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Tenant Frequently Asked Questions

Pinon Properties offers homes for lease in the greater Santa Fe area, Albuquerque and Los Alamos:

Prospective Tenants

  • Why should I rent from Pinon Properties?

    We are open five days a week - Rent with Pinon Properties. We want to find tenants for the homes we market, and treating clients with respect and prompt service is a priority for us. 
  • Where do you have properties?

    We are leasing homes all over the greater Santa Fe area, Albuquerque and Los Alamos. Visit our Homes for Rent page to view our current inventory of homes. 
  • How expensive are the properties that Pinon offers?

    There are homes available for rent in all price ranges, making it easy to find something that will fit a tenant's budget. Homes on our web site are listed from highest price to lowest price.
  • How long is the standard lease?

    Most of our leases are for one year. Occasionally, an owner will consider a shorter month lease, please ask for availability of such properties. This usually only occurs in January when the lease will expire in June, during the prime rental season. We also rent certain homes on a “short-term” basis, meaning greater than 30 days, but less than one year. 
  • Where is your office located?

    Pinon Properties is located just outside of the Santa Fe Metro area in Santa Fe County. We are located within a quarter mile of the I-25 and NM Highway 14 (Cerrillos Road) interchange, and a short ten minute drive from the Santa Fe Plaza. Our address is 21 Bisbee Court, Suite F, Santa Fe, NM 87508 (in the Turquoise Trail Business Park). Our company can be found in the light tan stucco building on the right-hand side of the street. There is plenty of parking on the West side of our building. Our business is open Monday through Friday. We are closed Saturday and Sunday.  Visit our Hours & Location page for more information and driving directions.
  • As a prospective tenant, what do I need to do to rent property?

    First thing to do is to identify a property that will meet your needs. You can see our current inventory of homes on our Homes for Rent page. The next step is to contact our office to arrange a viewing. Once you have determined that you like the property, we will ask you to complete a Rental Application. You can download this application from this web site. This application must be completed in full, so that we may process it. To process your application we will run a credit check through a major credit company, criminal background check and eviction check. There is an application fee of $15 per adult that will be residing in the home. It is payable online via the email you will receive from us. This application fee is non refundable in the event your application is denied. Applicant must provide proof of income at time application is submitted. Please bring or email us copies of your pay stubs when submitting an application. Rental history and/or mortgage payment history will also be verified as part of the application approval process. If all information is verified satisfactorily and your application is approved, there will be a $25.00 lease processing fee, and then we will place you in the home you have selected. 
  • Can I rent a home without physically seeing it myself?

    Our policy is that a home must be physically visited by the prospective applicant before we will accept an application and take the home off the market.
  • How do I reserve a property for a future move-in date?

    To reserve a specific property for a future move-in date, we require one-half of the security deposit to be collected once the application has been approved. Every rental occurs on a first-come, first-served basis. The approved applicant who is the first to give Pinon Properties a deposit and completed application is the first applicant considered for the home. This half of the security deposit will be used to reserve the home you are interested in. Our personnel will temporarily take the home out of the rental pool and our representatives will no longer show or market this home. In the event you do not move into this home on the agreed upon date, you will forfeit this security deposit which was used to hold the home for you in the first place. 
  • How much is the security deposit and when is it due?

    The security deposit is usually equal to one month's full rent. If you have pets, this security deposit will be increased in direct proportion to how many pets you have.  Security deposits on apartment dwellings may vary.

Application Process

  • What is the age limit to apply for a lease?

    No one under 18 can apply as a party to a residential leasing agreement. Everyone over the age of 18 that will be residing in the home must complete an application and pay the $15 application fee per adult.  Any roommates being added to an existing lease must pay a $75 application fee per adult.
  • What about application fees and deposits?

    There is a non-refundable application fee of $15.00 for each adult applicant over 18 who will be residing in the house. This fee is to cover our credit screening processing cost. If your application is approved and we process a lease, there will be a $25.00 lease processing fee.

