Frequently asked questions - Sparrow

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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

When should I start my search for a Sparrow rental home?

Sparrow recommends beginning your search up to a month in advance to allow yourself ample time to tour our available homes and find the right one for you.

Once you’ve found your desired home, you’ll be able to select a move-in date that’s within 14 days of your date of application.

How do I tour a Sparrow rental home?

Once you have found a rental home you like, touring a Sparrow home is easy! We offer self-guided tours which can be scheduled with ease by clicking the “Self-Guided Tour” button on our website. You can schedule your tour when convenient for you. Please be sure to view the home’s photos and location prior to scheduling a self-guided tour.

I’m having difficulty touring. Who do I contact?

If you’re experiencing issues touring a Sparrow home, please contact our Customer Service team at CustomerService@SparrowNow.com.

What does “Coming Soon” mean?

When a home is listed on our website as “Coming Soon,” the home is not quite ready for move in. This means the home is still undergoing renovation to ensure the home is in pristine condition and “move in ready.” If you are interested in a “Coming Soon” home, click the “Apply Now” button. You will be prompted to review and accept the “Terms of Agreement and Qualification Criteria,” then begin the application. You will be required to submit a $250 holding fee. The holding fee is then credited to your move-in funds due prior to move-in. We will hold the home for you and once it is ready, you will have 24 hours to view it for yourself and confirm your move-in-date. Your move in date must be within 7 days from when you view the home. If you choose not to lease the home, let us know and we will refund the $250 holding fee within 10 business days.

What is SmartRent?

SmartRent is our trusted SmartHome provider. Every Sparrow home is equipped with a SmartRent system, which includes a hub, front door lock, and thermostat(s) that you control with your phone, tablet or computer.

To schedule a self-guided tour in a Sparrow home, select the home, click “Self-Guided Tour,” and choose your preferred date and time. At the time of your tour, SmartRent will deliver a personal code you’ll use to enter the home.

Click here to learn more.

Can I schedule a guided tour?

Every Sparrow home is equipped with SmartHome technology that enables you to tour at your own pace!

If you require assistance, please contact our Customer Service department at CustomerService@SparrowNow.com.

What do I do if I suspect I am a victim of fraud?

If someone other than a Sparrow team member is trying to rent you a home that we own and professionally manage, please call us at 1.877.881.8484 or email us at Fraud@SparrowNow.com.

Click here to learn more.

How do I apply for a Sparrow rental home?

You have found the perfect home! Do not delay in submitting your rental application. To apply, visit SparrowNow.com, click the magnifying glass icon at the top right of any page, search the home address, and click the “Apply Now” button. You will be prompted to review and accept the “Terms of Agreement and Qualification Criteria,” then begin the application.

Is there an application fee?

There is an application fee of $55.00 per application for all applicants ages 18 and up. There is also a $250 holding fee will allow us to take the home off the market during the time we are processing your application. The $250 holding fee will be applied toward your first month’s move-in costs.

Please note, homes will only be held for a maximum of 14 days from the date of application submission. The holding fee is credited against your first month’s move-in costs. Each applicant will be required to provide an accurate and separate email address. An application is not considered complete until ALL income documents, identification documents, and the online application is submitted. If all documentation is not provided within 24 hours of the online application submission, the application will be cancelled. Application fees are non-refundable.

Once a complete application is submitted, it can take up to 24-72 hours for review. You will be informed of any application status change throughout the process.

How much does it cost to apply for a Sparrow rental home?

Each application is $55.00 per applicant age 18 and older. At the time you submit your application, you will also need to pay a $250.00 holding fee online via credit card or bank account. The holding fee takes the home off the market and secures the home for a maximum of 14 days from the date of your application. The $250.00 holding fee is applied towards the first month’s move-in costs. If you choose not to move forward with the home after your holding fee is paid, the $250.00 is forfeited and Sparrow will place the home back on the market. If your application is denied, the holding fee will be refunded. Please allow for 10 to 14 business days to receive your holding fee refund.

