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

Expect to receive a response from the office within 48 hours if you have submitted your correspondence electronically. If you would like to speak to someone on the phone, please call during our open business hours.

The Lapham Company does not rent units sight unseen. However, out-of-area prospective residents who cannot visit a unit in person can request a virtual tour or have a friend/family member view the unit in their stead. Please note that all units are rented as is, and in-person visits are highly recommended.

We are open Monday – Friday 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m. and 1:00p.m.-5:00p.m. We close from 12:00p.m.-1:00p.m. for lunch, and we are closed on weekends and public holidays.

All applications are processed at The Lapham Company main office located at 4844 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. Please do not fax in your application. You can mail your completed application package to our main office, hand-deliver it during our business hours, or put it in the secure drop box to the right of the front door at any time. if using the drop box, please be sure to bind all items in an envelope and label it 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.

To add a tenant to an existing lease, please send a written request from all the current lease-holders. Potential tenants will need to go through the application process, and pay a $150 administration fee, in addition to the regular application for each new tenant.

To remove a tenant from a lease, all current tenants should send The Lapham Company a written request and the remaining tenants should provide proof of income equal to three times the lease rent.

As stated in your lease, SUBLETTING IS NOT ALLOWED AT ANY TIME, and is considered a breach of your lease.

You can find our application here. One completed application should be submitted for each proposed occupant aged 18 years and older. Additionally, we require from each applicant a copy of their photo ID, an application fee, and either three (3) recent check stubs or other proof of income. Application documents can be mailed to info@laphamcompany.com.

Moving In

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. 

Please refer to your individual lease for which utilities are included and which are your responsibility. Utilities should be transferred to your name on your lease start date or the day you move in.

If you just moved in and are experiencing maintenance issues, please contact your resident manager (if you have one), or the main office usiing this link: Contact Us.

Maintenance

Please confirm that your sink is equipped with a garbage disposal and that nothing is lodged inside. Please put in a maintenance request, either with your resident manager or The Lapham Company office. To avoid issues with your garbage disposal, please do not put anything down the drain that will damage the unit, including:

  • egg shells
  • grease
  • rice or pasta
  • animal bones
  • fibrous or tough fruits and vegetables such as asparagus, citrus peels, lettuce, celery, corn husks, carrots, potatoes, etc.
  • non-food items such as hair, toys, packaging, metal, etc.

***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.***

During weekends and holidays, please contact your resident manager (if applicable), use our online portal, or send an email to info@laphamcompany.com.

Please call PG&E immediately to report the issue. After calling PG&E, please contact your resident manager or 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.

If you notice something in need of repair, please let us know right away. If your building has a resident manager, please contact them directly. Otherwise, you can submit a Maintenance Request directly to The Lapham Company.

Please confirm that you have properly turned off your faucet. If the leak continues, please contact your resident manager if you have one, or The Lapham Company office for maintenance.

If your building has a resident manager, please contact them directly. For all other tenants, please submit your Maintenance Request online or call us during our regular business hours.

If you are responsible for paying the utility provider directly, please confirm that your account is in good standing. Otherwise, please put in a maintenance request either through your resident manager or our main office.

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 your resident manager or the main office.

In the case of an after-hours maintenance emergency, please call 510-649-5743 for a faster response time. Please note that 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 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 either your resident manager or The Lapham Company for assistance.

Please try plunging your toilet to dislodge the blockage. If that doesn't work, please put in a maintenance request, either through your resident manager or The Lapham Company office.

To prevent clogs, please avoid flushing anything other than waste and toilet paper. Many buildings, especially in the Oakland area, are many decades old and may have more sensitive plumbing infrastructure. Baby wipes, sanitary products, and kitty litter are not flushable.

Please check the breaker box in your unit and make sure a circuit hasn't been tripped, and that your building is not experiencing a power outage (it could be that 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 the issue is only in your unit, please contact your resident manager (if applicable), or The Lapham Company office.

Accounting

For most tenants, a late fee of $50 will be assessed after the end of the business day on the fifth of the month. Please check with your individual lease, as this may not apply to your individual lease.

*Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are not assessing late fees at this time.*

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

The City of Oakland fee is a once-a-yearr fee that all landlords are required to pay for every unit on their tenant-occupied properties. 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 for each unit is $101, of which the landlord pays $50.50 and tenant pay $50.50.

For questions regarding any rent discrepancies, rent increases, or capital improvement pass-through fees please contact us during regular office hours and we will be more than happy to assist you.

A late payment is better than no payment. The same can be said for a partial payment. Please note that any payment made after the fifth day of the month will also have a late fee assessed to the account. After the 15th of the month, personal checks will no longer be accepted and certified funds are required for payment.

Certified funds include cashier's checks and money orders, and can be purchased for a small fee at most banks, post offices, and grocery stores.

If you have already sent a rent check to The Lapham Company and you know it will bounce, please call us as soon as you know there is a problem. We may be able to hold the check allowing you to avoid a bank fee, but we cannot make any guarantees.

A 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit is not an eviction notice, but it does let you know that there is a past due amount on your account and your tenancy may be in jeopardy. If you have already made your rent payment and your payment was accepted, the 3-Day Notice is no longer valid. Please contact us immediately if you receive a 3-Day Notice.

After the 15th of the month, personal checks will no longer be accepted, and certified funds are required. Certified funds can be purchased at banking institutions, post offices, and some grocery stores.

A check returned as NSF means that when we submitted your check to the bank for deposit there were not sufficient funds in the account and the check bounced. You will likely be charged a fee by your bank, as will The Lapham Company. You will be asked to replace the check with certified funds and a $75 fee will be charged to your account. This fee includes a $25 processing fee and a $50 late fee.

If you would like to confirm that we have received your rent payment, you can call The Lapham Company main office during our regular business hours. Please note that at the beginning of each month, 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 our Accounts Receivable department for information on how to register for the service.

If you have been impacted by COVID-19 related job or income losses, there is help available. There are state and local programs designed to help you pay for delinquent rent incurred due to financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a resident of Alameda County excluding the City of Alameda, please visit the State of California Housing site, Alameda City residents should visit Alameda's Housing Secure website.

Only the person(s) on the lease may submit a check for rent. The check should have today’s date (checks may not be backdated), 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.

A personal check made out to The Lapham Company can be mailed or dropped off to our main office at 4844 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609 Att: Accounts Receivable.

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 a resident manager may drop off their rent checks at the manager's drop box. Please note that resident managers are only required to bring rent checks until the first business day after the fifth of the month: After that, it is the tenant's responsibility to make sure the check makes it to the office.

For most tenants, rent is due on the first of each month, and considered late if received after the fifth day of each month. 

Please refer to your individual lease for more details.

No. Only tenants named on the lease are allowed to make rent payments.

Moving Out

When you decide to move, please contact The Lapham Company in writing (via email, letter, or online move-out form), usually at least 30 days in advance. Please follow the notice to vacate instructions in your lease.

Vacating after the term of your lease has turned month-to-month means you are required to submit a written 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 all keys are returned to your resident manager or The Lapham Company 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, or you will be subject to a lease break fee. You are still required to submit a written 30-day notice. Plese contact The Lapham Company office during our regular business hours to discuss a lease break.

If you would like to schedule a pre-vacating inspection, please email info@laphamcompany.com or call The Lapham Company office during our regular business hours.

As much as possible, 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.

Keys must be turned into The Lapham Company for your tenancy to be officially terminated. If you have a resident manager, you can arrange to return keys with them. Otherwise, keys may be dropped off during The Lapham Company office's regular business hours or in the drop box to the right of the front door. Keys should be placed in an envelope labeled with your name and address of the unit being vacated.

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 call The Lapham Company office during our regular business hours.

 

It is recommended that you have your carpet professionally cleaned. Please save your receipt to avoid any further carpet cleaning charges.

Your Itemized Security Disposition should be issued no more than 21 days calendar days after The Lapham Company has received keys from all tenants named on the lease. One deposit check will be issued per unit, unless a written request for other arrangements is received at the time of move-out.

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