Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We’ve got answers! Take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions below.

Apartment Tours

Leasing Information

Affordable Housing

Resident Frequently Asked Questions

Lease Renewals

Move-out Process

Apartment Tours

What kind of apartment tours are currently available?

Essex offers both convenient self-guided and 360-degree online virtual tour options.

Self-Guided Tour

Enjoy a no-pressure 30-minute self-guided tour. Tours are available by appointment only and can be reserved through our website’s Book a Tour feature, via our website chat function (available from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. PST), or by calling or emailing our leasing teams.

360-Degree Online Virtual Tour

Explore any of our 250 west-coast communities and floor plans from the comfort of your own home or on the go - right from your phone, tablet, or computer. This feature allows you to select the specific apartment home and amenities you’re interested in viewing, providing a 3D touring experience.

What is a self-guided tour?

A self-guided tour allows you to schedule an appointment to visit a community in-person, without being accompanied by a leasing consultant.

How will I get around the community?

Prior to arriving to the community for your tour, a member of our leasing team will reach out to you via e-mail or text message to provide you with instructions on how to navigate the community. These instructions will include parking and community access information, as well as which apartment homes are available to tour.

What should I expect during a self-guided tour?

Self-guided tours are available by appointment only and can be reserved through our website’s Book a Tour feature, website chat function (available from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. PST), or by calling or emailing our leasing teams.

Prior to your arrival for your self-guided tour, our leasing team will provide you with customized instruction including access codes and instructions on how to navigate the community. Our team will be available via text or phone call to answer any questions you may have throughout your tour.

Will I be able to see the community amenities during my self-guided tour?

Community clubhouses are available to view as part of your self-guided tour. Fitness centers or pools are available to view on the community website or as part of the 360 virtual online tour.

Where do I park when I arrive for my self-guided tour?

Detailed information to prepare you for your self-guided tour, including where to park along with the available apartment homes you will be viewing, will be provided ahead of time or upon arrival. A map of the community will also be provided. If you have questions when you arrive, please contact your leasing specialist for additional details.

What if I need to change or cancel my self-guided tour appointment?

We understand things happen! To cancel or change your appointment, simply navigate to your appointment confirmation email and select the option to modify or reschedule your appointment. Alternatively, you may contact our leasing team to assist you in updating your appointment.

What apartment types and floor plans do you offer?

Our nearly 250 apartment communities located in some of the most sought-after locations along the West Coast offer a variety of home sizes and floor plans for you to choose from. You're sure to find the perfect fit, from smaller floor plans like studios and one-bedroom apartments to more spacious two- and three-bedroom floor plans and townhomes. Many communities also offer apartments with a den or loft for additional space, and select communities offer luxury penthouse apartments.

For more information about apartment options and availability, visit our Floor Plans and Pricing tab on your desired community’s landing page.

Leasing Information

How can I start an application?

To submit an application, navigate to the community's landing page, select your desired apartment home and move-in date, and click "Apply Now!"

What documents will I need to get the leasing process started?

To start the leasing process and ensure your application information is complete, you may be required to present the following:

  • A valid driver's license or government-issued ID for each applicant
  • Proof of income document such as a current bank statement, W-2 form, pay stubs, receipts of government income, receipts of retirement, or investment incomes
  • Payment for application and administrative fees, as well as applicable security deposit fees to secure your apartment

Additional information on required documentation can be found on the Leasing Info tab on each community’s page on our website.

Will you run a credit check during my application process?

Yes. As part of the application process, we will run a report to obtain your credit score. Your current credit score may alert the management team if there are any red flags such as bankruptcy, overdue credit card bills, outstanding loans, and other financial items. Your FICO credit score and credit report from the main credit bureaus of EquifaxExperian, and TransUnion will assist our management team with deciding if your score is high enough to qualify for the apartment home you are looking to rent.

Can I submit an application if I do not have a Social Security Number?

Yes, however, you may be required to provide additional proof of identity and income. Additional security deposits may apply. Your leasing team can assist you in determining what documentation you may be required to provide.

What is a guarantor? When do you need one? Why?

Depending on your credit history and current credit score, you may need a guarantor to qualify for an apartment. A guarantor is similar to a co-signer. They will not be listed on your lease agreement, but this individual agrees to take responsibility for your rent payments if you are unable to uphold the financial terms of your lease.

To qualify for a lease, a guarantor must show income verifying assets equivalent to four times your base rent. Additionally, they will be required to present similar lease documents such as valid ID, proof of income, and payment for up-front application fees.

Can a guarantor be removed at any point?

Eligibility to remove a guarantor is contingent on continued positive rental history for a prolonged period of time. Positive rental history includes but is not limited to: on-time payments, no current balance, adhering to all lease requirements, etc. Details regarding eligibility should be discussed with your leasing team directly.