What documents do I need to apply?

You will need to pay the fees and provide the following documents to complete the application process:

  1. Completed online application(s) for anyone 18 years or older who will be residing in the home.
  2. Pay a $55.00 application fee for each applicant.
  3. Pay a $250.00 holding fee online via credit card or bank account at the time of application.
  4. Provide household income verification documents as outlined in the “Rental Qualification Criteria.”
  5. Provide government issued identification for all applicants 18 years or older.
Am I able to transfer my application to another Sparrow home?

Yes, you and any additional applicant may need to provide current income to re-qualify for the new property.

What if my application is denied?

Sparrow uses a third-party screening provider to screen all applications. Once we receive a complete application packet (online application, proof of income, and identification documents), the screening provider reviews all aspects of the screening results and provides Sparrow with a screening result packet. The results are thoroughly reviewed by Sparrow and an application decision is made. An application is either approved, conditionally approved, or denied. If an application is approved conditionally an additional security deposit amount will be due at time of possession in accordance with local laws and regulations. When an application is denied, it is typically due to poor credit history results, rental history, civil court history, criminal history, or insufficient income. If an application is denied or cancelled, the application fees are non-refundable and will not be returned. If an application is denied or approved with conditions, each applicant will receive an adverse action letter via email. This letter will provide details regarding the screening results and instructions to obtain a copy of your credit report.

Can I qualify if I am self-employed?

Yes! We accept applications from self employed individuals. If an applicant is self-employed, we will ask for the most recent year’s personal tax return in addition to six months’ worth of personal bank statements. Business tax returns and business bank statements including personal bank statements listing a “dba” will not be accepted.

Can I submit an application for multiple homes?

You may only apply for one Sparrow home at a time. Once you submit your application, the home will be taken off the market during the qualification period, which means no one else will be able to apply for or tour the home unless your application is denied.

Can I push back my move-in date?

When applying, you will be asked to select a lease start date that falls within 14 days of your application date. You may choose to move in at a later date, but that will not change your lease start date or your rent and fee schedule.

Can I move in on a weekend?

Yes! At the time of application, you’ll select a move-in date within 14 days, which includes weekends and holidays. Just please keep in mind that there may be inherent limitations to resolving issues on these days that are outside of Sparrow’s control.

Does Sparrow conduct OFAC searches?

Yes. We will conduct an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) search for each application. Any applicant that appears on an OFAC list is subject to automatic denial.

For more information regarding the Rental Qualification Criteria, click here.

Do I need a co-signor or guarantor?

A guarantor will be accepted for applicants who do not meet the income or credit requirements. Only one (1) guarantor per home is permitted. Guarantors are subject to the same guidelines as applicants except their income must be 4.0 times the monthly rent (independent of any resident income). The guarantor must complete a separate lease application and pay a lease application fee. The guarantor will be required to sign the lease agreement and/or an addendum thereto.

Does Sparrow accept housing applications from corporations?

Yes, we welcome corporate applications for employee use. Upon application, we will conduct a qualification screening that will include searching public data for legal filings, collections and payment trends.

What is RentCafe?

RentCafe is our third-party vendor we use to help with the application process and provide a resident portal where you can make rent payments and maintenance requests.

Click here to learn how to make online and automated rent payments.

How soon can I move in?

At Sparrow, we pride ourselves on offering quick move-ins. As long as you submit the required documents and pay all fees in full, you’ll be able to select a move-in date within the next 14 days of application.

Is my security deposit refundable?

Whether approved with a security deposit of one-month rent, or one-and-a-half-month rent, the total security deposit is fully refundable at move out. Please keep in mind, any unpaid rent, damages to the home that are not the result of ordinary wear and tear, or ledger balances will be deducted from your security deposit if owed at the time of move out.

How much will my security deposit be?

Typically, applicants are approved with a security deposit of one time the monthly rent. In some cases, an application may be approved with conditions meaning a higher security deposit is required. If an application is approved with conditions, the security deposit will be one and a half months rent instead of one month.

