via HelloSign. All you have to do from there is sign from your phone or browser. It’s as simple as that! The Leasing Agent from Baker Street will countersign the lease once every tenant has finished signing.

Next Steps

Once everyone has signed the lease, you will have to make payments for the lease processing fee and first month’s rent. Please note, if you do not make the first month’s rent payment on time, Baker Street reserves the right to consider the lease agreement terminated, and the tenants are subject to the lease termination penalty contained in the lease agreement. To make your payments, you’ll have to activate your online account.

Activating Your Online Account

Baker Street uses an online software called Buildium as a management tool.  To learn more about Buildium, check out our Software & Technology page.

Create Your Online Account

Each tenant has his or her own log in to the online dashboard. Once your lease has been countersigned by Baker Street, each tenant will be emailed a link to create a login for the unique online dashboard. The dashboard is a great tool and contains the lease ledger to make rent payments, a copy of the lease, maintenance request tools, and more. While each tenant will have his or her own log in and dashboard, it will be linked to the same account as other’s on the lease. In other words, there is only one account and lease ledger per lease. Therefore, the balance on the lease ledger will be the total amount for the lease, not each tenant. Our FAQ page is also a helpful resource for answers to commonly asked questions regarding how to create and access your account.

Paying Your First Month’s Rent

Your first month’s rent payment and lease processing fees are due within 2 weeks of lease signing. Your security deposit (1.5 month’s rent for Ann Arbor properties), the non-refundable cleaning fees, and any applicable pet fees are due one month before you move in.

Each tenant will be able to access the lease ledger through the online dashboard.  All rent and charges will be added to this ledger for tenants to make payments throughout the lease term.  At lease signing, your first month’s rent and lease processing fee will post on your ledger for each tenant to log on and make payments.  

Note, rent payment portions are up to the tenants to determine and manage.  If you have made a wait list deposit, your deposit of $1,000 will show up as a credit on your ledger at this time.  Your security deposit (1.5 month's rent for Ann Arbor properties) will post on your ledger one month before you are scheduled to move in.  Our FAQ page is also a helpful resource for answers to commonly asked questions regarding how to make payments on your lease ledger.

Move In Process

For More Information about our Move In Process check out our Guide.

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