If I am moving in with a roommate, will I only be responsible for half of the rent?

Rent is due in full on the first of every month regardless of whether you submit one payment or multiple combined payments.

If you are renting an apartment with a roommate or members of your household, every individual over the age of 18 will be required to be listed on the lease. Essex is not responsible for determining who pays your monthly rent payments or how payments are divided between your household. Multiple occupants can submit separate payments through our online resident portal, by mailing separate checks, paying by cash or cashier’s check through our walk-in payment program, or a combination of all payment options.

How old do I have to be to rent an apartment?

You must be at least 18 years of age to rent an apartment. Any occupants over the age of 18 are required to be pre-screened and added to the lease agreement, regardless of whether they will be paying rent.

If I am moving in with occupants under the age of 18 years old, will I need to list them on the application?

Yes. All individuals who will be occupying the home regardless of age must be listed during the application process. If you did not list them during the application process please inform your leasing team and they will assist you in adding all applicable household members to your lease agreement.

Do I need to have renters insurance to secure my new apartment?

Yes. Proof of renter's insurance meeting all requirements must be provided prior to your move-in date. Our approved partner, GetCovered, offers a preferred insurance rates and policies that are compliant with our lease agreement.

Failure to provide active and approved coverage may result in an insurance fee.

What should I expect to budget for average monthly utility costs?

Monthly utility costs include separate electricity, gas, water, sewer and trash charges. If you choose to add Internet and cable, this is an additional charge you will want to budget for.

Average monthly utility bills can vary based on two factors: the square footage breakdown of your apartment and the number of people who live in your apartment. Additionally, your costs will depend on how much you use your appliances and the amount of time you spend in your apartment home. Monthly costs can range from $50 - $100 for electricity, $20 -$35 for gas, $50 - $100 for water, trash and sewer, and $80 - $120 for Internet, cable and streaming services.

Utilities may also vary by location. For example, your monthly gas charges may be less in Northern California, but higher in the Seattle Metro area where winters can be more intense.

Do I need to have renters insurance to secure my new apartment?

Proof of renters insurance for a minimum of $300,000 is required for the term of the lease from all applicants prior to the move-in date and distribution of keys. Essex partners with GetCovered and residents can purchase renters insurance or upload their third-party insurance policy through the GetCovered website.

What is a holding deposit, and is it refundable?

A holding deposit is typically required during your application process to reserve or put a hold on the apartment home you are interested in. When a holding deposit is submitted, this takes the apartment off the market, making it temporarily unavailable for other potential residents. A holding deposit can be refunded within 24 hours if you choose to release the apartment you have on hold, or if your application is denied. If you sign a lease on the apartment you reserved, your holding deposit fee will be applied to your security deposit.

Is a security deposit required?

Yes. A security deposit is required when you sign your lease, and security deposit amounts vary by floor plan and community. Please click the Leasing Info tab on the specific community’s webpage to view current security deposit amounts.

Security deposits may be eligible for a refund or partial refund upon move out, depending on the condition of your home and any final utilities and fees charged. Alternately, additional fees may be charged at move-out because of any work required to return your home to its original condition if not first covered by your security deposit.

Do you have any pet policies I need to be aware of?

Pets are welcome at many of our Essex communities, and pet policies may vary by community. A community’s pet policy will outline the number of pets permitted in your apartment home, additional security deposits, and any additional monthly fees. Please click the Leasing Info tab on the specific community webpage to view further details about their pet policy.

Unfortunately, the following breeds/crossbreeds of dogs are not allowed at Essex communities: Guardian Breed Dogs including, but not limited to, Alaskan Malamutes, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Akita, Bullmastiff, Mastiff, Wolf Dog or any dog that Essex believes is a crossbreed of or related breed to Guardian Breed Dogs are prohibited. Restrictions are subject to change without notice. Restrictions do not apply to dogs necessary to provide the disabled with equal access to housing.

What documentation is needed for my ESA (emotional support animal)?

Emotional Support Animals or Accommodation Animals, including assistive or companion animals, are welcome at Essex apartment communities. Please reach out to your leasing team to discuss what documentation is needed.

Do you offer corporate housing programs or short-term rentals?

Essex partners with select providers to offer corporate housing programs for residents who may be relocating for work or in need of an apartment for an extended stay. Month-to-month and short-term lease options may be available depending on the community and apartment you are interested in. We recommend contacting the community directly to find out more about pricing and current leasing offers for short-term rentals, or to learn more about available corporate housing programs.

What is the Essex 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee program?

We offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee with any leased apartment. If you’re not 100% satisfied with your new home, we’ll help you transfer to a comparable home within the same community, or you can choose to break your lease penalty-free within the first 30 days of move-in. Some restrictions may apply.