What credit bureau is used?

We use RentGrow, a third-party screening provider for credit screening purposes. If your application is declined, an adverse action letter is sent out via email with instructions on obtaining a copy of your credit report. Please be aware this is considered a hard inquiry.

Can I add an applicant to my application once I am approved?

Yes, however all applications are processed collectively as a group rather than individually. If an applicant is added after the initial screening, the primary applicant may be subject to a second inquiry on their credit through our third-party screening provider, RentGrow. Adding an applicant after the initial screening may delay the final application decision.

Do you accept housing choice vouchers?

Sparrow does not currently accept housing vouchers or assistance programs.

What are the credit and income requirements?

Once an application is submitted, a credit report is automatically processed detailing your credit and rental history. Please note that if you have initiated a “freeze” on your credit report, your application cannot be processed. Please contact the applicable credit bureau to “unfreeze” your credit prior to submitting your application to avoid delays. Here at Sparrow we do not have a minimum credit score requirement, rather we look at the overall payment history, debt to income ratio, collections, etc.

In some cases, if the applicant’s credit score is low, we will conditionally approve the applicant meaning that a security deposit of 1.5 times the rent is due in accordance with state specific guidelines.

Income will be verified based on the application and supporting documents provided. The total household gross income (before withholdings) must equal a minimum of three times the monthly rent amount.

What are the criminal history requirements?

As part of the application screening, a criminal history check is reviewed. All criminal records are based on the public records for each applicant 18 years or older. If the applicant has lived in multiple states, the screening may be delayed. All criminal history guidelines are based off of the disposition date regardless of the applicant’s age at the time such offense was committed. Certain types of offenses including, but not limited to, misdemeanors and felonies may result in an automatic denial of your application. Please refer to the Rental Qualification Criteria for detailed information regarding criminal history requirements.

How do I qualify for a Sparrow rental home?

All occupants age 18 and older who plan to reside in the home are required to complete an application. Each applicant will undergo a criminal background, credit, civil court history, rental, and OFAC check. Guarantors and co-signers are required to complete the same application process. Please click here to review our Rental Qualification Criteria.

What lease term lengths are available?

Sparrow offers flexible lease terms from 12 months up to 24 months. Lock-in your rate and save! Contact your Leasing Specialist for more information.

When should I contact movers?

Sparrow recommends scheduling movers once your application has been approved and your move-in date has been selected.

Is there a move-in orientation?

Yes. Please click here to view our Move-In Orientation Guide, which includes information on utilities, pet guidelines, renter’s insurance, how to submit a maintenance request and much more.

When is my rent payment due?

Monthly rent payments are due on the first day of each month and considered late as of the fifth day of the month. All rent payments are required to be paid online through the RENTCafe’ resident portal. If rent is not paid in full by the fifth day of each month, a late fee will be assessed in accordance with the lease agreement.

Can I run a business out of a Sparrow home?

Sparrow homes are for residential use only. We do not allow use of our homes for any business or commercial purposes.

Does Sparrow accommodate military service members?

Yes, Sparrow complies with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 USC Appx. Section 501 et seq. as amended) and similar local laws when it comes to members of the military needing to terminate a lease due to military service. Termination of the Lease Agreement is effective on the date stated on the notice that is at least 30 days after the Property Manager receives notice.

Does Sparrow accept any type of surety deposit?

Sparrow does not accept any form of surety deposit at this time.

What are my move in costs?

Prior to move in all future residents will be required to sign a cost sheet which outlines all move in costs. Fees you should expect to pay from the time of application to move-in are as follows:

  • Application fees of $55.00 per applicant 18 years of age and older
  • Holding fee of $250.00 at time of application approval
  • Security deposit
  • Non-refundable pet fee of $300.00 per pet (if applicable)
  • Administrative/cleaning fee of $250.00
  • Prorated rent for the current month. If you move in on the 20th or after, the following month’s rent is due at time of move-in
  • Prorated pet rent. If you move in on the 20th or after, the following month’s pet rent is due at time of move-in

Future residents should also plan for the following fees not associated with Sparrow:

  • Utility provider fees and deposits due to the provider
  • Moving services
  • Renters insurance
Why are my move-in costs not showing?

