FAQ Landlords* Apartment Pricing!

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Q-Should I, the “landlord/Owner” -take care of the lawn and maintenance of property or should the tenant?

A– The answer to this question can depend on type of rental property we’re talking about. Let’s face it the last thing you need is that nosey neighbor telling you what a crappy job your tenant does of taking care of the property! So I defiantly suggest (especially in a full house rental) that the owner takes care of the property! I find it is always best to add the price of lawn maintenance into the rent. If you are dealing with a typical 60 x 100 property you can figure on the lawn care costing you approximately $900.00- $1200.00 per year. This includes a fall clean up and a spring clean up and a weekly rate of approximately $25.00/$30.00 a week during the months April- November.Bi-weekly service is a common choice as well, seasonal rain fall always comes in to play here.(This all depends on trees on property and total amount of lawn)That being said a Landlord/Owner Should charge an additional $75.00 to $1000.00 a month for Rent! Not only will it keep the peace in the neighborhood but the next time the house is available for rent it will in fact have curb appeal and most likely rent faster. Click here for a lawn service estimate request for your property or properties. That being said if you feel the tenant is capable of taking care of the property, you may want to give them a shot at it.*Be aware if you do choose to have the tenant take care of the property and it is not to your satisfaction then there is conflict between Owner and Tenant.(This is to be avoided at all costs)If you choose to have a landscaping service that takes care or your lawn and maintenance needs and you are not happy then you have a conflict with your landscaper!!!-Which one would you rather have a problem with?

Q- How much is my Apartment Rental or Whole House Rental Worth?


Below are true prices of what the market is in fact reflecting!-These prices are based on apartments that are updated,clean,with fresh,paint,clean,carpets or flooring ect.These prices reflect an all inclusive price!(Yes that includes cable and internet)-In this day in age Cable and internet are a huge factor for a tenant to consider when choosing a place to live.(Know that you are competing against 90% of the other apartments out there that do include a cable and internet service provider)When given the choice of picking an apartment with or with out this very important amenity the tenant will choose the apartment with it included every time!!!-If you are looking to price a dirty dingy basement apartment from 1980 or an apartment that has not been updated since 1990 (20 years ago)-Then “these estimates do not apply to you”, because it goes against the basic principle of “THE BETTER THE APARTMENT THE MORE RENT YOU CAN COMMAND -LEADING TO A BETTER TENANT”


*****It is not uncommon to charge an extra $50.00 per Air conditioning unit in the summer months!


Yard use is always a positive and proves to be a desirable amenity!

Waterfront adds 10% increase to prices below.

Washer and Dryer add $80.00/$100.00 to prices below. (Not for 3bed & full house Rentals. Washer and dryer are expected in such size dwellings or a “washer dryer hook up” at a bare minimum!).


10% Decrease for Apartments or Full house Rentals on main roads or located in the proximity of a commercial area!


A- Studio Apartment: Ok so you want to know what a realistic price is for your studio! Studio prices are as follows. If you are talking about a basic one room studio with the kitchen across one of the walls then you are looking at a price of about $1000.00 to $1050.00.Now if you are talking about a studio with a separate eat in kitchen you can see the market reflect a price of about $1100.00 to $1150.00.This is inclusive of all utilities cable and internet…..YES CABLE AND INTERNET!(JUST RUN ANOTHER LINE OFF OF YOUR SERVICE!)-If you think you are going to find a quality tenant that is going to pay an additional $150.00 for their own cable service (Bringing their bottom line to $1300.00 total)–you are greatly mistaken! A smart quality tenant will be looking at all inclusive one bedroom apartments in your area at that price point! This brings me to my next category.

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A-One Bedroom Apartments: The way it breaks down is like this ..There are actually a few kinds of one bedroom apartments that we see in this market. The First kind of one bedroom apartment is the very basic two room apartment also known as the “living room kitchen combination” Now on the low end you would have a non dormered top of a cape (shared entrance) with a decent size bedroom able to accommodate a full to queen size bed. Something like this is priced at about $1150-$1,300.00.Taking it up a step brings us to the ground floor “fully dormered obviously” living room kitchen combination. Separate entrance, some good flow to the apartment, perhaps a closet or two. The bedroom should be of good size, perhaps some yard use as well for around the $1,100.00/$1,150.00 mark.(Depending on closets and size of bedroom & overall living room kitchen combination size).

