FAQs

Owner FAQs

What fees do you charge for leasing and ongoing property management?

We charge an initial fee of $395 to take in a new property. This is a one-time fee and we do not charge re-listing fees when the property turns over. Once we have a rent paying tenant in place, we charge 10% of the collected rent. This monthly percentage is contingent on rent collection so if the property is vacant or the tenant hasn’t paid, we are not collecting a management fee until you receive your rent. Reduced rates can be negotiated for property owners with multiple unit portfolios.

What background checks will you conduct on a prospective tenant?

Detailed background screenings are a very important part of the tenant selection process.  At Acorn + Oak, we conduct in-depth criminal and credit background checks, ID verifications, and eviction scans on all applicants 18 years old or older that will be occupying the property.  In addition to these checks, we also verify income and employment and contact the applicant’s current landlord for a rental reference if applicable.

What deposits do you collect from the tenant before they move in?

At minimum, one month’s rent is collected as a security deposit and additional deposits are collected for pets.  All security deposits are held in a trust account per North Carolina law.

How do you handle needed repairs?  Are we able to get quotes from various handymen or are we locked in to using a company with which you contract?

When things break, having a property management company ready to respond is ideal.  While you are always notified of any maintenance requests at your property you are not required to call repair people or set up appointments for these repairs—we’ll do this for you!  To keep costs low, we do not have an “in-house” maintenance staff and contract all repairs to local licensed and insured vendors (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.).  We have 2-3 of each of these vendors that we use on a regular basis as well as numerous “general handymen” that we contact for miscellaneous repairs.  For most repairs, our vendors are able to give you estimates regarding maintenance if requested.  We also are happy to use preferred vendors that you have used in the past if you would like.

How do you handle late rent payments?

Timely rent payments make us happy and we go above and beyond to make sure our tenants know when rent is due.  We send a friendly rent reminder on the last day of every month to remind tenants rent will be due by the 1st and late if received after the 5th.  On the morning of the 6th, if rent has not been received, we contact the tenant to alert them that rent is now late.  We try to work with tenants as much as possible and understand that sometimes mistakes happen or emergencies come up.  However, if we have not received communication from the tenant about paying due rent, we can file for eviction on the 10th of the month.  Bragging rights:  our eviction rate is less than 1%.

We will be living locally. Can you explain the advantages to using a property management company as opposed to managing the rental ourselves? And the advantages of using your company specifically?

We’ve heard that a good property manager is worth their weight in gold.  By hiring a property manager, you are actually hiring an adviser, a photographer, a tour guide, a negotiator, a coordinator, a 24 hour emergency phone line operator, a mediator, a bookkeeper, a problem solver, a multi-tasker and an agent all in one.  Need we say more?
Your property manager is your buffer.  He or she is the contact point for the tenant so you can rest assured that the property is being cared for and that you will not have to deal with a maintenance issue at the drop of a hat.  You will not need to stop your daily routine to address an HVAC issue, a running toilet, or a tenant who refuses to pay rent.  In a nutshell, your property manager will take the headache out of owning an investment.
As for Acorn + Oak, we take pride in wearing all these hats.  Our mission is to secure tenants that will maintain the value and condition of your property. We incentivize our tenants to pay rent on time with monthly giveaways and treat them as more than just “end-users”.  Our Acorn + Oak team has over a decade of property management experience and has managed hundreds of units in the Triangle area. We continually strive to improve our processes and our business so we can provide the highest level of service to our owner clients and our tenants.

Applicant FAQs

How do I apply for a property?

Applying for an Acorn + Oak property is easy as pie!
  • Go to our Properties tab and find the property you wish to apply for
  • Once you have found the property, click the green “Apply Now” button
    • Read through the instructions carefully and complete the application
    • Don’t forget to upload your photo ID, pay stubs/proof of income and employment, and any other documents you’d like to share with us
  • Make sure to choose “I am applying as a tenant
  • Once you have completed the application, go back to the Properties tab and click the yellow “Pay Application Fee” button to pay your application fee

How does my co-signer apply?