Do any Essex communities offer luxury penthouse apartments?

Five Essex communities offer luxury penthouse apartments with breathtaking views, upscale interior design appointments, rich amenities, and a coveted lifestyle. Soak in top-floor panoramas of the city and Bay at 500 Folsom in San Francisco, enjoy scenic mountain views at 360 Residences and Century Towers amidst the buzz of Silicon Valley in San Jose, or take in views of Lake Merrit and downtown Oakland at The Grand. In Southern California, Essex Skyline at MacArthur Place offers sweeping 360-views of Orange County and the Southern California coast.

Affordable Housing

What affordable housing options are available?

Essex offers below-market rent (“BMR”) programs at many of our communities. While this is not a rental assistance program, BMR units may be available to residents who qualify based on their annual household income and the number of individuals living in their household. To determine if the community you are interested in offers BMR options, please contact your leasing team for more information. Please visit our Affordable Housing Programs page.

Do you offer rent-controlled apartments?

Essex’s portfolio of communities includes rent-controlled apartments in the Los Angeles area and San Francisco Bay Area. Within the Los Angeles area, our rent-controlled apartments include Avondale at Warner CenterThe Blake LAThe HenleyThe Promenade at Marina City ClubBunker Hill Towers, and Sage at Cupertino. In the Northern California Bay Area, City ViewFox PlazaPark West, and Regency at Mountain View offer rent-controlled apartments.

Resident Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact the leasing office?

You can easily contact your leasing team by phone or email.

How do I submit a maintenance request?

Residents can submit maintenance requests through our RENTCafé resident portal or through our Resident App (available in the App Store or on Google Play).

How do I pay rent?

One-time and recurring online payments can be made through our RENTCafé resident portal. We currently accept online payments by credit card, debit card, or ACH (payments made from your checking account). You can pay your rent by mailing a personal check or with cash or a cashier’s check through our walk-in payment system program. Additional payment options such as corporate checks may be available. Please contact your leasing team for specific details.

What if I’m having issues with my resident portal?

If you are having trouble accessing your RENTCafé resident portal, please contact the management team at your community for additional assistance.

Lease Renewals

How do I renew my lease?

You will receive a lease renewal letter by both mail and e-mail 45 to 60 days (CA) or 120 days (WA) prior to your lease expiration date. This letter will outline the details of your new lease pricing and lease duration options. Additional changes to your lease agreement must be confirmed with your management team. We recommend you complete and sign your lease renewal paperwork a minimum of 30 days prior to your lease expiration date to ensure your apartment home is secured. If you will not be renewing your lease, you are required to provide a 20-day notice for apartment homes in Washington and a 30-day notice for apartments in California.

Move-out Process

What should I expect at move-out?

Prior to your move-out date, you may want to consider requesting a pre-move-out inspection to determine if there are any items you may need to clean or repair before your departure to avoid additional costs after move-out. Our management team will refer to the move-in checklist you provided upon originally moving into your apartment to determine if any damage was pre-existing.

On your final move-out day, you will need to return any keys and access devices to our management team to avoid additional charges.

What other items should I complete when moving out?

Ensure any utilities have been cancelled or updated. Additionally, you will need to update your address with the post office for mail forwarding.

Confirm the management team has your forwarding address so any return funds can be mailed to your new location. Once you have fully vacated the home, please notify the management team via phone, text, or email to avoid being charged for additional days.

What if I have questions about my move-out statement?

If you have questions regarding your move-out statement, please contact our support team at at They will be able to review your statement with you line-by-line and provide additional insight into any fees you may have incurred.

Alternatively, you can submit a Past Resident Billing Inquiry through the Contact Us form on the home page of our website. The Essex past resident team can work with you to answer any outstanding questions you may have about fees on your statement, as well as assist you with creating a payment plan for your outstanding balance, if necessary.

What happens if I need to move out of my apartment before my lease ends?

We understand you may need to terminate your lease prior to the agreed-upon date, which is why we offer several lease-termination options.

If you would like to explore available options to transfer to another Essex community, please contact your management team to inquire about our transfer policy. With nearly 250 apartment communities along the West Coast from San Diego to Seattle, we would be happy to find another Essex property for you if you are relocating, need to downsize, or are looking for more space.

Ending your lease early may result in a lease termination fee, which is typically two times the amount of your base rent. A 20-day notice to vacate for apartment homes in Washington and a 30-day notice to vacate for apartments in California is required. Your signed lease agreement includes complete details on the full amount owed to break your lease.

If you would like to move to a rent-responsible plan, you can provide a 20-day notice to vacate for apartment homes in Washington and a 30-day notice to vacate for apartments in California. With this option, you agree to continue to submit your monthly rent payments until the apartment home is re-occupied by a new resident.