Rent charges for the following month post on the 25th of the prior month. If your move-in window falls before the 25th, you may not see next month’s charges posted yet. Please reach out to your Property Manager with any questions.

How do I add a lease holder to my lease?

During the lease term, if the resident requests to add a roommate or lease holder, an application is required. The online application and identification documents are required prior to the new lease holder or roommate living in the home. An application fee of $55.00 is required at the time of application. The application must be reviewed and approved by Sparrow prior to occupancy by the new lease holder or roommate.

Why am I not able to pay my rent?

If you are experiencing any billing or payment issues, please contact your Property Manager.

Can I pay rent in person by check or cash?

Rent payments are accepted online only through the resident portal.

Click here to more about how to make online and automated rent payments.

Is smoking or vaping allowed in a Sparrow home?

Sparrow homes are smoke-free. By signing a lease, residents agree there will be no smoking inside or within 20 feet of the home. This includes but is not limited to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, marijuana, pipes, cigars and any other items that produce vapor or smoke.

How does billing for utilities work and what is Conservice?

When you move into your Sparrow home, utilities will already be on and in the name of Sparrow.  You will be required to move electricity (and any bundled utilities) into your name on or before your move in date. For all other utilities (water, sewer, trash and gas), you will automatically be enrolled in our utilities payment plan, provided through Conservice.  For these utilities, monthly bills will be received from Conservice, included on your ledger and paid as additional rent through Sparrow.  Conservice charges a monthly service fee of $12.99 that is paid by the resident. Sparrow pays the set up charges associated with your Conservice account.

Note: Residents in North Carolina will be required to move all utilities into their name and will not be enrolled in the Conservice program.

Does Sparrow allow pets?

We understand pets are part of the family and Sparrow homes are pet friendly. Sparrow does have pet restrictions in place including but not limited to restricted breeds of German Shepherds, Bull Terriers, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and any mix containing one of these breeds is prohibited. Livestock, farm animals (including potbellied pigs), and poisonous, dangerous, or exotic animals (such as snakes and spiders) are prohibited. Each pet requires a $300.00 non-refundable pet fee in addition to a monthly pet rent of $35.00 per pet. Each pet should not exceed 100 pounds.

How many pets can I have?

A maximum of three pets per household are permitted.

Are service animals and emotional support animals allowed?

Yes, Sparrow permits service and emotional support animals with verified documentation. We ask for a letter from a qualified, licensed physician or health care professional indicating that you have a disability-related need for animal assistance. Sparrow cannot accept documents from online sources. Once a service pet or emotional service animal is verified with the required documents, the pet fee and pet rent will be waived. In addition, if a pet is determined to be a service pet or emotional support animal, all breeds restrictions will be waived as well.

Can I add a pet to my lease after I have moved in?

Yes, you can add a pet to the lease at anytime as long as the pet meets the lease requirements. You will contact your Property Manager to complete a Pet Addendum and pay the required lease fees and pet rent.

When will I receive my security deposit back?

Residents who comply with the requirements of the “Term of the Lease” section of their lease are entitled to a refund of their security deposit, an accounting of the deductions or both in accordance with state guidelines after both vacating the residence and providing the landlord with a forwarding address.

How do I make a partial payment?

If you need to make a partial payment, please contact your local Property Manager. They will review your account and determine if you are eligible to make a partial payment. Additional documents require a signature prior to acceptance of a partial payment and will be provided by the Property Manager for electronic signature. Late fees may apply until the full ledger balance is paid in full.

How do I move to a month-to-month lease?

