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Apartment Rentals 101: An Interview with Kyle Bamm of Rent Me Properties

By Kyle Bamm

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Over 10 years ago Kyle Bamm started doing property management in Jackson, MI with a relative's properties. After a few years of learning the trade Kyle realized he enjoyed the line of work and in July of 2003 he started Rent Me Properties. RMP Real Estate Sales & Management aka Rent Me Properties is a full service property management company offering everything from remodeling to the sale of an investment. We strive to successfully bridge the gap between our Investors and Occupants.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We offer Commercial Sales and Leasing, Residential Sales, Property Management for ALL property types, Construction and Remodeling Services. We are a "One Stop Shop" for Real Estate Needs!

How far in advance do you suggest people begin looking for their new apartment?

We suggest 30 days, this will vary on the type of housing desired. Single family homes take longer for one family to relocate and another to move in, yet one bedroom units can involve less time for availability.

When apartment hunting, should you use one agent or have a couple you're working with?

Using a Real Estate Agent to assist in apartment hunting is not as common since the availability to research on your own is so practical with use of the internet. Although, if you choose this route, please do your own due diligence in addition.

In Michigan, what is the standard fees involved when apartment hunting?

Typically an applicant can expect to pay for their first months rent, the security deposit (which cannot exceed 1 ½ times the monthly rent) and any additional fees such as parking or a pet deposit. If you hire a Realtor to assist in the search it's possible that the Landlord will pay the commission to them, but it is safe to determine your exposure prior to signing any documents.

What are some common "traps" that newcomers fall into in regards to apartment hunting and how can they be avoided?

Move in specials seem to misinterpret the actual cost of moving into the advertised unit. There are laws that all Landlords and Property Management Companies must follow to not over charge or mislead an applicant. One of the key components was mentioned earlier, a Security Deposit cannot exceed 1 ½ times the monthly rent. You may have heard the saying "First & Last Months Rent plus Security Deposit", but this is incorrect. You are not required to pay for the last months rent to move into an apartment. This is a violation of the Truth In Renting Act. Other traps are the Landlord and Tenant responsibilities, these should be clearly spelled out within the Residential Lease. Verbal negotiations will usually go south at some point throughout the life of a lease.

As a first time renter, what are some questions you should be sure to ask before signing the lease?

Some of these suggestions are mentioned above, but there are several others. There is a certain criteria that every Michigan Residential must include, these items must be verified to ensure full protection of the occupant. Verify the term of the lease is that was agreed to. Verify the amounts of monthly rent, security deposit and the amount you will pay over the entire lease. Be sure to understand and accept any and all rules of living in the apartment and what is expected of you, as the tenant.

Do you have any overall advice to someone who is searching for apartments for their first time?

Use the tools available to you. Check online for a feel for pricing and location, drive by your options during the day and at night (this will give you a perspective of what to expect of the neighborhood). Then contact the company or individual listing the apartment and schedule for a showing. During your showing, look thoroughly throughout the unit and point out any safety issues. Finally, verify the costs associated and what both parties are responsible for. You can always consult with your attorney to ensure you are properly protected.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

Kyle R. Bamm: Associate Broker of RMP Real Estate Sales & Management Visit us online at www.rentme1.com! My direct email is kbamm@rentme1.com and you can reach me by phone at 517-784-7368.

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About The Author

Principal Associate Broker/Property Manager

Phone: 517-784-7368

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