Your cosigner will apply the same way you did. Please have your cosigner follow the instructions above but choose “I am applying as a co-signer/guarantor for another applicant”.

How much is your application fee?

Our application fee is $40 per applicant. Anyone over the age of 18 years old that will be living in the property full-time will need to complete an application and pay an application fee.

My partner and I are married and share the same credit score. Do we both need to apply?

Yes, we’ll need an application from anyone over the age of 18 years old that will be living in the property full-time. Even if you and your partner share a credit score, we still need to verify each individual’s criminal and eviction history.

If I am not chosen to lease a property, will I get my application fee back?

If there are multiple applications on a property and you are not selected to rent it, your application fee will be refunded. However, if you apply for a home and we are not able to offer you a lease because you don’t qualify, unfortunately, we will not be able to refund your application fee. If you apply for a property, are approved but you change your mind and decide not to sign a lease, we also will not be able to refund your application fee.

How does the application process work? Is it first come, first served or do you collect multiple applications on a property?

We try to be as fair and as upfront as possible when prospective tenants apply for an A+O home. Many of the homes we post for rent have dozens of inquiries come in on them and the frenzy that ensues can cause an already anxious applicant both stress and disappointment. We like to make sure applicants understand how this process will work to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
  • When an application is submitted on a home in which we have low interest, the property manager may keep the application collection period open for another 24-48 hours. If no other applications are received in this time period, we will run the initial submitted application. If another application is submitted within those 24-48 hours, all applications will be considered. All applicants should receive an update on their application in no more than 72 hours of the cut off time. If they have not been selected, we will refund their application fee.
  • When an application is submitted on a home in which we have high interest, we will give all other interested parties until X time on X date to submit their application. Once we reach X time on X date, no additional applications will be accepted and we will only consider the applications received by the announced cut off time. All applicants should receive an update on their application in no more than 72 hours of the cut off time. If they have not been selected, we will refund their application fee.
  • Once an application is run, there is a freeze period on the property. No other applications will be run or considered during this period. We will use this freeze period to review your background check, call references, and ask for additional documents or information. If your application is approved, we will offer you a lease and you will have 24-48 hours to review it, ask any questions, and sign it. If we do not receive your signed lease within this 24-48 hour period, we reserve the right to void the lease and move on to the next applicant.

I have a pet. What are your pet deposits and fees?

We’re animal lovers here at Acorn + Oak and understand our four-legged friends are family. That’s why for 99% of A+O properties you’ll only need to pay a refundable pet deposit instead of a one time or monthly pet fee. Our pet deposits for dogs range from $300-600 per dog based on the dog’s age, breed, and weight. Our pet deposits for cats range from $150-200 per cat based on the cat’s age. Deposits for caged animals or fish will vary. When your lease ends, any damage will be deducted from your deposit and the remainder of the deposit will be refunded to you!

My credit is not great. Will you still work with me?

We get that life happens and sometimes credit scores take a beating. While we like to see a 650+ credit score, we may be able to work with you if your score is lower but most likely we will need a higher security deposit (as much as 2 x rent) and/or a cosigner with a 650+ credit score. If your credit is low due to unpaid medical bills, student loans, or because of a divorce, we’re more likely able to work with you. If your credit is low due to collections from former landlords or if you have been evicted in the past 7 years, unfortunately, we may not be able to work with you.

I won’t have a chance to make it to North Carolina to view properties before my move in date. Do you rent properties sight unseen?

While we understand it can be difficult to make time to visit before your move date, we really recommend you try to! While some of our properties can be rented sight unseen, some cannot. Usually newer homes or new construction properties can be rented sight unseen; older homes with quirks most likely cannot be. If a property has high interest and multiple applications, generally more weight is placed on an applicant that has seen the property in person than an applicant that has not. If at all possible, try and make a trip to NC before your move or have a friend, family member or colleague take a look on your behalf. If you sign a lease on a property sight unseen, you are obligated to fulfill the terms of the lease, even if you arrive and the home is not what you expected.

