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Frequently Asked Questions

The Leader in Real Estate

Since 1932, Union Real Estate has professionally managed office, retail, and apartment properties in the greater Western Pennsylvania region.

Rent Related Questions

How can I pay rent?

You can pay rent with either cash, check, ACH, money order or MasterCard.

  • For MasterCard or ACH (Echeck) go to our website and click on the "Pay Rent" tab
  • You can mail a check to our office (429 Forbes Ave, Suite 1500, Pittsburgh, PA 15219)
  • Please do not mail cash to our office, please hand deliver it.

The ACH services costs $1.50 per check and MasterCard service costs 3.95%.
*Please Note: You may pay rent through your online banking system.

Paying rent on our website

You can pay rent on our website by ACH (Echeck) and MasterCard. You can also schedule a recurring payment by ACH, which is a great way to make sure that your rent is paid on time every month. To pay rent, just click on the "Pay Rent" tab and follow the instructions. You will receive an email confirming that your payment request went through. However, please note that the payment won’t go through until the day you picked for it to go through. Please note that the system (unfortunately) cannot check that the information you provided was correct.  If, say, you had a typo on the Transit/AVA Number you won't receive an email notice noting that the charge didn't go through. Typo's when entering banking information are the most common rent payment issues. Please double check your info before submitting it and call accounting if you entered your information incorrectly.

Why did I get a late fee?

Late fees are charged if rent is received after the 5th of the month. Please note that rent is always due on the 1st, but we provide a grace-period until the 5th.

When is rent due?

Rent is due on the 1st of each month. A late fee of $50 is charged for any rent received after the fifth of the month.


Leasing Questions (Residential)

When will you know what apartments will be available in the summer?

We send out renewal notices about 3-4 months before the end of a lease. Typically, by mid-April we find out which apartments will be available for the summer. (Sometimes tenants need a little extra time to figure out their moving plans, and we don't hear from them till May). You can improve your chances of getting an apartment by adding your name to our wait list. We will begin to contact people from the wait list as soon as we know of an upcoming availability.

How do I apply for an apartment?

That's easy! Follow this link to our application page, which will explain the application steps.

What to do if you need to cancel your lease early or sublet

Tenant may end this Lease and move out of the Property before the End Date of the Lease or any Renewal Term only with written permission of Landlord, and only if:

(A) Tenant gives Landlord at least 60 days written notice, AND
(B) Tenant pays Landlord a Termination Fee of $250.00, AND
(C) Tenant has vacated Property and remove all persons and personal property by or before termination date, AND
(D) Tenant continues to pay all rent until the End Date of the Lease, or any Renewal Term, or until a new tenant is approved by Landlord and a new lease takes effect, whichever happens first.

What utilities are included?

It depends on which apartment you are renting.  Most apartments include all utilities except for electricity, but for some apartments you will also pay for gas for cooking. Tenants in townhouses typically pay for all utilities. The best thing to do is to check with one of our property managers.

W-9/W-8BEN Form Explained

Your security deposit goes into a bank account, and will earn interest less the first 1% per state law over time. If you live in your apartment for at least two years, you are entitled to receive that interest. The IRS tax has interest and requires that you fill out a W-9 (for US citizens) or W-8BEN (for foreign citizens without a social security number).

*When you are filling out the W-8BEN form, include a photocopy of your passport picture page and visa.

What do I need to do with my lease package?

After your application is accepted, we will send you a lease package.

You should do the following:
Sign and send back to us in the provided stamped and self-addressed envelope:

  • Both copies of your lease
  • The W-9/W-8BN form
  • Lead Paint Disclosure Form
  • Lease Rider
  • First Month's Rent

Once we receive your signed lease, additional forms and payment, we can contact you to arrange a date and time for you to meet with your buildings maintenance supervisor to receive keys.

Set up your new utility accounts (if applicable).

(Optional) Purchase Renter’s Insurance and set up automatic rent payment (either through our website or your bank).

Are pets allowed in the apartments?

We accept 1 cat, but not dogs. There is a pet fee of $30 per month for the cat. A small pet like an iguana and fish are also allowed.

Is there parking available?

Many of our apartments have parking available. Parking is noted on each apartment's webpage.

You can find information about local public transportation here: 

How long is your standard lease term?

Our standard lease term is for one year. We do lease apartments for less than a year based upon availability, but there is a short term fee. Short term leases are charged a fee of $150 per month and must have a minimum three month lease term. You can find more information by talking to a property manager: 412-288-7800

Please Note: Apartments in North Oakland, Shadyside & Squirrel Hill require a 1-year lease that starts May 1st and commences on September 2nd.


Typical Tenant Questions

How to make a maintenance request

Contact your building's maintenance person or property manager to report maintenance requests. After normal business hours call the main office to report a maintenance request or maintenance emergency. You can also submit a ticket above.

What to do if you lock yourself out of your apartment

If you lock yourself out of your apartment during normal business hours (M-F, 9am-5pm) call the office to have a maintenance person let you in. If you are locked out after normal business hours please call the main office and connect to the answering service. After normal business hours, tenants can contact Bud's Lock and Key (412) 760-9092 for apartment access.

*Please note that there may be a non-refundable charge for key replacements.

How do I get my security deposit refund?

You will receive your security deposit after you have vacated your property at the end of your lease. We really try to send out security deposits as quickly as possible however by law we have 30 days from the end of your lease to refund the deposit.

The biggest security deposit deductions are:

  • Unpaid rental fees (rent, electric, pet fee, etc)
  • Fee for carpet cleaning (please try to vacuum the apartment)
  • Fee for cleaning the entire apartment

A good rule-of-thumb is to try and leave the apartment in the same manner as you received it -- with, of course, an allowance for basic wear-and-tear. Finally, one of the biggest causes for delay in receiving a security deposit refund is that we don't have an up-to-date security deposit refund address. Please make sure to include an address for your security deposit in Termination Form, or to up-date your property manager if the address you filled is incorrect.

What to do when moving out

A few months before the end of your lease you will receive a letter which asks if you would like to renew or move-out. If you are moving, please fill out the move-out form and return it to our office.

A week or two before you leave

  • Contact your property manager if the address to send the security deposit has changed
  • Contact your maintenance person to arrange a time for a move-out inspection

The day you leave

  • Prepare your apartment for the move-out inspection by cleaning and packing as much as possible.
  • Meet you maintenance person for the arranged move-out inspection
  • Return keys and garage door opener (when applicable)

*If you are leaving after normal business hours you will need to make special arrangements with your properties maintenance person.