Information for Tenants

Tenant FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: How does the application and screening process work?

A: Long & Foster, acting on behalf of the landlord, evaluates all rental applications by a standard set of tenant selection criteria. Based on the information gathered during that screening process we consult the landlord, who then makes the final selection based on the applicant's qualifications, their perception of risk, and compatibility of terms.

Q: What happens when there is more than one application to rent a property? Does the first one received get preference?

A: Multiple applications are common in an active market or when a property is particularly desirable. As REALTORS, we are pledged to present our client, the landlord, with all offers. The owner then chooses the applicant with whom they wish to do business based on the applicant's qualifications and compatibility of the offer with the landlord's terms. We do not operate on a "first come, first served" basis as this would deny the landlord the opportunity to evaluate all offers. Once an application is approved, we endeavor to consummate the transaction by collecting certified funds and signing a lease. Until the lease is signed and funds collected, the property remains available to be shown to and applied for by other prospective tenants.

Q: Can I pay my rent in person at any Long & Foster location?

A: Rents are paid to our headquarters in northern Virginia as all accounting for the company is done there. Rents are not accepted at Long & Foster branch offices. Paying in person at branch locations introduces significant additional handling and the possibility that a payment could be lost in transit. We provide our tenants with coded rent payment envelopes to ease the task of mailing their monthly rent installments to our postal address in Chantilly, VA. We also provide a separate address to which payments can be sent via overnight delivery. Overnight services will not deliver to P.O. boxes.

Q: What repairs are tenants responsible for?

A: Tenants are expected to use ordinary care while they reside in the rental property. Some minor maintenance such as periodic changing of HVAC filters and carpet cleaning are the tenant's responsibility. Every tenant receives a move in handbook which provides detailed information on lease requirements, maintenance, and a number of other topics. This handbook in conjunction with your lease will outline what specific items you are responsible to maintain.

Q: I have requested certain repairs or improvements be made to the property I rent. My property manager tells me the owner has declined to do them. Can the landlord do that?

A: The final decision regarding expenses rests with the property owner. The property manager simply acts as the owner's agent and cannot act counter to the owner's wishes. Certain repairs are treated as emergencies, such as lack of heat or hot water. Emergency repairs or those affecting health and safety may be undertaken without the owner's prior approval. Routine or elective repairs require the owner's approval. Most states have landlord and tenant laws or state specific rental law that details rights and responsibilities of parties to a rental agreement.

Q: I paid my portion of the rent, but my roommate has not. We received a late notice with both of our names on it. Can the landlord and agent take action against me even though I've paid my part of the rent?

A: Yes. The concept of "joint and several liability" applies to your rental agreement. It means that each tenant who is a party to the lease is responsible for the obligations of all others. The landlord is due the full rent on the first day of each month' regardless of who pays or in what proportion. Co-signers or guarantors are also responsible for the entire payment regardless of whether they guarantee all tenants or only one.