Tenant Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How do I schedule an appointment to view one of your rentals in Missoula?

    A: If you are interested in viewing one of our rental properties, please click on the listing and click on "Schedule Showing". Follow the prompts to get pre-qualified and select your showing time.
  • Q: Want to get pre-approved to rent in Missoula?

    A: Please review our rental application policies and complete our online rental application and we will be happy to accommodate you!
  • Q: What are your application fees?

    A: $40.00 for the application fee, $40.00 for the co-signer fee. Application fees are non-refundable. We also charge an administrative fee to complete the entire process. Please review our leasing fee structure (see below) for more details.
  • Q: Why do you charge a leasing fee?

    A: The Montana Residential Landlord Tenant Act, MCA 2015, 70-25-206, requires the Landlord to furnish a Statement of Condition of the Premises at the beginning of the lease. There are just three criteria needed to fulfill this requirement:
    • A clear and concise statement of the present condition of the premises
    • If the premises has never been previously let, a statement indicating that
    • The signature or the signature of the landlord's agent

    Rent Smart Property Management has engaged with technology to go beyond what is required by the MRLTA and compile a move in report that allows us to include unlimited photos to document the condition of the property. By using a combination of the written report and photos, we are providing the highest level of transparency. You can be assured that we are doing everything possible to protect your security deposit refund by fully documenting pre-existing conditions. We are also doing everything possible to protect the owner's best interest so we can accurately assess new damages. We are also protecting our own reputation against illegitimate disputes. It is a win-win for all parties. To date, the only security deposit disputes we have encountered are those from residents we did not place and did not go through our move-in process. Our system works!

    We also engage technology designed to streamline the lease signing process. Part of the leasing fees we charge help offset our costs in labor and subscription fees for our web-based products.

    Following is a breakdown of our leasing fees, this does not include the application fee, or deposit. For the purpose of the fee schedule, a bonus room shall be counted as a bedroom:

    • $75.00 for Studios and One Bedroom Units
    • $100.00 for Two Bedroom Units
    • $135.00 for Three Bedrooms Units
    • $160.00 for Four Bedroom Units
    • $200.00 for Five Bedroom Units

    Our standard pet fees are as follows:

    • $125.00 pet acceptance fee and lease preparation fee, per pet
    • $40.00 additional monthly rent, per pet
    • $400.00 additional deposit, per pet

    Property owners reserve the right to override our standard rates for the additional rent and deposit. It is the obligation of the applicant to review our pet acceptance policies prior to submitting their applications. Non-approvable pets may result in denial of the residential rental application. Application fees are non-refundable.

    Resident Benefits Package (RBP) is $10.00 per month and is built into the monthly rent, but will appear as a separate line item on your lease and resident ledger.

    Tenant Liability Insurance (TLI) is optional, coverage for up to 4 household members at $12.95 per month + $3.00 monthly processing fee.

  • Q: Why do you charge a pet acceptance fee?

    We spend a great deal of time working with property owners to accept pets. And we also spend a great deal of time marketing our pet-friendliness to attract quality residents, which in turn attracts quality rental properties. We have created a brand which takes time, effort and money to stay relevant. Each pet we accept allows us to continue our efforts in working with owners and taking them from the mindset of no pets to becoming pet-friendly. Our jobs as property managers would be far easier if we did not accept pets, as is more commonplace in the Missoula rental market, but that doesn't set well with us. We are pet lovers, too! Rent Smart is Missoula's pet-friendly property management company.

  • Q: What is the Resident Benefit Package?

    Missoula is a competitive rental market, for both renters and property managers. We want to attract the highest quality renters in Missoula. Rent Smart Property Management strives to be your property manager of choice.

    We have designed this package with convenience, transparency and value in mind.