Sparrow lease agreements will automatically turn month-to-month at the expiration of the lease term unless a notice to vacate is received at least 60 days prior to the lease expiration date (time frames may vary by market). If a resident wishes to continue to a month-to-month lease, no additional documents are needed. It should be noted if a lease rolls month-to-month a 30-day notice to vacate is required by both the homeowner and resident.

Renewal offers will be provided approximately 90 – 120 days prior to the lease expiration date. Rental rates will be based on the current market and comparative rates amongst similar homes in the area.

How do I sign my lease agreement?

All lease agreements and lease documents are sent out electronically for signature. When a document requires signature, the resident and/or applicant will receive an email notification requesting electronic signature. All lease holders age 18 and older will be required to provide a different email address and will received a separate email requesting signature. All documents sent out for electronic signature are required to be signed within 48 hours. If the documents are not signed with 48 hours of being sent, the document will void automatically.

Does Sparrow require renters’ insurance?

Your Sparrow lease agreement requires that you hold a minimum of $100,000 of personal liability insurance coverage. Sparrow must be listed as an “additional interest” on the policy. Residents who do not provide proof of this insurance will be automatically enrolled in Sparrow’s Resident Liability Insurance Program and charged a monthly fee of $14.95 (as additional rent). Enrollment in this program will satisfy the renter’s insurance requirement in your lease agreement.  Sparrow also strongly encourages residents to carry insurance on their personal belongings.

What are my resident responsibilities?

Sparrow takes care of all major maintenance and repairs, including servicing such systems as the water heater and air conditioner as necessary. As a resident, you’ll be responsible for maintaining the living space, including changing air filters and yardwork.

For a thorough breakdown of maintenance responsibilities for Sparrow and residents, click here.

How do I submit a maintenance request?

If you encounter an issue and need to submit a standard maintenance request, the fastest way is making the request through the RentCafe resident portal.

If you are experiencing any of the below listed, please contact us at 1-877-881-8484 to submit an emergency maintenance request. Please allow up to 48 business hours to respond to non-emergency maintenance requests. We take all your maintenance requests seriously and will work as quickly as possible to resolve the issue.

Here are the maintenance issues considered to be maintenance emergencies:

  • electrical issues
  • fire
  • gas leak
  • loss of heat or air conditioning
  • plumbing/water damage
  • theft
What counts as an emergency maintenance issue?

Emergency requests include no heat or air conditioning (based on current climate), water leaks or damage of any type, electrical outages, fire, smoke and theft. If you are unsure if your work order is an emergency, please call 1.877.881.8484.

Sparrow will work diligently with vendors to resolve emergency maintenance requests as quickly as possible. Please call 1.877.881.8484 to submit an emergency maintenance request.

Do I have to be home for a maintenance visit?

Yes. For safety and security of all parties, a resident age 18 or above will need to be present for any scheduled maintenance calls.

A trip charge will be billed to any resident who is not available for a scheduled maintenance appointment.

I’m having issues with my utility service. Who should I contact?

If you’re having issues with a utility that is billed through Conservice, such as water, sewer or trash service, please contact your Property Manager.

For all other utilities, including electricity and internet, contact your utility provider.

My home has a lawn irrigation system, am I responsible for it?

Residents are responsible for yard maintenance and irrigation system upkeep.

Please refer to our Maintenance Responsibilities page for more information.

What should I do if I’m locked out of the house?

If you become locked out due to an issue with the app or your password, please contact SmartRent support at Support@SmartRent.com or call 1.844.479.1555.

If a lockout occurs because of a hardware malfunction or door problem, please submit a maintenance request or contact your Property Manager.

Does Sparrow provide pest-control?

Residents are responsible for pest-control services as desired. Contact your Property Manager for questions about treatment types.

Does Sparrow provide air filters?

Residents are responsible for the purchase and installation of air filters, lightbulbs and batteries. Please refer to our Maintenance Responsibilities page for more information.

When will I receive my keys?

As soon as all move-in funds have been paid and all required documentation has been signed and executed, you will receive immediate access to your home via SmartRent on your move-in date. Click here to learn more about SmartRent.