A-Now lets step it up even a bit more shall we? The infamous “true one bedroom apartment” A three room apartment!-Great size living room, separate eat in kitchen, excellent bedroom space that can possibly accommodate a king size bed, closets the whole sha bang!!!-This Apartment can come in at $1,400.00-$1,500.00.Every once in a while I may come across a duplex with a very cool custom layout and very modern appeal and feel to it. As long as it’s spacious you can command a slight premium for it!-So where does this bring us? It brings us to the high end of the one bedroom market! Let me paint a picture for you. Let’s say you have a waterfront three room true one bedroom apartment. Amenities include wood floors,granit,washer and dryer, sky lights, Separate entrance (maybe even the potential for dock space)With cable and internet included then and only then could you ask for $1,500.00/$1,600.00

*10% premium for waterfront included!
Licensed New York Real Estate  Sales agent and Rental Specialist for over 15 years!

A-ONE BEDROOM COTTAGE: Cottages in my personal opinion are one of the best investment properties and opportunities around due to the decreased taxes(Usually located on smaller parcel of land) and inexpensiveness to maintain. Cottages are always in demand the first Cottage we are going to talk about is a one bedroom cottage a true one-bedroom cottage is certainly always desired in this rental market the price of a one bedroom cottage “excluding all utilities”(FREE STANDING UNITS SUCH AS COTTAGES AND FULL HOUSE RENTALS ARE 99.9% ALWAYS PRICED WITHOUT UTILITIES INCLUDED) is approximately $1,600.00-$1700.00-Depending on location!

A-TWO BEDROOM COTTAGE: Even more desirable is a two bedroom cottage .A true two bedroom cottage is a four room apartment, separate living room separate kitchen and two separate bedrooms. A washer and dryer are should almost always be available in a two bedroom cottage and can bring the price up significantly because basically it’s a small house let’s face it! Sometimes you’ll find the bedrooms are smaller in cottages and that can be a deal breaker, but nun the less it will defiantly rent! The current expected rent from a two bedroom cottage is from $2,000.00-$2,200.00

A-TWO BEDROOM APARTMENTS: Ok so here we are at the two bedrooms. Good two bedrooms are not always easy to come by. There are usually two kinds of two bedroom apartments. First there is the three room two bedroom. This consists of very basic living room kitchen combination and two decent size bedrooms-(Do not confuse this for the one bedroom with an office area or a tiny extra room that can barley fit a twin bed that is not a second bedroom)Hopefully this will have some decent storage. This could be priced at about the $1,950.00 to $2300.00 range depending on yard use and over all condition.

A-Taking it to the next level we arrive at the all inclusive “four room” two bedroom apartment.Very good size living room, great size bedrooms with great amenities, such as closets ,washer and dryer, yard use off street parking. This type of listing usually rents for around $2,200.00-$2,500.00 range.

A-THREE BEDROOM APARTMENT: Three-bedroom apartments are definitely very desirable due to the fact that they sometimes come with a full basement for storage. One and a half bathrooms or two bathrooms are a definite plus as is a yard .When a tenant has these amenities they will pay a premium for them because they are practically getting the space of a full house rental but not really paying the price of a full house rental. You can expect a rental price of $2400.00-$2700.00(All Utilities included)

A-FULL HOUSE RENTAL: Three to four bedroom houses in this rental market are a definite commodity but they have to be in good condition. I’m not talking about some dingy piece of junk that looks like an absolute nightmare and smells like dog pis*- Good luck finding a quality tenant in a listing like that!-That being said any decent three/four bedroom house in this local rental market will command the price of approximately $2400.00 $2700.00 max -If you think you can get more than that you really have to come to the realization of the fact that there is a “Cap” on full house rentals in this area. Keep in mind waterfront property and bay front properties are in complete class of their own!!-For instance if you have a water front four bedroom house facing the open bay with stainless steal sub zero appliances, Granit fixtures, dock space two to three bathrooms & Jacuzzi –Then yes $2700-$3000.00 is a distinct possibility.

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A-About 10 years ago a landlord said to me once “the only way to truly know if you have had a good tenant is on the day he or she moves out”. That for the most part I feel is a very true statement. There is no way of really knowing a tenant is good until the duration of the lease is over. However there are some ways to stack the deck in your favor and increase your odds. They are as follows. Back in the day a good way of qualifying a tenant consisted of a simple credit check and that would suffice. In this market additional steps are necessary. Absolutely insist on pay stubs “recent pay stubs” not from their job last year, not even their tax returns from last year.(Ask for tax returns and/or 1099 as well but don’t use this as the sole basis of your decision). I always want to see verifiable income from their current occupation as of last week. That in conjunction with a credit check and employment verification letter as well as talking to past landlords increases your chances of finding a quality tenant. I consider this mandatory for every deal! That is why once a Landlord/Owner uses me to list rent and/or sell a property they have no reason to go elsewhere for real estate needs ever again.