    1. Convenience
      • Utility Concierge to assist you in establishing gas, electric, water, cable and internet.
      • Renters Insurance. Enroll in our Rent Smart Master Renters Insurance Policy. Save time. Save money.
      • Self check in on move in day.
      • Online resident portal.
      • Online maintenance communication and scheduling platform.
      • 24/7 Emergency call center on standby. Always connect to a live person in the event of a maintenance emergency.
      • Electronic move out inspections. Detailed reports of any tenant related defects will be emailed to you and reviewed with you by your property manager. No need to disrupt your already busy schedule to be present during the inspection.
      • Rapid refund for security deposits. If you pass your move out inspection, your full refund will be processed within 48 hours!
      • Landlord Reference Letter provided with security deposit refund for residents who receive 80% or more of their security deposit back.
    2. Value
      • First time forgiveness of payment reversal fee when certified funds are received by the close of business on date notified of reversal. This is a $30.00 value.
      • Current leases are not subject to a late payment fee. This is a $50.00 value per occurrence. 
      • Complimentary one time ozone treatment in the event of unfavorable odors at the time of move out. A $75.00 value.
    3. Transparency
      • Original vendor invoices are always supplied with our security deposit disposition and refund.
  • Q: How long does it take to process my rental application?

    A: The application screening process is one of the most important activities we conduct in the management of our rental properties. We pride ourselves in our thoroughness and in keeping you informed of the status every step of the way. The first step in streamlining the process is to submit a complete application.

    Two things will cause a delay in processing your application.

    • Incomplete applications
    • Waiting for response from references

    To expedite the application process, please turn in all of the supporting documents as outlined here:

    • Photo ID
    • Proof of Income (pay stub, award letter, financial aid, etc)
    • Vehicle registration or automobile insurance card
    • If your credit score falls below 650, we will need to review your most recent bank statement
    • Complete your pet application, if necessary

    We have approved applications in less than two hours, it can be that quick and easy.

  • Q: How do I know if I will qualify to rent an apartment in Missoula through Rent Smart?

    A: Please review our approval criteria here.
  • Q: Why do you need my bank statement?

    A: You asked, and we listened. We have recently changed our application process. We have increased our minimum required credit score to 650. If your credit score falls below 650 and above 600, we will require a copy of your most recent bank statement, and we may require an additional deposit or cosigner. Because a low credit score indicates a greater financial risk, we believe an added layer of scrutiny and security is required.

    The bank statement is an additional screening tool. It is another measure to verify income, it can be used to track on time, or late rent payments, it is another document to verify the current residence, it can show a history of NSFs, and the running balance is an indicator of ability to manage finances. These are all important factors in measuring risk.

  • Q: Where is your property management office located?

    A:
    • 2233 South Avenue West
    • Suite #101
    • Missoula, MT 59801

    Our phones are answered between Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 4:00pm, Friday 9:00am - 2:00pm. Our office hours at South Avenue will vary due to the nature of our business, which is often conducted in the field. If you wish to visit us at the office, we suggest you call in advance to make an appointment.
  • Q: Where do we meet to sign a lease?

    A: The lease is sent to your email via Adobe Echosign to collect your electronic signature. If there is more than one party to the lease, each signer on the lease receives a copy to electronically sign. When all copies have been electronically signed, we each get a copy of the fully executed leasing documents sent to our inbox.

    You can sign the lease from your desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone. No driving across town coordinating schedules or faxing needed. We try to make the transaction as convenient as possible.

  • Q: How do I submit a maintenance request?

    A: You will be assigned a login to sign into your resident portal. In your portal you will be able to view all of your lease documents, your payment history, and this is where you can submit and track work orders. Complete the maintenance request form and we will be in contact with you to arrange for a technician to address your concerns. You will also be able to check the status of your request in your resident portal, as we will keep the progress updated.
  • Q: What do I have to do to get my security deposit back?

    A: The refund of the security deposit starts at the time of move in. And, it is one of our greatest pleasures to refund a deposit in its entirety! With Rent Smart's move in practices, we set you up for success from the very beginning by providing you detailed documentation of the condition of the rental at the time of move in. We document existing damages so there are no questions when you vacate one, two or three years later.

    We have found that renters that Rent Smart has placed and went through our move in process are consistently refunded a greater portion of their security deposit than those tenants that were absorbed into our business from other management companies.

    Upon the receipt of your written 30 day notice to vacate, we email you a move out instructions letter that outlines the process.

    You will find that Rent Smart Property Management is very proactive in facilitating your success in maximizing your deposit refund.

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