Physical keys will be provided upon moving in. Please reach out to your Property Manager for any further questions pertaining to moving in.

Mail Keys – If your home has a community mail center within the neighborhood, you will retrieve your key and mailbox number from your local Post Office. The Post Office will request that you provide an executed copy of your lease along with a photo ID.

How many vehicles are allowed?

Subject to local laws and HOA Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs), you may park up to three (3) vehicles at the residence in the garage and in the driveway. Residents may not park or permit any person to park any vehicles or trailers, boats, campers, RVs, buses or trucks on the grass; on the front, side or back yard; or on the street adjacent to the residence (unless such street parking is in strict compliance with local ordinances and the CC&Rs).

Some HOAs require you register all vehicles with the association. Contact your HOA management office to learn more.

Am I allowed to paint walls or modify the home in any way?

Any modification of the home, including painting of any kind, is only permitted with the landlord’s express written consent.

Can I install a satellite TV dish?

With prior written approval of the HOA, Sparrow residents are allowed to install one (1) satellite TV dish per lease-stipulated conditions and limitations. Please contact your Property Manager for further details.

Can I hang pictures on the walls?

Yes, you can hang pictures in your home using standard picture hanging hardware. Anything larger than a standard nail hole could potentially result in charges at move-out. Please contact your Property Manager for more information.

How do I get a copy of the HOA rules and regulations?

You should receive a copy of the HOA’s Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) that govern the community with your Move-in Orientation Guide.

If you did not receive one, please contact your Sparrow Property Manager to request a copy.

What happens if there is an HOA violation or fine?

If there is a violation of the HOA rules, the HOA will send a written notification to your home as well as to Sparrow. If you receive an HOA violation, a $30 HOA non-compliance fee (for each violation) will be added to your Sparrow account, payable with the following month’s rent.

What are my HOA responsibilities?

If your home is located in a community with an HOA, you are responsible for compliance with the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) that govern the community. This includes maintaining the yard (removing weeds, mowing and watering the lawn, trimming trees and bushes), adhering to parking restrictions, returning garbage cans to your home after trash pick-up, etc.

How do I access my HOA’s amenities?

In order to take advantage of community amenities, such as pools and fitness centers, you will need to self-register with the HOA. Please contact your HOA directly with the amenity access letter (found in your welcome email from Sparrow) and the HOA will provide additional instructions for obtaining access. Should you need further assistance, please contact us at HOAamenities@sparrownow.com.

Where can I find more information about my SmartHome?

Your Sparrow home is equipped with a SmartHome system, which includes a hub, thermostat and door locks. Click here to learn more.

For help with technical difficulties or questions about your SmartHome system, please contact SmartRent support at 1.844.479.1555.

Will a pre-move out walkthrough be required?

Yes, the move out walkthrough will be scheduled with your Sparrow contact prior to final move- out. During the walkthrough, we will inspect the home and identify anything that will need to be addressed before your move-out date.

How do I provide a notice to vacate?

Please notify us 60 days prior to vacating your home by submitting a notice to vacate.

What is Sparrow?

At Sparrow, we believe “you don’t have to own your home to call it home.” Sparrow team members are passionate about our homes and exceeding the service requirements of our residents. We care about providing a superior customer experience and recognize that all people have deep connections to their homes. Our goal is to ensure that our residents enjoy the worry-free lifestyle they deserve while living in a Sparrow home.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, we acquire, lease and manage homes across the South and Southwest. Click here to learn more.

I have a home I would like to sell. Who can I contact?

Great! Just complete our Request an Offer form, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Where can I find current job openings at Sparrow?

Check our Indeed page (external link) to view current positions available at Sparrow.

Interested in partnering with Sparrow?

Please reach out to our Customer Service team at CustomerService@SparrowNow.com.

I’m a broker looking to discuss acquisition opportunities. Who do I contact?

Please reach out to our Customer Service team at CustomerService@SparrowNow.com.

Have more questions about Sparrow?