Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Do you do shorter term leases than 12 months?
Rarely, and then usually only to fill out a year for a tenant who must leave for job change or family reasons. We try very hard to keep all our turnovers in the May through August time frame.
2) What do you expect at signing?
The security deposit (equal to one month’s rent) and if you have a pet, the pet deposit of $150. Your first month’s rent is due when you move in. We don’t do the “first/last/security” thing that many other companies do; first of all, we don’t know how anyone can afford that sort of up front layout of cash, and also because we have terrific tenants who simply don‘t need that sort of draconian measure because they have proved themselves trustworthy.
3) What do I have to do to apply for one of your apartments?
After you decide you want to take one of our places, (usually after visiting with Ann via email and seeing the apartment in person or through your designated agent) we ask that you fill out a tenant references form, and email it to us. I ALWAYS call references, even though I can usually tell immediately if someone will be a good fit for Ithaca Artisan, as it seems only fair to me that everyone has to meet the same requirements. Once I have called your references, I will let you know if we are “good to go.” This process usually takes a day, maybe two if someone on your call list is hard to reach.
4) What sort of tenants live in your apartments?
We have primarily young professionals and graduate students. Typically we run around 50% veterinarian/vet tech/vet student occupancy, the rest run the gamut. I wonder if it is because of our pet policy, or because animal lovers tend to gravitate toward each other! We chose tenants with whom we can have an easy pleasant working relationship with, these folks tend to make great neighbors for each other. In particular, we try very hard to match neighbors in the same building with the hopes they are able to coexist happily
5) How far are your places from Cornell? (These are Mapquest distances and times to Vet School, Tower Road. I did this calculation because Vet students and Vet residents have told me they are obligated to live within 15 minutes of the school, for emergencies)
207 Irish Settlement, in Dryden is 9.1 miles, roughly 14 minutes
405, 407 and 409 Main Street Freeville is 6.1 miles, roughly 10 minutes
1718 1710, 1692, 1682 Ellis hollow are 5.1 miles, roughly 8 minutes
1639, 1643 Ellis Hollow are 4.7 miles roughly 8 minutes.
Shopping is an easy 10 to 20 minutes from any of our places into Ithaca. 207 is the furthest “out” from Ithaca, but then, Dryden is a handy 2 miles away from there, which helps.
6) I will be working in Cortland while my spouse goes to Cornell. Which of your places works best for that arrangement?
Our Freeville and Dryden places provide easy access both to Ithaca/Cornell, and to Cortland/Syracuse.
7) Who takes care of the plowing/yard work and so on?
Charlie plows all our driveways, we ask that our tenants please shovel their walks and steps, as we have a lot of people who need to get out early, so stopping to shovel would delay our getting around to all the driveways in a timely fashion We mow the lawns and weed the gardens, as well. Of course if you love to weed, we encourage you to go right ahead and do so!
8) How do is garbage and recycling handled?
We encourage you to visit with your new neighbor regarding which service they are using, and make similar arrangements. Tenants pay for their own service and buy garbage tags to put on the bags they set out weekly. We don’t include this in our rent as we have tenants who prefer to economize by taking their trash directly to the dump themselves, bypassing the carriers’ fees.
Recycling is free, and you set it out to the curb every other week. All you need to know is here, at Tompkins County Recycles: http://www.recycletompkins.org/ They also list garbage haulers and contact information.
9) What is included in the rent?
Water and Septic is included, as all our places have well water and have on site septic systems. Tenants pay for their own utilities and services (gas/electric/phone/tv/internet/garbage disposal.) We find this is a more equitable arrangement for everyone involved. Please see our Useful Information Utilities page link for all the details whom to contact for services.
10 ) Who do I call if there is a problem?
You call us: 607 844 8706. Email works great too! Artisan (at) Frontiernet (dot) net or Ann (at) IthacaArtisan (dot) com. You could try Ghostbusters, but I don’t think they’d be much help.
11) What about gardening? I’d like to have some flowers/vegetables.
We encourage gardening! Your best bet is probably container gardening, although if you want to put some annuals into the existing beds in between what is already there, please feel free. We are plagued with deer and rabbits, so having things up close to the house is probably best. We have had tenants who put up a small fenced raised bed arrangement, just check in with us so we can mutually decide on a good location.
12) What is you policy regarding fire pits and gas grills?
We allow both the new kind of mobile fire pits (no hand dug/ring of stone ones, please) and gas or charcoal grills. Please keep open fires small and well away from the house and other combustibles, (and off the lawn, as the heat kills the grass) Pull the grill away from the siding if you like to keep yours on the porch. (Siding melts, we had this happen once, sadly) Be smart, keep an eye on your fire at all times and soak it out cold with plenty of water when you are done with it. Monitor the grill while you are cooking and turn it off when you are done.
13) How about lawn furniture?
