Rentals: Homes, Apartments & Others
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Renting in the greater San Francisco Bay Area can be very challenging. Unlike many other areas in the United States, real estate agents in general, do not assist renters because they are not compensated. To make matters worse, there is no single, comprehensive source for rental apartments and individually-owned properties, like condominiums and homes.


Some areas have current rental lists to subscribe to, other areas do not. One region uses the realtors’ multiple listing services for information on rentals, while another area might only use local property managers and the tenant pays a fee.


How did this happen? Each area has developed its own unique way of doing business over the years. It’s our business to know what that is! Then, we can assist transferring families in searching out suitable communities and rental homes to call home.


Our goal is to provide objective area and community information early in the relocation process, eliminating the stressful “unknown.” Check out these great resources. This will give you some good information prior to your move and provide you with the tools to start your research of your new community.


If authorized by your employer, we can coordinate an area/community tour with a rental agent.


There is a fee for our rental service. If you are being transferred by your corporation, your company may contract directly with us or you may be eligible to be reimbursed by your employer for our fee. It is always best to check with the appropriate person at your company for an approval.

Rental Application Process

Once you have located a rental, you will be asked to fill out an application form and provide a credit report or pay a fee to cover the cost of a credit report. The application will ask for information about your qualifications to rent; such as your current or prospective employer, salary information and job history. In addition, the prospective landlord will be interested in your credit history and your references. If you have anything negative on your credit report, advise the landlord up front. If possible, provide a written explanation for this as part of the application process.


For international transferees without United States credit, landlords will still want to run a credit report to confirm that you do not have bad credit. You may be asked to provide letters of reference from your previous landlords and/or banks or credit establishments. If possible, provide these items before the landlord requests them. Remember, you will be competing with other applicants and the easier you make the process for the landlord, the better your chances of getting the housing you want.


Do not be surprised if the rental application includes questions (and requires the date of occurrence) such as:
  • Have you ever filed a petition of bankruptcy?
  • Have you ever been evicted from any tenancy or had an eviction notice served on you?
  • Have you ever willfully and intentionally refused to pay any rent when due?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony other than a traffic or parking violation?
  • Are you a current illegal abuser or addict of a controlled substance?
  • Have you ever been convicted on the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance?


It is typical to leave a deposit to hold the unit until the landlord has completed the credit check process.

Renting with Pets

Not all landlords will accept pets, especially apartments. They are more likely to accept a cat than a dog. Some have requirements for pets to be a certain size (i.e. under 25 pounds). Many landlords are reluctant to rent to pet owners because of the potential damage an animal can do to their property. A landlord may require a larger security deposit if you have a pet. If you have a large pet (over 25 pounds), it may take you longer to find suitable housing. If you do plan to have a pet living with you, disclose this up front. This is rarely a negotiable situation.

Put Yourself Above the Competition

Because of the current market conditions, tenants are competing for rental properties. Apartments are usually rented on a “first come, first serve” basis, while individual owners of townhouses, condominiums and homes will choose their tenants based on their own criteria. Relocation Dimensions’ escorted area tours put you a cut above.


It is very important to present yourself in a professional manner in order to make a good impression on your prospective landlord. When searching for your rental it is a good idea to prepare a complete package of documents for submission to any potential landlord. The package should include the following:


  • Completed application form
  • Copy of your current Driver’s License or Passport information page (if International transferee)
  • Offer letter from your employer, stating your date of employment and monthly salary
  • Current credit report (if you have one)
  • Copy of recent pay stub (delete personal ID numbers)
  • Copy of tenant reference letter from previous landlord
  • You may want to include your resume as evidence of your professional stature
  • If you have pets, include a pet resume and a picture of your pet

Our Recommended Sites

These are our selections of helpful and useful sites to find apartment rental listings

  • Craigslist – free listing service for apartments, condos and single family homes.
    Please Note: Avoid responding to ads that ask you to wire funds or pay a deposit in order to view the property.
    This is not a standard practice and should be considered a “scam”.
Room Mate Services: (some may charge a fee)
To Order a copy of your credit report:
Additional Rental Information