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Old 11-30-2012, 09:50 AM
 
63 posts, read 135,890 times
Reputation: 100

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I've rented in California and Texas and have always paid upfront a security deposit and first months rent (plus a pet deposit)

We are moving to Arizona and am looking at homes and surprised to see a lot of homes require:

earnest deposit
security deposit
cleaning deposit
pet deposit


(I know about the extra tax too charged on the rent)

and some of the cleaning & pet deposits are non refundable!

I've never seen a cleaning deposit outside a security deposit.

also, noticed some agents charge $199 administrative fee at start of lease!

Is this the norm in Arizona??
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:17 AM
 
824 posts, read 1,952,958 times
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Unfortunately yes. My guess is they only wish to rent to those that truly can afford it. However, move-in costs can be upwards of $5k for some locations! Anyone with those kind of means laying around are better off buying!
Many owners are willing to negotiate some of the fees and break them up over time though.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,308 posts, read 25,652,204 times
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Interesting, CaliGirl . . .

Although it's been a few, correction, many years since I've rented, the first time I ever experienced a non-refundable "cleaning" fee was for an apartment in Santa Monica.

Unfortunately, these "catch fees" are probably due to the lack of responsibility and lousy attitude of many tenants nowadays.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:28 AM
 
223 posts, read 412,025 times
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I believe the term "first, last, and deposit" was coined in CA, too.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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This was our experience moving here, too. A lot of places will have move-in incentives that offset the deposits if your credit is worth it. But our $750ish apartment still cost about $1100 to move in.

If you're looking at a really nice place that doesn't have much availability, you will pay more; they have no need to run incentives like that since they're renting without them. Look for smaller or older places and it makes a big difference.

Keep in mind there's often two pet deposits (a refundable and a non-refundable, often $100+ each) as well as pet rent (often $30+). Then the application fee (per person, seems to be average of about $50), and the administrative fee (often $199+), and the first month's rent, and the security deposit (often $500+).
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
5,920 posts, read 10,437,079 times
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In total, whatever the refundable deposits are called, they should not ever exceed 1.5 months rent. Normally, an earnest deposit is converted to a security deposit when the lease is signed, so that isn't really an "extra"..

The only way a landlord can charge more than 1.5 months rent is if they tack on non-refundable "fees", or if the tenant volunteers to pay extra.

As a small-time landlord, renting sfr's, I don't collect any junk fees. I charge exactly what I pay for a credit report, and by the time I run the report, the tenant is "in" unless they lied about their financial situation or background.

The junk fees are often extra profit for property management companies, and most don't make it back to the landlord.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Rust'n in Tustin
1,562 posts, read 2,037,428 times
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I'll let you in on a little secret, landlords HATE pets, that's why we charge all those fees.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,334 posts, read 5,696,665 times
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The only deposit we paid for our sfr was the security. The only fee was for credit reports. We have no pets though. I did see some of these deposits on other listings though. If you're a desireable tenant you might be able to negotiate some of them.

Even so, this beats NJ. In many rentals in NJ, the tenant is expected to pay the realtor's fee, which is usually equal to a months rent, in addition to 1.5 months security.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,680 posts, read 11,893,412 times
Reputation: 7880
Same with me. I took a years lease on the house I'm renting. I paid ernest fee which was a months rent. Then the non refundable cleaning deposit of $200. Application fee was $35 or $50 I forget. Then the first and last month rent. I thought to myself I hope they enjoy it, because they won't see me renting from them again. I have never heard of fees this high, other than in markets like NYC or Boston. I was a landlord myself some 10 years ago, and I never charged the tenant all these fees. Plus I returned thier cleaning deposit if the place was clean. Here evidently it can be clean and they keep the cleaning deposit. The ernest fee that was definitley a new one for me. Never heard of it. Obviously another way to make more money of people. Actually I'm questioning the way many things are done here. I can't say I find it all that welcoming here. I'm finding it has a unstable sort of transiet flightly feel to it.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
14,297 posts, read 17,491,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
Same with me. I took a years lease on the house I'm renting. I paid ernest fee which was a months rent. Then the non refundable cleaning deposit of $200. Application fee was $35 or $50 I forget. Then the first and last month rent. I thought to myself I hope they enjoy it, because they won't see me renting from them again. I have never heard of fees this high, other than in markets like NYC or Boston. I was a landlord myself some 10 years ago, and I never charged the tenant all these fees. Plus I returned thier cleaning deposit if the place was clean. Here evidently it can be clean and they keep the cleaning deposit. The ernest fee that was definitley a new one for me. Never heard of it. Obviously another way to make more money of people. Actually I'm questioning the way many things are done here. I can't say I find it all that welcoming here. I'm finding it has a unstable sort of transiet flightly feel to it.
In this scenario, the earnest fee is actually your security deposit, right? so you should get that back when you leave, assuming you don't have damages.
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