Frequently Asked Questions.

Have a question? Some of our most Frequently Asked Questions are answered below.  To speak with someone in the office regarding any questions you may have, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

FAQ Topic Quick Links

General

You should receive a response from the office within 24-48 hours if you have submitted your correspondence electronically.  We are open Monday – Friday  9:00AM-12:00PM and 1:00PM-5:00PM if you would like to speak to someone in person.

We are open Monday – Friday 9:00AM-12:00PM and 1:00PM-5:00PM (closed from 12:00PM-1:00PM for lunch), and are closed Saturday and Sunday.

Moving In

If you are experiencing problems and you have just moved in you may want to call the Lapham Company maintenance department but if the matter is something that was discovered during the move in checklist process please extend us your patience as we work to resolve the issue. If you haven't heard from us in a week please Contact Us.

  1. Once a prospective tenant identifies and has viewed a unit he/she is interested in renting, that person should submit a rental application.  Requirements for rental application consideration are listed below:
    1. $40 Application Fee for each adult 18 years old or older.
    2. Credit Report and Tenant Performance Report on each adult 18 years old or older through the National Tenant Network.  A negative report may cause rejection of the application.
    3. Valid Identification for each adult 18 years old or older must be produced.  The ID must include a photo and current address.   Acceptable IDs include a driver’s license, military ID, passport, etc.
    4. Written Income Verification. Monthly combined income of at least three (3) times the monthly rental rate of the applied for property. Each applicant must provide minimum of three (3) most recent pay stubs or formal written verification from the employing company of legal/reported income. Self-References. Current and/or previous landlords may be contacted.  A positive reference is required.
    5. Co-Signers. We only accept co-signers for full time students without derogatory credit.  Both the applicant and the co-signor must have positive credit histories and meet all other application requirements.  For students, proof of enrollment is required.

RENTAL APPLICATION CHECKLIST – Please compile all these items for submission at the same time.

□$40 application fee for each adult 18 years old or older.

□Fully completed and signed Application to Rent for each adult 18 years old or older

□Valid photo ID for each adult 18 years old or older.

□Three (3) paycheck stubs or written verification of income as noted above for each adult applying.

 

  1. Once an application is complete and submitted the Lapham Company will run the applicant’s credit and review the application.  Please note the approval process is not conducted by the listing agent.
  2. If approved, the Lapham leasing department will contact the applicant to confirm if whether or not they would like to take the apartment.  If the applicant confirms the affirmative then a lease signing date is set and a minimal deposit will be required within two days of notice to hold the apartment.  Lapham will not remove a unit from the market until funds are paid.
  3. Once the tenant has signed the lease and paid all necessary funds, a walk-through of the unit is conducted with the leasing agent.  Once complete, the keys will be handed over to the tenant and the move in process may begin.
  4. It is important to note the vast majority of questions tenants may have are answered by their lease, so it is a very important document to keep a hold of and read thoroughly.

We cannot process applications until we have received all required items. As such, no application will be approved if it does not include all requiremented items. 

Lapham Company does not rent units “sight unseen”. 

All applications are processed at the Lapham Office. Do not fax your application. We prefer to have all completed applications submitted to the resident manager or leasing personnel, mailed, or delivered directly to The Lapham Company office. You may deliver your application to the office during business hours or put it in the secure drop box next to front door anytime on nights or weekends at 4844 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA. If using the drop box, please be sure to bind all items in an envelope and label with your name and address/unit number to which you are applying. Please review the application checklist prior to submitting your application to confirm you have assembled all required materials.

This option is not currently available but please check back often as our services may change.

The tenant must remember to abide all rules in the lease and House Rules or the HOA rules and regulations.

Send Lapham a letter signed by all current tenants requesting that we process an application for a new roommate and add the roommate to the tenancy, if approved.  There is a $150.00 administration fee for this service in addition to the $40.00 application fee for each new tenant.  Then Lapham will generate an addendum for all parties to sign to officially add the new roommate.  If you want to remove a roommate from the lease, you must send Lapham a letter as well stating the specific request with signatures from everyone on the tenancy, and the remaining tenants must still qualify with their income for the rent requirements.  As stated in your lease, SUBLETTING IS NOT ALLOWED AT ANY TIME, and it is considered a breach of your lease.

Utilities should be put in your name as of your lease start date or the day you receive keys to move in. Please refer to your lease to confirm which utilities are included in your rent and which are not.