    Once you have found a home that you want to rent you must put a deposit down on this home to reserve it. This deposit is one-half of the security deposit (or one-half of the month’s rent). This deposit must be submitted at the same time as the completed rental application, and the credit application fee. The security deposit is refundable if the application is not accepted. Once the application is accepted the applicant must execute a residential leasing agreement within three days. If the application is accepted, and the applicant does not enter into a lease, the applicant’s deposit will be forfeited and the property placed back on the rental market. The balance of the security deposit is due upon lease signing.

    Our application process takes 24 – 48 hours. Applications can be downloaded by visiting our Rental Application page.
  • Do you do criminal screening and what is involved in the criminal background check?

    Yes, there is a criminal as well as a background check run during the application process. Pinon Properties criminal background checks search the database of 50 state and several governmental agencies. Pinon Properties will automatically deny any felony conviction for which less than five (5) years has passed from sentence release date to the date of rental application. Felony convictions can be cause for denial; however, per federal regulations, drug-and-alcohol-use felonies can be waived with proper documentation. Regardless of conviction date, no applicant with a felony conviction for an act of violence, sex crime, or illegal manufacturing or distribution of drugs will be accepted.
  • Do I have to have verifiable rental history and what is involved in a residential screening?

    Yes, Pinon Properties does not rent to applicants who have no verifiable rental history or mortgage payment history.

    Pinon Properties will contact the applicant's previous landlords and obtain written references as to the applicant's payment history, late payment, damages, pet history and other related factors that pertain to tenancy. Applicants with a pet must have an appropriate pet reference as to the condition of the property where the pet has previously resided. You must place contact name and contact numbers for your previous landlords on the rental application or we will be unable to process your application.

    If the applicant was a previous home owner and does not have a prior landlord, we will review the mortgage payment history to confirm payment history. Please provide mortgage company name and contact information when you complete the application.
  • What is involved in employment screening?

    Pinon Properties will contact your present and previous employers to obtain written references for employment dates and salary. You must place the contact names and numbers of your previous employers on your rental application or we will not be able to process it. If you are a new hire and relocating to New Mexico, bring your "Offer of Employment Letter" with you when you complete the application. Applicant's current income should be at least three times the rental amount.

    For self employed and non-employment income we verify sources and amounts: tax returns, bank and business references, government documents. 
  • What is involved in credit screening?

    The screening process includes running a credit report on individuals and a joint credit report on married couples. Pinon Properties uses Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies to conduct this process. The credit check can take a few hours to complete.

    This credit check looks at your current credit and past credit history. It will list any evictions, bankruptcies, foreclosures, liens or judgments that have been awarded against you. At Pinon Properties we are not looking for impeccable credit, however we must protect our owners and find tenants who will pay their rent on time. Our experienced licensed agents will look at each credit history with a trained eye. Each credit situation will be given individual attention.

    If Pinon Properties approves an applicant who has had a bankruptcy and/ or credit problems they will be required to make advance rent payments.

    This credit check will also search some court records and often any criminal activity or arrest will be listed.
  • Can I have pets and what is your pet policy?

    It is at the owner’s discretion to determine if he/she will allow pets in their rental homes. Some owners will not allow any pets; others will approve only small dogs or cats, while others will allow a dog of any size. Some owners will allow only one pet and others will allow multiple pets. Some homeowners will allow cats, some will not, and others will allow cats only if they have been declawed and spayed or neutered. Your pet must be approved by the owner of the home during the application process.

    There is additional non-refundable pet fee required when a tenant has a pet. The additional non-refundable pet fee is $150 per approved pet. Aa $25 per month pet fee per pet may be required in special circumstances. The incremental increase in the security deposit will be due on the move-in date. 

    Any damage to the property or to the neighbor's property that is caused by any pet will be the sole responsibility of the tenant.

