Frequently asked questions - Sparrow

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

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.

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 “tour home” 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.
Is there an application fee?

There is an application fee of $55.00 per application for all applicants ages 18 and up. and take it off the market. 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 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, 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.

Do you accept housing choice vouchers?

Sparrow does not currently accept housing vouchers or assistance programs.

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.

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.

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 after you move in. 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.

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.

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.

How many pets can I have?

A maximum of three pets per household are permitted.

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.

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
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.

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.

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.

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 is permission to enter?

We can resolve maintenance requests when you are not home. If notified, please allow permission to enter the premises.

How do I submit a maintenance request?

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

For any other issues or if you have any questions, you can contact us at (877) 881- 8484.

If you are experiencing any of the below listed, please contact us at 1-877-881-8484 as soon as possible. Please allow up to 48 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
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.

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.

Have more questions about Sparrow?