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Tenant FAQ

How do I become a tenant?
If you are interested in renting one of SPM’s vacant units, the first step is for all applicants 18 or older who will occupy the unit to fill out a detailed application. SPM does have a tenant selection plan based on criminal records, income, personal references, and previous rental history. Once your tenancy has been approved, all occupants 18 and older will be asked to sign a lease and remit money for rent and security deposit. Please read the lease and any attached documents very carefully, because they are legally binding. If you violate the lease in any way, you may wind up losing the right to live in your apartment. Rent collections are strictly enforced, as are noise rules and pet policies. If you plan to get a pet, be sure you find out whether or not a pet will be allowed before signing the lease. If there is anything in the lease, House Rules, or in the unit itself, with which you may have issues, be sure to discuss this with your Rental Agent/Project Manager before you move in.

Will SPM refuse to rent to me if my ethnic background is different from others in the building?
SPM strictly follows Fair Housing and does not discriminate based on racial or ethnic background, religious beliefs, disability, marital status, age or other categories specified in Fair Housing regulations. We welcome your interest in any of our vacancies.

How do I pay the rent?
Please look for instructions on your lease agreement. For your convenience, SPM accepts payment by mail, in our office at 410 Third Street or in the manager offices at the Elderly Subsidized Housing projects. Please note that at the subsidized housing projects the payment of rent in cash is not accepted, for security reasons.

How do I report a repair which needs to be done in my home?
You may go to our web site and email a Work Order to SPM @ or you may call (740) 374-8150. After office hours, you may call (866) 362-6817 to reach the answering service to have maintenance paged in an emergency. Please call SPM rather than repairing a maintenance problem yourself, as, except for specific circumstances provided for by law, you will not be allowed to deduct costs of repair from your rent. If there is a problem which was caused by you or your guests, such as an inappropriate item flushed down the toilet, you will be charged for the repair.

What is considered an emergency?
An emergency is defined as a maintenance problem that will cause a safety hazard to residents, or imminent damage to property, so that fixing it cannot wait until the next business day. A few examples would be an overflowing toilet, a broken pipe, or sudden electrical short. If there is a gas leak, call the gas company in your area first, and if there is a power outage, call the electric company in your area first to see if there is a general power outage in the area. For emergencies that are specific to your address, the answering service operator will contact the SPM staff member on call.

Will SPM notify me when a repair person is coming to my home?
SPM will give you a 24 hour notice to enter, unless you agree to allow SPM staff to enter your home on an as-available basis. There is no requirement for you to be present, but you must provide access to your home, with proper notice, for purposes of repairs. There is no requirement for SPM to give you notice if there is a suspected emergency, such as a burst pipe.

What happens if I don’t pay my rent?
If your rent is not received when it is due, generally by the first of each month, you will be served a legal notice to pay your rent or leave the apartment. If rent is not received by the time the notice expires, and you do not leave, you will be subject to eviction proceedings. If you plan to be out of town when rent is due, you still need to make sure before you leave that your rent is paid. Being out of town does not excuse you from paying the rent. Rent must be paid regardless of any personal circumstances or problems you may have. This is part of your lease agreement, which is a legal document voluntarily signed by you. If your rent is late you may be subject to a late fee, and if your check bounces, you may be subject to a bounced check fee.

If there are any problems you wish to discuss in regard to your rent, you may contact your Property Manager or Rental Agent.

I want to share the unit with a roommate. How does rent payment work? Can we each be responsible for half the rent?
In a roommate situation, both roommates are entirely responsible for the rent. SPM prefers one payment for the entire rent per unit. You must work it out between yourselves as to how you get the rent payment to SPM; for example, there are times when one roommate may pay more rent than another, if that roommate occupies a room that is significantly larger, but that must be worked out between roommates and is not handled by SPM. It is not SPM’s responsibility to intercede if one of you pays and the other doesn’t. This will simply be considered non-payment of rent, and both your names may appear on a three day notice and any possible eviction. The security deposit only is refunded when the entire unit is vacant, and no partial refund is given when one roommate moves out. If one roommate wants to leave and someone else wants to live in the unit, that person needs to apply as a tenant and be approved. If you and your roommate do not get along, SPM is not obliged to get your roommate to leave.

Needless to say, it is important to know a person’s history of being responsible financially before agreeing to be that person’s roommate. It would be wise to see a potential roommate’s credit history before agreeing to share an apartment.

When I move out, how can I get my security deposit back? Can I use my security deposit for my last month of rent?
Security deposits are not to be used instead of payment of rent, since the purpose of a security deposit is to pay for any damage caused by the tenant or their guests. If you do not pay rent, including the last month you are in the unit, you may be subject to eviction proceedings. You are entitled to an accounting of your security deposit as well as the appropriate refund, within 30 days of your moving out of the unit.

I want to have an additional person move in. What should I do?
Any persons not on the original lease may only occupy the unit with the permission of SPM, and that person needs to be approved as a tenant by SPM. You may be charged more rent if that person is in addition to, rather than instead of, a present resident. If an additional person is found to live in your unit, without permission of SPM, you may be subject to eviction and/or increase of rent.

My neighbor plays loud music late at night. What do you suggest?
As a first step, if your neighbor is violating House Rules, we always suggest first talking to your neighbor in a friendly tone of voice. For instance, you may want to let him/her know that they may be unaware of the fact that it is late at night, their music can be heard in your unit, and is preventing you from sleeping. If you have already tried this, and the behavior continues, please inform Management, and SPM will contact the tenant. If the behavior continues even after SPM has made a direct request to your neighbor, please inform SPM, and further steps may need to be taken. If there is a loud party late at night and you feel you have no choice, by all means contact the Police Department.

I want to change the color of the paint in my unit and make other changes. May I do this?
As part of the lease agreement, renovations made by a tenant are only permissible with written approval by SPM. You may, of course, hang paintings of your choice on the wall, provided you keep the holes small and to a minimum. This rule against renovation without permission applies to all renovations, including changing your carpeting or other flooring, installation of built in appliances, etc. Please do not affix a satellite dish or other antenna to the roof, as you will be charged for any damages to the roofing.