    The following dog breeds are specifically restricted from all of our rental properties: Dobermans, Pit Bulls, Chow Chows, Akitas, Rottweilers, Siberian Huskies, Malamutes, Presa Canarios, Wolf-hybrids, German Shepherds, American Staffordshire Terriers, Mastiffs, St. Bernards, Great Danes, Karelian Bear Dogs, Dingos or any dog(s) crossbred with the aforementioned dogs. Additional restrictions include: reptiles, rodents, insects, exotic or poisonous animals or other animals as restricted by city ordinances. Any fish tank over 21 gallons will be considered a pet and a $150 non-refundable pet fee and a $25 per month pet fee per pet will be required.

Rent and Payment Policies

  • When is rent due?

    Rent is due on the first of each month, and will be considered late if not received in the office prior to midnight on the third day of the month. When a check is mailed, it is not considered late if it is postmarked by the first of the month. When payment is made online, the date of submission is the operable date. If a tenant is late with the payment, a three day notice will be sent out, and they will receive a late fee equal to ten percent of the full month's rent. Court summons will be sent if the tenant fails to pay within the allotted time period.

    Rent payments can be made in our office, in our after-hours drop box located on the front of our building by the front door, by mail if postmarked by the first or online through your tenant portal account.
  • Can I pay rent, late fees or pet fees in cash?

    No, it is Pinon Properties’ policy to not accept any cash payments in our office or by mail. All payments must be made with a personal check, certified funds or through our online system.
  • Can I set up automatic deductions from my bank account?

    Yes! You can find online payment services on our website under the Tenant Online Payments button. Just follow the easy instructions to create an account.  There will be a $1.50 convenience fee charged if you use your bank account, however, if you use a credit card the charge can be significantly more, sometime $20 - $30. Pay attention to the fees charged before you submit your payment.
  • What is the late fee policy and eviction process?

    Rent is due on the first of every month. There is a three day grace period through midnight of the third day of the month. The rent is considered late after the third of the month and a late fee is then assessed. The late fee is equal to ten percent of the rent amount of your property and is due ASAP. If your rent is short, there will also be a late fee incurred. Any payments you make will be applied to other charges incurred by you before being applied to rent.

    If you are late on your rental payment you will receive a Three Day Notice to pay as required by New Mexico Real Estate Law. This legal notice will explain that if you fail to pay your rent within the three day time frame indicated within this letter, Pinon Properties will begin eviction proceedings in the local courts.

    Pinon Properties policy is to only file in the courts for a judgment/eviction once per tenant during the term of tenancy. Once Pinon files in court for a judgment, the tenant must bring their account current and pay all outstanding rent, late fees, outstanding utilities and any outstanding balance owed in their account.

    If the tenant fails to pay rent a second time and requires a second court filing for a judgment or eviction, Pinon Properties will proceed to file in court even if the money is tender to satisfy the rent, with the intention of evicting the tenant.
  • How does Pinon handle Utility Billing?

    On properties where the owner requires that tenants pay utilities, applicants must put all gas, electricity, water, and trash utility accounts into their names BEFORE keys will be given at lease signing. If you are putting a security deposit down on a home, ask the receptionist for the list of utility phone numbers so you can schedule them in your name effective your desired move in date. At lease signing we will ask you for confirmation numbers from PNM and NM Gas and we will call to verify that all utilities have been placed into your name before keys will be released. Visit our Tenant Forms and Services page for more detailed information on utility accounts.

Tenant Policies

  • Can I get a pet after move-in?

    The pet will have to be approved by the owner of the home prior to occupying the property. If approved, a $150 non-refundable pet fee will be charged for each pet at that time and an additional $25 per month pet fee per pet may be required and the pet(s) will be added to the lease.

    Please note: There is a $150 per month fee for the entire lease term for any unauthorized pets found to be visiting or occupying the property for any length of time.
  • Can I install cable or satellite at my property?