Sure! The lawns are for your enjoyment. Just, if you would please, we ask that you move your furniture off the lawn when it’s not in use, as it’s a chore moving everyone’s lawn furniture every time we come to mow! Thanks very much for your consideration in this regard. Along the same line, please gather up your own and your dog’s toys. Lawn mowers are not kind to lost toys lurking in the tall grass. We don’t see them all in time to avoid chopping them to bits.
14) What is your pet policy?
We accept a limited number of neutered cats and dogs, with restrictions on some dog breeds due to insurance regulations. (Please see "All My Thoughts on Dog" in the About Us section for more on this.) We cannot accept anything with a bite history, or if it has "issues" (people speak for serious bad behavior problems such as unusual aggressiveness, or unresolved fear problems that translate into "likely to bite if approached by small children," etc)
Our pet deposit is $150. This is utilized to pay a professional carpet cleaner to steam clean the carpets and treat for allergens after pets leave. This is to safeguard the health of incoming tenants who may have allergy issues. When there are funds left over from the carpet cleaning, (which does often happen, when the carpets haven't had accidents on them) we refund the difference.
15) Pets just need to go… too.
Please pick up after your pet. It’s only thoughtful to spare someone a barefoot encounter with that which gets left behind and it’s more sanitary as well. You don’t have to plastic bag it and trash it, this seems silly to us… why take something that decays naturally and turn it into landfill? Please toss it off lawn into the rough where no one will get into it. Also, feces left behind on the areas where I have to mow with the weed whacker is particularly distasteful. The weed whacker distributes it in every direction and I get plastered. YUK! Ditto to feces left in the flower beds, where this unwary weeding lady can grab a handful. So, please, pick up after your pet! Thank you.
Some dogs’ urine is so powerful it kills grass, leaving dead brown patches everywhere it goes. After awhile it looks like someone poured Agent Orange all over the front yard! Please, if your dog is one of these unfortunates, make sure he does his job on the gravel areas. There are things you can feed your dog to neutralize the urine. I would encourage you to quiz your vet (if you are not yourself one!) pretty closely about these products before buying them; are they safe for your dog?
16) Post move in: I would like to adopt a new pet. Is this ok?
This depends a bit on the size of your existing menagerie. We prefer to limit total numbers of pets as they can be hard on the place. If this is a first dog or cat, and you are an experienced pet owner, then sure! But please remember our list of dogs we cannot accept, and we would like to meet the dog, too. The pet deposit must be paid before the animal is allowed onto the premises, and like all our animal companions, it must prove itself a good neighbor. If it proves unsuitable, it will have to go.
17) Why don’t you accept non neutered dogs and cats?
In a word: Offspring. I had one horrific experience where a lady abandoned her nearly new kittens on the lawn when she moved and I nearly mowed over them. That’s when the rule got instituted.
18) Can I tie my dog outside?
Only if you are around to keep an eye on it, it’s peaceful on line (eg: non barking!) and all pick-up rules still apply. The line must be located so as not to interfere with your neighbors, and the lawn can’t be torn up. (Some dogs are perennial diggers!) Please do not leave screw in tethers and lines lying on the lawn, as it’s one more thing I have to deal with when mowing.
19) I have some things I would like to store under cover that won’t fit in my apartment. May I stash it in the utility room?
There is limited space in the U room, a few items may be stored there (check with me first regarding what is ok) as long as it doesn’t create a fire hazard, interfere with access to appliances, or cause problems for your neighbor.
20) I would like to have Dish service installed. Is that ok?
Only if the dish is mounted on a pole out of the way of mowing, and one of us is available to oversee the wiring installation. We no longer allow dishes put on the house anywhere (roof or side) as this privilege has been abused by the Dish Network people. We also now insist on checking the wiring installation because of the truly amateurish botch job too many of their poorly trained techs have done in the past.
21) My cell doesn’t work in my apartment.
There are signal boosters that can be purchased if your cellular provider does not work well at home. I’m told these run about @$200. This may prove less expensive than having a land line AND a cell.
Things that occasionally happen that you can fix:
1) The outlets in the kitchen (bathroom) don’t work all of a sudden. The breakers in the electrical box all look fine, no red spots showing. Even if I reset the breakers, the outlets still don’t work. What’s wrong?
Sounds like your GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) circuit has popped. This can happen if you overload a circuit with too many appliances going at once. Look for the outlet that has a rectangular shape, with two little buttons in between the upper and lower outlet. Push in the reset button. You should be good to go… using fewer appliances this time! Hairdryers are the biggest offenders.
2) Our power was out for a while and now it’s back on, but we still don’t have water.
Most of our well pumps have low pressure cutoff switches. This is protect the (expensive!) pumps from burning out in case of water shortage in the well. However, if the power is off for awhile and you run the water pressure down below 10 # in the pressure tank, the safety switch goes off, too. There is a reset lever on a small grey box on the side of the blue pressure tank in the utility room. Lift that lever halfway up until you hear the pressure pump kick in, hold that lever until you feel the pressure on your fingers lessen slightly (at 10 pounds pressure in the tank, there is a pressure dial to read there, too) then release it. You should have water again, now.