March 25, 2021

Leasing Process & Steps

Interested in leasing with us? Baker Street embraces technology to make leasing with us simple and easy!

Finding Your Place

Baker Street manages over 120 units in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Between all of our properties, we can almost always help you find a great place that fits your requirement!

Property Search

You can always contact us at for a fast response regarding any properties or listings that we have available.  If you are not sure which property works best for you, we can help narrow down your search!  You can send us details as to what you are looking for, including:  budget, move-in date, location, number of bedrooms, etc., and we will be able to point you in the right direction!  If you prefer a DIY-style search, a good place to start is our Listings page as a great resource.

Virtual Tours

To enhance our leasing service, Baker Street offers virtual tours for most properties.  This allows future tenants to preview a property before even stepping foot in the door!  Virtual tours are a great tool to narrow down your search, or for those you cannot make it to a tour in-person.  If you would like to request a virtual tour, just contact us at and we will gladly send one over to you!

Schedule an In-Person Tour

If you are able and feel comfortable, we recommend touring a property in-person before signing a lease, or at least before you move-in.  Scheduling a tour is easy!  Contacting us at is the best way to set up a tour. For information on our new guideline for showings, please visit the COVID-19 In-Person Tour Guide.

Wait List

Due to the city ordinance in Ann Arbor, we cannot tour properties located in Ann Arbor until the current tenants have been moved-in for at least 70 days.  That does not mean that we cannot schedule a tour for a future date.  If the property you are interested in has not reached its 70th day mark, we will be more than happy to schedule a tour after that day.

Because of this ordinance, Baker Street has implemented a wait list system to stay organized and ensure we honor our fair first-come-first-serve policy.  During the current tenants’ 70 day period, they will have the first priority to lease the property for another term.  For the next priority, we turn to the wait list.

To secure priority on the wait list, you will need to place a $1,000 deposit. You can send the deposit via Venmo at Baker-Street. The first person to place a deposit will receive next priority to the current tenants, and so on.  Note, sometimes the current tenants tell us that they do not want to stay another lease term before the 70 day period, so it is possible to receive first priority after all.  If you receive first priority of the property, your $1,000 deposit will be credited to your first month’s rent payment, which is due at lease signing.

As a side note, the security deposit (1.5 month’s rent for Ann Arbor properties), which is different than the wait list deposit, is due one month before move-in.  If you place a deposit and someone with a higher priority, such as the current tenants, leases the property instead, you will receive a full refund of your deposit.  However, if you receive first priority to lease the property and you change your mind, you will lose your deposit.

Filling out an Application

Once you have toured and selected your place, you will need an application. Good news is, everything can be done online!

Receiving Applications

All applications are emailed to tenants individually.  Therefore, if you are living with more than one person, each person will receive his/her application separately to fill out.  Note, each email link is unique to that person, so you cannot forward your email or link to another person.  

If you would like to move forward in the leasing process and receive applications, all we need from you is the full name (first and last) of each tenant and the email address of each tenant.  To preview our application, check out our Application Form.  You can always contact us at to receive applications or ask any questions!  Our FAQ page is also a helpful resource for answers to commonly asked questions regarding the application process.


Unless approved ahead of time, all undergraduate students will need a co-signer on his/her application.  This mean each person will have his/her own co-signer.  A co-signer is someone who also signs the lease agreement to act on your behalf if your lease responsibilities have not been met.  A co-signer cannot be another tenant who resides on the property with you, and a co-signer is often a parent of legal guardian of the tenant.

Background and Credit Check

Applicants may also be emailed a form for a background and credit check, especially if there is not a co-signer on the application.  This form is used for tenants only and will not be used for co-signers.  We use TransUnion SmartMove to process all of our background and credit checks, which is a “soft” credit check.

Adding Future Tenants to a Lease

If you would like to move forward with the leasing process, but you do not have all of your group members committed yet, that is okay with us!  For example, if you would like to lease a four-bedroom house, but you only have a group of three at the time, we will gladly send you applications and even the lease before you find your fourth person.  Note, if you select to go this route, your group will be fully responsible for the lease and the rent, even before another person is added.

Application Fee & Lease Processing Fee (NEW POLICY)

Baker Street has implemented a new policy to no longer charge application fees. Instead, Baker Street charges a Lease Processing Fee. This encourages people to fill out applications without the risk of being charged an application fee if they do not sign a lease. The Lease Processing Fee will be added to the lease ledger to pay online upon lease signing. How much is the Lease Processing Fee? The amount varies based on property. Check out the Lease Processing Fee page to find your property.

Signing a Lease

After all of the applications are approved, signing your lease is the next step to the leasing process. Again, good news, everything is done online!

Receiving a Lease

Once all applications are submitted and approved, a lease for your property will be drafted and emailed via Adobe Sign. Like the applications, each tenant and each co-signer will receive an email with a link to sign the lease in his/her designated spot. Therefore note, each email link is unique to that person, so you cannot forward your email or link to another person.

To preview our sample lease template, check out the Sample Lease Agreement. You can always contact us at if you or your co-signer is having trouble receiving a lease or to ask any questions! Our FAQ page is also a helpful resource for answers to commonly asked questions regarding the lease-signing process.

Signing a Lease

Once you have received your email, you will be directed to sign the lease electronically via Adobe Sign. All you have to do from there is sign from your phone or browser. It’s as simple as that! A representative from Baker Street will countersign the lease once every tenant has finished signing.

Next Steps

Once everyone has signed the lease, you will have to make payments for the lease processing fee and first month’s rent. Please note, if you do not make the first month’s rent payment on time, Baker Street reserves the right to consider the lease agreement terminated, and the tenants are subject to the lease termination penalty contained in the lease agreement. To make your payments, you’ll have to activate your online account.

Activating Your Online Account

Baker Street uses an online software called Buildium as a management tool.  To learn more about Buildium, check out our Software & Technology page.

Create Your Online Account

Each tenant has his or her own log in to the online dashboard. Once your lease has been countersigned by Baker Street, each tenant will be emailed a link to create a log in for his or her own online dashboard. The online dashboard is a great tool and contains the lease ledger to make rent payments, a copy of the lease, maintenance request tools, and more. While each tenant will have his or her own log in and online dashboard, it will be linked to the same account as other’s on the lease. In other words, there is only one account and lease ledger per lease. Therefore, the balance on the lease ledger will be the total amount for the lease, not each tenant. Our FAQ page is also a helpful resource for answers to commonly asked questions regarding how to create and access your account.

Paying Your First Month’s Rent

At lease signing, your first month’s rent payment is due. Additionally, you will be charged the lease processing fee at lease signing. Your security deposit (1.5 month’s rent for Ann Arbor properties) is due one month before you move in.

First Month's Rent

There is still one last step to leasing a property, and that is making your first month’s rent payment and paying the lease processing fee.  Each tenant will be able to access the lease ledger through the online dashboard.  All rent and charges will be added to this ledger for tenants to make payments throughout the lease term.  At lease signing, your first month’s rent and lease processing fee will post on your ledger for each tenant to log on and make payments.  

Note, rent payment portions are up to the tenants to determine and manage.  If you have made a wait list deposit, your deposit of $1,000 will show up as a credit on your ledger at this time.  Your security deposit (1.5 month’s rent for Ann Arbor properties) will post on your ledger one month before you are scheduled to move in.  Our FAQ page is also a helpful resource for answers to commonly asked questions regarding how to make payments on your lease ledger.

Move In Process

For More Information about our Move In Process check out our Guide.

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