    Generally, yes. However, you must obtain a consent form signed by your property manager. We have this form available to you on our webpage on the "Tenant Forms/Services" page. Print that form out and fill in all of the appropriate information and bring it to Pinon's office for your property manager's signature. The cost of installation is the tenant's responsibility. Some COA’s/HOA’s do not allow the satellite dish to be visible from the front of the home or from the street, please check with your property manager before the installation date.
  • Do I need Renters Insurance?

    It is highly recommended to have renter's insurance on your rental home. The owner's insurance does not cover the tenant's possessions and any loss incurred by a tenant will not be covered. Typically, renter's insurance is very affordable. Ask us about the options available.
  • What am I responsible for maintaining?

    Tenants are responsible for replacing air conditioner filters, filling water softener, and replacing light bulbs and smoke detector batteries. Smoke detector batteries should be changed twice a year or more if needed. Proper yard maintenance and watering is required as well.
  • How do I get help for a maintenance problem?

    All maintenance requests must be made in writing. The most efficient and preferred way to report a problem is through our website. Visit our "Tenant Repair Request" page to submit a maintenance request. Fill out all of the required information and submit the form. At that time the work order is immediately sent and received by our repairs department and, if appropriate, a vendor will be notified to contact you. Another option is to come in to our office and fill out a work order request form in writing.
  • Does Pinon Properties allow sub-leasing?

    No, we do not allow sub-leasing in our properties.
  • What is an HOA (Home Owners Association) or COA (Condominium Owners Association) and how does it apply to tenants?

    Some neighborhoods or condominium complexes have casual HOA's/COA’s and some have very formal HOA's/COA’s. Home or condo owners associations are created by builders and developers to help ensure that all owners or their tenants living in a particular neighborhood will take care and pride in their property. The HOA 's/COA’s purpose is to monitor the neighborhood or complex and make sure that everybody is keeping their yards clean, removing trash cans from the curbs, not setting up business in their homes, not parking on the sidewalks or having loud and annoying parties. These are just some examples of items that an HOA/COA tries to control. Listed under Tenant Forms and Services navigation button is a more comprehensive list. If you want an entire list of rules you can download the CC & R's from our web site.

    To do their job, an HOA/COA employee or contractor drives throughout the neighborhood/complex several times a month looking for infractions. Once they find a home that is in violation of the HOA/COA rules, they send out a letter of violation to the owner. This letter is usually followed up with a second letter within ten days, if the problem has not been addressed and fixed.

    As the tenant living in a home where there is an active HOA?COA, you are responsible for any violation that occurs at your rental property.

    Once the HOA?COA informs the homeowner, Pinon will send you a written notice to fix the problem. If the problem is not fixed within seven to ten days, the HOA/COA will assess the owner a fine. These fines can range between $50 and $250. Once you have been notified and if you have not fixed the problem, you the tenant will be responsible for paying this fine.

    On our web site at the navigation button labeled HOA/COA, you can download the Covenant Conditions and Rules (CC & R's) for your respective neighborhood. Many of these documents will print out between 40 - 75 pages. Also we have provided you contact numbers in case you want to dispute the violation and want to call the HOA yourself.
  • What is Pinon Properties policy regarding pest control?

    Our policy regarding spraying for insects is that the owner will provide one spray, if requested, thereafter it is the tenant's responsibility and cost for each subsequent spray.
  • How do I check for registered sex offenders?

    Go to www.familywatchdog.us

    It is the sole responsibility of each prospective tenant to determine if the neighborhood they are interested in renting and living, meets their standards. Pinon Properties does not do a criminal or sex offender search on the neighborhoods where our rental homes are located. When you sign your lease, you will be given phone numbers to call to check on registered sex offenders on your own if you request it.
  • What is the policy on roommates?

    Every adult that applies to reside in a rental home must pay Pinon Properties a $15 application fee when submitting the rental application. We allow up to two persons per bedroom in accordance with Housing & Urban Development guidelines.  Any roommates being added to an existing lease must pay a $110 application fee per adult when submitting their application.

