Becoming a Tenant

Finding your next home

If you are coming from out of town, one of the primary things to know about the Portland rental market is that most vacancies are posted on Zillow. While Zillow does its best to screen out scammers, make sure you do not give anyone money for any reason unless you are paying an application fee or signing a lease. NEVER send deposit money to someone you have not met in person, and NEVER pay money directly to an individual to “hold” a property.

If you want to be 100% sure, any property owner or management company should be able to provide written proof of their legitimacy. If you are interacting with someone claiming to be affiliated with a management company, you can verify their legitimacy via their company website and by looking up their company’s license(s) with the Oregon Real Estate board.

If you are interacting with someone claiming to be the property owner and they are asking for money via wire be very careful. Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated. Scammers commonly copy management company listings and repost them for a lower price while posing as the property owner.

One way to catch these scammers is to Google the address of the property you are interested in. If a Google search turns up a different ad for the property through a management company and/or an ad listed at a higher price, that means you have been viewing a fraudulent ad.

If price and/or location are your primary determining factors when it comes to your next home, Zillow has tools that allow you to sort results by price/amenities, and if you view the results via the map view, you can see exactly where properties are located.

If you are using other criteria to sort your property choices, here are some resources you might find handy:

School Ratings: GreatSchools

Crime: PortlandMaps

Misc Demographics: CityRating

When applying for a property, there are things you can do to help speed up the application process:

On your application, list two landlord references if at all possible. Listing your current landlord as well as your previous landlord (and having accurate contact information for them) makes the screening process go faster.  If your landlord history has gaps or you are missing landlord history due to living with family or owning your home, you can list that information or send a follow-up email so the management company or screening company doesn’t spend time requesting that info and losing time while they wait for your response.

During the screening process, you will be required to show proof of income. Being prepared with copies of pay stubs and/or tax records will help you breeze through that section of the application.  If you have them in electronic form, you will likely be able to attach them directly to the application.  If you have trouble making that work, you can always send supplemental attachments via email.

Renting with pets can be a difficult process, so being proactive up front can pay off. For our tips on how to help your case, read our blog post: Helping Landlords See Your Dog Like You Do (the general idea can also apply to cats).

Setting up Utilities

Electricity

Most of our properties are served by Portland General Electric.  Call 800-542-8818 or click here.

For Pacific Power, call 888-221-7070 or click here.

Gas:

All properties with gas heat, appliances, or fireplaces are served by NW Natural Gas.  Call 800-422-4012 or click here.

Water

The water utility you contact depends on the city you live in:

Trash

To get contact information needed to set up service or to check your trash/recycling pickup schedule, follow the following steps:

1. Go to Portland Maps (even if you don’t live in the City of Portland).

2. Enter your street address.

3. Go to the garbage/recycling link.

Note: If you live in the City of Portland, residential trash is only picked up every other week while recycling/compost is picked up weekly.

Maintenance Requests

The best way to request maintenance is to file a request via the tenant portal. This ties your request to your unit, allows you to attach photos, and it sends the request to everyone on our maintenance team so your request doesn’t slip through the cracks. If you don’t know how to access the portal, email: staff@jdportland.com.

If it is an urgent situation where tenant safety or the integrity of the property is in immediate risk, please call our emergency line at 503-376-7234 x1. If we don’t catch your call before it goes to voicemail it is essential that you leave a message.

A maintenance emergency is anything related to the property that urgently puts
the property or your safety at risk. If a maintenance emergency occurs, call 503-
376-7234 x1. Examples of emergencies include (but are not limited to) flooding,
a vehicle crashing into the living space (it has actually happened before!),
explosion, fire, etc. If you encounter a fire at the property, call 911 before calling
us.

Emergencies

If you have a maintenance emergency, please call 503-376-7234 ext. 1.  Dialing that extension rings multiple people.  If nobody is able to answer before it goes to voicemail, please leave a message so we can get back to you ASAP.

Online

Unless it is an emergency (please call 503-376-7234 ext. 1 if it is) the preferred method of submitting a maintenance request is online. By clicking on the pink Tenant Portal button in the top right corner of this page, you can log in to your tenant account and request maintenance any time day or night. Submitting a request this way puts the request in writing and notifies more than one person at the same time.

If you are unable to log in to your account, please let us know at info@jdportland.com.

Via Phone

While online submissions are preferred for routine requests, you are welcome to phone in a request anytime by calling 503-376-7234 ext 3.

Move Out Process

Notice is best served in writing, so a letter or email is ideal.  If you serve your notice and do not hear back from us, please check to make sure it was received.

If you are in a lease, it is appreciated if you provide your notice as early as possible to assist with planning.

If you are in a month-to-month agreement, your notice doesn’t have to be provided exactly 30 days before you plan to move out, 30 days is the minimum notice that you provide in a month to month agreement.  If you gan give notice more than 30 days in advance, that is appreciated.

If You Pre-Paid Your Last Month

If you move out on the last day of the month, the process is simple – you don’t have to pay your last month of rent if you paid it at move-in.  If the amount you paid was different than your current rent (like if rent went up since you originally moved in) you will still need to pay the difference between what you prepaid and what you owe.

If you move out mid-month, your rent will be prorated for the number of days of the month that you had possession of the property, and the remainder of your last month’s rent deposit will be refunded to you after you move out.

If You Did Not Pre-Pay Your Last Month

Pay your rent as usual.  If you move out mid-month, your final month’s rent should be prorated.  If you have questions about your prorate, let us know.

Not Sure?

Contact us and we will let you know.

Moving Is Exhausting!  The last thing you will want to do after moving your stuff to your new place is to go back to your old place and clean it.  We know.  We’ve been there. 

Everything that you can do yourself to make sure your apartment is clean and undamaged at move out saves you money.  It is less expensive for you to coordinate carpet cleaning and other items yourself than it is to pay us to coordinate it for you after you leave.

As you plan your move to your new location, consider budgeting for a house cleaner.  Cleaning companies charge less to clean an empty house than they do one that is full of your stuff (dusting your Star Wars collection takes time!) so you might be surprised how affordable it is (especially if you are splitting the cost between roommates!).  When you are sitting down after a long day of moving and putting up your sore feet, you will probably sigh, “I’m so glad I hired cleaners.”  They do the dirty work of cleaning the tub, sinks, fridge, and all the crevices you just don’t want to deal with, and they have all the right tools.

You can also save yourself some money by hiring your own carpet cleaner, lawn mowing people, or other services you need.  If you need recommendations, let us know!

Keep in mind that you are responsible for returning the property in the condition that you received it:

  • Burned-out lightbulbs should be replaced.
  • Lawns should be mowed and flowerbeds weeded (if you have those).
  • Carpets should be cleaned.
  • The house/apartment/condo should be clean inside, including inside the fridge and oven, window blinds, inside cabinets, and windowsills.

The standard procedure is to issue one check in the name of all responsible parties on the lease.  If the responsible parties do not have a joint bank account, the parties on the check will need to get together and take the check to a Key Bank where it can be cashed and if necessary, split up amongst the parties.

We will ask for your forwarding address at the walkthrough, but it is prudent to also send us an email with your forwarding address, especially if you cannot attend the walkthrough.  If we know where to send your check, you will get it faster.

Your check will be mailed within 30 days of the termination of your rental agreement.