Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that this information applies to our Long Term rentals. For complete information on our Short Term Furnished Rentals, please click on the "Short Term Rentals" box to your left.
Q: Are your units within walking distance of the U.N.C. campus or on a bus line?
A: Most of my units are within walking distance of the campus. Those that aren't are clearly indicated on the home page. If not within walking distance, most (but not all) other units are on a bus line.
Q: Who does your maintenance?
A: I do most of the maintenance on my units, and you'll find me to be very responsive, often within the same day that you call. When you rent from me, you don't have to work through a large impersonal real estate company, many of which handle hundreds of properties and can take days to respond to simple maintenance requests.
Q: What appliances are included?
A: All apartments have stove and refrigerator. Washers/dryers are included in furnished units, and are present in most of my unfurnished units. A few units have dishwashers.
Q: What about security?
A: Chapel Hill is a small University town and we usually don't have serious crime. However, as with any college town, you should always take normal precautions no matter where you live. All of my units have excellent security records.
Q: Do you do less than a 1 year lease?
A: I try to be as flexible as possible on leases for most of my units. The rents listed on the main page are for a 1 year lease. There may be a monthly surcharge on some units if you sign less than a 1 year lease.
Q: I am from out of town. Can I rent sight unseen?
A: This is discouraged, but I do allow it. However, if you rent sight unseen, you have to pay a two month security deposit instead of the normal one month security deposit.
Q: What is your pet policy?
A: I allow pets on a case-by-case basis. Much depends on your references, the size and age of the animal, and whether or not it is fixed. There is a monthly pet fee as well as a refundable security deposit (most places don't return the pet security deposit). In general, the monthly pet fees are:
cats: $10 if neutered, $30 otherwise
neutered dogs: small $10, medium $20, large $30
unneutered dogs: add $20 to above prices, reduce to neutered price when fixed
The refundable extra security deposit generally is computed by adding a zero to the monthly pet fee (e.g., if monthly pet fee is $20, refundable deposit is $200)
In general, I do not allow Rottweilers or Pit Bulls. Huskies, German Shepherds, and Labs are only allowed if you have impeccable references. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and may not be left alone or tied up outside without owner supervision.
No charge for hamsters, fish, rabbits, gerbils, tarantulas, caged snakes, etc. Polar bears, wolves, rhinos, giraffes, and elephants are not allowed.
Q: What is your student population?
A: The reason most people ask this question is because they are concerned about noise. Our Homeowners Association enforces a very strict noise policy. The general rule is that, day or night, you must conduct your affairs so as not to disturb your neighbors. We rarely have noise complaints, but if we do, rest assured that we take immediate action. Please don't apply unless you can be considerate to your neighbors. I do not discriminate against students - I have found that students are often my best tenants. The latest counts that we did (2013) reveal the following demographics of our residents:
University Gardens: a recent survey found 46% graduate students and/or married couples, 36% employed, 8% retirees 10% undergraduate students
Brookside has a low student population
Hillside usually has no students, although students are welcome
Q: What about application fees, deposits, etc?
A: There is an application fee of $45 for each unrelated person. The security deposit, which must be paid at the time of signing the lease, is usually equivalent to one month's rent (higher if you have a pet, bad credit, of if you rent sight unseen). It may not be used as last month's rent, and will be returned to you when you vacate the premises provided you have complied with all terms of the lease. Rentals within Chapel Hill town limits also incur additional monthly town/county fees ranging from $12-$14 that are explained on the lease. Finally, there is a $150-250 cleaning fee (depending on the unit), which is cheerfully refunded if you leave the unit as clean as you found it when you moved in.
Q: What if I have bad credit or a prior bad rental history?
A: This will not necessarily prevent your application from being approved, but it will be to your advantage to fully disclose on your application what the problem(s) were and what you have done to correct them. If we find out you have bad credit or a bad rental history and you have not disclosed this on your application, your application will be denied and your application fee(s) cannot be returned.
Q: Do you have internet?
A: You can subscribe to Time Warner Roadrunner or AT&T UVerse. Google High Speed Fiber has been installed at University Gardens, but we don't know exactly when it will be available. Don't be fooled by apartment complexes offering "free" internet. It is never free, and when you get "free" internet, you are helping to pay the cost of the service for apartments that don't use it. We are able to keep our rents very low by having only those that need the service pay for it. If you add the cost of internet, you will see that our rents are still much lower than complexes offering "free" internet.
Q: How much do utilities cost?
A: This is one of the most commonly asked questions, but one that is very difficult to answer. Utility consumption is so personalized that two different people living in the same apartment could have vastly different bills, so I can't quote figures. The question is most easily answered by saying that I rarely get complaints about high utility bills from tenants. Water usage often runs between $45-$60/month. Normal electric bills often run approximately $40-$70/month. Heating and air conditioning can add anywhere from $10-$60/month.or more depending on usage. North Carolina has the advantage of rather mild winters, so the highest heating bills are normally only encountered during the months of January and February, although we can experience cold spells in December and March We do have hot humid summers, and one should expect to use the a/c during much of June, July, August, and parts of May and September. Heating and cooling costs can be reduced by simply adjusting your thermostat to a reduced setting when you are not in the apartment. University Gardens condos have an added advantage in that each room has individual electric baseboard heat. Unlike central heat, where one must heat the entire apartment to the same temperature, baseboard heat allows one to heat rooms at different levels. One can even shut off heat to rooms that may not be in use at the time. This will reduce energy consumption drastically. Brookside and Hillside Condos have central heat, but it is gas heat which is somewhat more efficient than electric heat. Please understand that the above figures are not guaranteed amounts, actual costs depend on usage and energy conservation habits.
Q: What about parking and trash pickup?
A: Trash pickup is provided at all my properties at no charge. Furthermore, all of my rentals have plenty of free off-street parking available, a rarity in Chapel Hill!
Q: What school districts are your properties in?
A:School districting is changed so often we can no longer keep up with it. Please call (919) 967-8211 to obtain districting information.
Q: What kind of a landlord are you?
A: I get along great with most of my tenants. I basically require three things--pay your rent on time, take care of the property, and be considerate of your neighbors. The few tenants who don't get along with me are usually in violation of one or more of these basic rules!
Q: What happens if I am put on a waiting list? How sure can I be of getting an apartment?