    If roommates have to move and want to be taken off an existing lease, the new replacing roommate must sign an addendum to be added to the lease. The new roommates must also have their credit checked and qualify as an applicant. The security deposit will not be refunded until the end of the lease term and then will only be distributed to the current names that appear on the lease.

Move-Out Policies

  • What do I have to do to move out of the property?

    To officially begin the move-out process, you need to send or bring in a written thirty-day notice. Go to the Tenant Forms/Services page on our website and complete the 30 Day Notice to Vacate Form and fax or email it to us. Also print out a copy of the Move-Out Instruction sheet.

    This notice to vacate must be given at least 30 days in advance of the time that your term of lease is expiring in the event that you decide not to or do not have the option of lease renewal. Please note that this does not allow you to “break” your lease – move out before the expiration of your natural lease term.
  • When does the thirty days Notice to Vacate start?

    The 30 Day Notice of Vacate becomes valid when it is received in our office. 30 Day notices must be received on or before the 1st of the month that you wish to vacate. If it is received after the first it will be effective for the following month.
  • Can I move out before the thirty days is up?

    Yes, once you have sent in the thirty day notice you make take as much or as little of that time as needed to move-out with in the 30 day time frame. However, you are responsible for rent payment for the entire thirty days unless a new tenant moves into the home during that time. If this occurs, the pro-rated difference will be refunded to you.
  • How do I get my full security deposit back?

    There are a number of things that must take place to receive a full refund of the security deposit. All wall to wall carpeting and window coverings need to be professionally cleaned. The interior of the home must be cleaned thoroughly. Please go to the Tenant Forms/Services page on our website to read the Move-Out Instruction sheet. If you want Pinon Properties to recommend an approved vendor please call 505-375-1311 for a list of vendor names.
  • How long after I move out until I can expect to receive my security deposit?

    You will receive your security deposit within thirty days of the end of your rental period. This is determined to be: when all keys and garage door openers have been returned to Pinon Properties, and expiration of the lease has occurred. If expiration of the lease has not occurred and the keys and garage door openers have been returned - you have not reached the end of the rental period. You will be sent an Itemized Deposition of your security deposit which will state all the charges and any remaining funds from your security deposit which will be returned to you. The remainder of the deposit will be sent along with the Deposition. If a balance is due to the owner, it must be submitted within fifteen days or the account will be sent to collection.

    Special circumstances apply in the event a lease has been broken. The security deposit may be held or forfeited until a new tenant has been found for the property.
  • How do I dispute the Security Deposit Deposition?

    If you choose to dispute the Itemized Deposition of Security Deposit, you must do so within fifteen days of receipt thereof. Check your lease, any addendum, and the welcome notice given to you at the time you signed the lease for further information.
  • Can I break the lease before it has expired?

    When you sign the lease before moving into the home, it is binding, so although breaking a lease is possible, it does carry consequences. Read the lease carefully before signing it, and be aware of the responsibilities of renting a home.  Lease break charges may include, but are not limited to, rent, maintenance, utilities and advertising until the home is re-rented or until the lease expires, whichever comes first, an early termination fee of $500 plus applicable New Mexico gross receipts tax, and reimbursement costs to the Owner such as the charge to re-key the home for a new tenant and the charge to run a criminal check on a new tenant at $15 per approved adult.
  • Can I rent a carpet cleaner and clean the carpets myself?

    No. The carpets will be professionally cleaned by a Pinon approved vendor and the cost for the cleaning will automatically be deducted from your security deposit.
  • Do I need to be present for a move-out inspection?

    No, the property managers will conduct their move-out inspections from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Monday through Friday. You will be notified of the results when you receive the Disposition of Security Deposit that will make note of any damage to the property. Please see the Tenant Forms/Services page on our website to obtain the Move-Out Instruction sheet and 30 Day Notice to Vacate form.