Maintenance

Please try plunging your toilet to dislodge the blockage. If your toilet continues to run please try to locate the water shutoff valve, typically located beneath the tank of the toilet, and then call the Lapham Company for assistance.

In the case of an after-hours emergency, please call 510-649-5743 for a faster response time.  Please note this after-hours service should not be abused and is reserved for emergencies only.  If this is a life threatening emergency please call 911.

Please check your breaker box and make sure your building is not experiencing a power outage (could be PG&E is experiencing service issues). If you are responsible for paying the utility provider directly, please confirm that your account is in good standing. If that does not work please Contact Us.

If you are experiencing a problem at your residence that needs to be addressed by the Lapham Company please either submit your Maintenance Request online or download the following Maintenance Request Form and submit to the office for review. 

Please confirm that your sink is equipped with a garbage disposal and that you have complied with our suggestion of what not to put down your garbage disposal (for a list please view the next question). Please confirm that your garbage disposal is switched on. If you have confirmed the above please give us a call and we will be glad to assist.

Please submit a maintenance request (if you have attempted to troubleshoot the issue yourself but the matter needs professional attention) as soon as you notice the problem.  Please do not save or delay the submission of a maintenance request that needs attention for the last minute. 

A few things to never put down your drain/garbage disposal:

  • Any kind of stringy or tough peeled vegetable such as asparagus, citrus peels, lettuce, celery, corn husks, artichokes, carrot, and potato peels - their string materials wrap themselves around the blades and prevent the motor from turning.
  • Egg shells - it has been rumored that egg shells help sharpen the blades, but this is a myth. The thin membrane layer attached to the shell can also wrap itself around the disposal’s shredder ring.
  • Grease - it will eventually solidify and clog some or all of the drain.
  • Animal bones - while the blades might break them down some, they will never be able to get them small enough to fit down the drain.
  • Rice and pasta - similar to animal bones, they can never be broken down small enough. Because they swell with water, smaller pieces will get bigger and gather in the trap until it is closed.
  • Pits, seeds, or thick skins from fruits and vegetables - they can’t be broken down, and are better off being composted.

Other items to trash instead of tossing down the disposal include twist ties, pull tabs, rubber bands, glass, screws and nails, utensils, cigarette butts, bottle caps, paper, plastic, fabric, string, rags, sponges, plants, flowers, children’s toys, or hair. None of these items will break down small enough to rinse easily down the drain. No matter how strong your garbage disposal is, it still has its limits.

*** Please note that repairs to your disposal resulting from food scraps, items improperly placed in the disposal, or clogged drain lines could result in charges to your account. ***

Please keep these tips in mind to avoid unnecessary costs, and to help ensure the proper function of your garbage disposal.

If possible, please try to locate a gas shutoff valve and call PG&E. After calling PG&E, call the Lapham Company so that we are aware of the problem as well and can follow up to ensure the problem has been properly addressed and resolved.

Please confirm that you have properly turned off your faucet. If the leak continues, please give us a call as we may need to send out a technician to address the situation.

If you are responsible for paying the utility provider directly, please confirm that your account is in good standing. Otherwise, please give us a call as we may need to send out a technician to address the situation.

Please confirm that your building was not scheduled for a water shut off. Notices are posted 24 hours or more in advance unless it is an emergency. If you have not received the notice/are not aware of a water shut off please Contact Us.

In the case of a weekend or Holiday emergency please call 510-649-5743 for a faster response time. Please note this after-hours service should not be abused and is reserved for emergencies only. If this is a life threatening emergency please contact your local police department or call 911.

Please try plunging your toilet to dislodge the blockage. Please confirm you did not try flushing non-flushable materials down the toilet. Items such as toys and paper towels (among many other things) will clog the pipes of toilets preventing proper function. Many buildings, especially in the Oakland area, are many decades old and may have more sensitive plumbing infrastructure. Please do not flush baby wipes and feminine sanitary products down the toilet.

Accounting

The late fee is $50 (or as specified by the lease agreement) and is assessed after the end of the business day on the fifth of the month. 

Only the person(s) on the lease may submit a check for rent. The check should have today’s date (checks may not be back dated), be made out to the Lapham Company, have the full payment amount written out on the specified line, the numerical number written out in the appropriate box, a signature where indicated, and should be labeled with the property address (including unit number if applicable) and name of the tenant in the subject line . Please see example below (show image of properly filled out check)

The check should be made out to the Lapham Company.