I have lost out on a lot of rental homes and am getting frustrated. Do you have any tips for me on how to increase my odds of securing a home before I pull all my hair out?

Remove your hands from your head, take a deep breath, and follow these tips:
  • Sign up for our What’s New? email list on our homepage. We email all the folks on this list with our new, featured properties.
  • Like us on Facebook. We post a lot of our “Coming Soon” and new listings here first.
  • Fill out an application ahead of time so we have your information on file. If you want to take this a step further, pay the application fee and tell us to run your background check so we know if you’re pre-qualified. Note: if you are not selected for a home or do not end up renting from us, we will not be able to refund this fee. Also, filling out an application ahead of time or even having us run your background check does not put you “first in line” for a property.
  • Be flexible with your showing times. If we list a home on Monday and you can’t come and see it until Friday, you may lose out on it. If the property manager asks if you can see it at 12 pm on Tuesday, try to move your schedule around to be there.
  • Be flexible with your move in date and lease end date. For properties that have a lot of interest, do your best to make yourself the best applicant. Even if you aren’t moving here until July 25th, be willing to start your lease on July 1st to put yourself ahead of the pack.
  • Understand that you are 1 of hundreds of renters looking for housing and that we’re in a competitive market. You may lose out on a house or two but try not to get discouraged–we’ll do our best to help find you the home that was meant for you.

Tenant FAQs

How do I pay my security deposit and rent?

The easiest way to pay your security deposit and rent is through your Tenant Portal. You can setup one time and recurring payments for free by using your bank account information. You can also use your credit or debit card though you will be charged a convenience fee.

To pay by mail, please mail payment to:
  • Acorn + Oak, PO Box 600115, Raleigh, NC 27675-6115
  • Please make sure your check is made payable to Acorn + Oak and that you include your name + property address on the check

We do not accept cash payments.

When is rent due?

Rent is due by the 1st of the month and considered late if received after midnight on the 5th. If rent is received after the 5th, you will incur a late fee equal to 5% of the monthly rent. However, if you pay on time (on or before the 5th of the month), you’ll be entered in a monthly drawing to win a giftcard to a local business and a super comfy Acorn + Oak t-shirt!

How do I submit a maintenance request?

For non-emergency maintenance requests, please submit a request through your Tenant Portal. Please give us as much information as possible and if photos are applicable, please upload those as well. For emergency maintenance, please call us at 919.675.1444 and dial extension 15 if after 5 pm and on holidays and weekends.

What’s considered an emergency maintenance request? What’s considered high priority?

For emergency maintenance issues, please call us at 919.675.1444 and dial extension 15 if after 5 pm and on holidays and weekends. Emergency maintenance requests include:
  • Water leaks and burst pipes
    • Please turn off water at main water shut off and then call Acorn + Oak
  • Fire and/or smoke inside the property
    • Please leave home, call 911 then Acorn + Oak
  • Gas odor/carbon monoxide detector alarming
    • Please leave home, call gas company then Acorn + Oak
For high priority maintenance issues, please submit a request through your Tenant Portal and follow up with a call, text or email to your property manager. High priority maintenance requests include:
  • No heat if outside temperature is < 50 degrees
  • No air conditioning if outside temperature is > 85 degrees
  • No hot water
  • Refrigerator not cooling

I’ve fulfilled my lease and moved out. When will I receive my security deposit?

We have 30 days from your lease end date to return your security deposit. In some cases, if there is a lot of damage, we may take up to 60 days to refund your deposit but we will send you an interim accounting statement within the first 30 days, showing you where we are and notifying you that we are extending the refund period by another 30 days.