A-The industry-standard for security when renting apartment is usually equivalent to one months rent. However in some circumstances you may be inclined to take an additional month security such as when a tenant has a pet. Pets can cause a significant amount of damage and are usually deal breakers. A second month security is one way to insure that you will be compensated if any damage is in fact caused to the rental property. Insisting on Two-month security for an unwarranted reason is usually a deal breaker. Oh I know what you’re saying “Well if they can’t afford two months security deposit then I don’t want them anyway ,they can’t afford the apartment”-Its not that they cant afford it- “it’s the principle” of paying a ridiculous amount of money just to move in the door. For instance if a person is going through a Real Estate broker and signing a lease for a two bedroom apartment at a price of say $1750.00-That means the prospective tenant has to come up with $7000.00—(GOOD LUCK WITH THAT)-In this market if you have a well-qualified tenant meaning, verification of income good credit and current pay stubs and you’re still asking for two months security the chances are you’ll be waiting a long period of time to rent your apartment and chances are you will have scared off many good prospects!


A-This is a common practice around these parts when dealing with a pet that you are not really crazy about but you do in fact want to give the tenant a chance. Basically it goes like this …Say you have a one bedroom apartment that costs $1200.00 and you want to take the tenant but only if she gives you a second months security because she has a dog, but the prospective tenant is not crazy about the fact that he/she has to fork over another months security because of the 8lb pooch-A compromise is to take an additional $100.00 a months for the first year and apply it to the additional security requested by the owner/Landlord.(Remember the rent is still 1200.00)After the first year if there is no rent increase the payments then back to the original $1200.00 that is the base rent.


A-The answer to this question can always be answered by one word….PRICE!!! Nine times out of ten if an owner asks me “Brandon how come I haven’t rented my apartment yet”? Inevitably the answer is always price. Even the worst of the worst apartments can rent at the right price! If it’s priced out of its price range it just simply sits there on the market and makes zero dollars-Unless you come across a sucker from out of town and he ends up over paying?(If that ever happens don’t expect that rent next time around)-I see that from time to time. I hear things like “but I was getting $1500.00 from my last tenant”-That’s great enjoy it while it lasted!-Fannie and Freddie used to trade at $60.00 a share at one point(But not in this market)-What I’m getting at is its all relative- If you are talking to a knowledgeable realtor that really knows exactly what’s going on in “your rental market” (Not some unlicensed cheese ball that does rentals here and there, that you know through a friend)-That kind of person will tell you what ever you want to hear just to score the listing.-I’m talking about a professional-Whether its me or some other licensed professional that can come to you and slam down 80-100 leases from last year on your table and say THIS IS WHATS GOING ON IN YOUR RENTAL MARKET !!-“IF THEY CAN’T DO THAT THEN SHOW THEM THE DOOR!! Look I know you don’t want to give your apartment away but a landlord rents an apartment once every few years (unless you are a professional land lord that turns many units) Price is everything leave it to a professional. An apartment priced right according to condition location and amenities can rent in one showing. And remember a rental agent gets one months rent as a commission so yes we want it to be as high as possible but not high enough to price you out of the market. The are instances where a landlord/owner wants so much for rent that agents simply chooses not to show the property because its simply a waste of time and also makes a prospective tenant that’s educated in the market feel as if the Realtor is showing over priced inventory, and that their Realtor is in fact not on the level as far as pricing in the market. All that information aside 1-3 weeks max-(BUT REALLY WE KNOW ITS ALL ABOUT THE RIGHT FIT,HASTE MAKES WASTE )-Yes I know you have bills to pay but the last thing you want is a dead beat tenant because you wanted it rented as soon as possible! Also please remember to be a bit flexible for the right match. For instance if you really get a good vibe from a tenant and all the credentials check out, but you are having a problem settling on price…Think about it you are gambling that you will find someone better for $50.00/$100 bucks? If a $1200.00 apartment sits empty for another month. You have lost 1200.00 annually-If you take the tenant at a price of $1150-It reflects a gain of $600.00.Even if you accept $1100.00 offer its still the same as renting the apartment for 1200.00 the next month-IT’S A LL ABOUT THE QUALITY TENANT –THE RIGHT MATCH!!!-Gees was that long enough for ya??
Licensed New York Real Estate  Sales agent and Rental Specialist for over 15 years!

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Brandon Cusma is a licensed Real Estate Sales Agent in the State of New York. Currently his License is held with