The check can be mailed or dropped off at the Lapham Company located at 4844 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94609 ATTN: Accounting Department. Note: For after-hours drop off, there is a secure drop box to the right of the front door that is available for your use.
Tenants that live in a building that has an on-site resident manager may drop their rent checks off at the manager’s drop box. Please note that on-site managers are only required to bring checks until the first business day after the 5th of the month; after that it is the tenant’s responsibility to make sure the check makes it to the office.

It may take up to 3-5 business days after the Lapham accounting department has deposited the check for it to post to your bank account.

The City of Oakland fee is a once a year fee that all landlords are required to pay for every unit on their tenant occupied property(s). The fee is used to cover the cost of operating the City of Oakland’s Rent Adjustment Program. Landlords share half of that cost with the tenants, currently, the total fee is $68.00, the landlord pays $34.00 and tenants pay $34.00.

For questions regarding any rent discrepancies, rent increases, or capital improvement pass-through please give us a call and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Yes, a late payment is better than no payment. The same can be said for a partial payment as well. Please note that any payment made after the fifth will also have a late fee assessed to the account. After the fifteenth of the month, personal checks will no longer be accepted and Certified Funds are required.

One can purchase Certified Funds at most grocery stores, check cashing places, and banking institutions. Certified Funds include Cashier’s Checks and Money Orders

If you have submitted a rent check to the office and you know it will bounce you can give the Lapham Accounting Department a call and they can make a note to try to pull your check out from the checks to be deposited but it is the tenant’s responsibility to monitor his/her bank account to make sure there are enough funds to write the check.

A 3-day notice is not a notice of eviction but it does let tenants know that there is a past due amount on the account and that your tenancy may be in jeopardy. If you have already made payment, and your payment was accepted, the 3 –day notice is no longer valid.

After the fifteenth of the month, personal checks will no longer be accepted and Certified Funds are required.

An NSF means that when we submitted your check to the bank for deposit there were Non- Sufficient Funds in the account and the check bounced. In that case, you the tenant will likely be charged a fee by your banking institution and the Lapham Company will likewise be subject to the same consequence. Therefore, a charge in the amount of $75 will be assessed to your account, this amount includes $25 processing fee and $50 late fee.

You can always call the office if you would like to confirm that we have received your rent check. Please note that at the beginning of the month, where rent check drop off is very heavy there may be a 24-48 hour delay in response time.

We are able to accept online rent payments through our payment portal, RENTcafe. Tenants and co-signers named on the lease may contact Andriana or Raquel in our Accounts Receivables department for information on how to register for the service.

Rent is due on the 1st and considered late after the 5th.

Moving Out

When you decide to move out and you have a date in mind, please contact the Lapham Company, usually at least 30 days in advance.  Please follow the notice vacate instructions in your lease.  The most common circumstance is:

  • Vacating after the term of your lease has turned month to month means you are required to submit a 30-day notice to vacate.  This notice informs the office you plan to move.  The tenant is responsible for rent through the end of the 30-day notice and until keys are turned in to the Resident Manager or Lapham office.  

Vacating prior to the end of a lease is called a lease break.  Per the terms of your lease you are responsible for rent until a replacement tenant has taken over the lease.  Please contact the Lapham Company office to discuss.  

Keys must be turned into the Lapham Company for your tenancy to be officially terminated and to stop being charged for rent. Keys may be dropped off during Lapham business hours or in the drop off box to the right of the front door.  Keys should be placed in a labeled envelope so that we know that we have received all keys and to whom they belong. Very important!  In the case where the tenant lives in a building with an on-site manager keys may be turned into the manager, again making sure they are properly labeled.  Keys should never be left in the unit to indicate you have moved out.  If you would like to confirm we have received your keys and you will no longer be charged for rent please give us a call. 

If you would like to schedule a pre-vacating inspection, please give us a call.

The unit must be left in the same clean, undamaged condition as when you moved in. If not, you may be charged in order to return the unit to its original state.

Yes, carpet must be professionally cleaned. It is recommended that you save your proof of purchase receipt to avoid further carpet cleaning charges.

Your Itemized Security Disposition should be issued no more that 21 days after Lapham has received keys from all tenants named on the lease.