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Old 01-06-2012, 06:21 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,009 times
Reputation: 10

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So I filled out a rental application to move in somewhere on March 1st. The broker wanted a security deposit: a certified check of $500. I was just expecting a move-in of 1 month rent and 1 month security (in addition to the broker fee).

Then the broker calls me and says I am "approved". But the move-in date is Feb 15th... and they want 3 months rent to move in. This is all unexpected and a LOT of money to move in. He says since I am "approved" I can't get my $500 back. However, my rental application says March 1st... not Feb 15th.

He also stated that, hypothetically, a landlord can "approve" your application and then demand all 12 months rent to move-in, and because you are "approved", he gets to keep the security deposit.

Could this all possibly be true? Is there anything I can do to get my $500 back?
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:50 PM
 
Location: New York City
396 posts, read 1,012,292 times
Reputation: 363
Ok, let me explain how my company does it, and then maybe you can see if anything of our practices match your scenario.

When you fill out an application with us for an apartment, you sign a fee agreement that states that when the landlord approves, we will email you an approval letter stating this. If you were upfront about your situation, then we should know whether or not they will require three months upfront. This could range from credit problems to just starting a new job. If you have clean credit or have been at your job for a while, there is no reason why they should be asking for 3 months. UNLESS it is a landlord like Big Apple, which ask for 2 months security and first months rent. If so, your broker should have told you this upfront (but that doesn't always mean they will).

Our agreement clearly states that if you get approved but decide not to take the apartment, you are still required to pay our fee. If you don't, we take you to court for 15%. We've had to do this several times and have won.

In your case, what exactly warranted the extra three months? Did you disclose any problems to your broker? AND any GOOD broker knows that you won't be able to start a lease for March 1st this far out unless the apartment is for a 3/1/12 occupancy date. No landlord that has an immediate vacancy will let is sit for two months.

Did you sign any sort of fee agreement at all? If so, go back and read the fine print.

Also, did your broker take the check from themselves, or did the landlord require the check. Some landlords, like Dermot, require a $500 deposit that is applied toward security when you submit the application. It clearly states on their application that if you get approved and back out, you will not get your $500 back.

Next time, ask your broker to give you in writing what the conditions of any deposit are and if you sign anything read make sure to read it.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Ferndale, MI
85 posts, read 294,647 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by redrover88 View Post
So I filled out a rental application to move in somewhere on March 1st. The broker wanted a security deposit: a certified check of $500. I was just expecting a move-in of 1 month rent and 1 month security (in addition to the broker fee).

Then the broker calls me and says I am "approved". But the move-in date is Feb 15th... and they want 3 months rent to move in. This is all unexpected and a LOT of money to move in. He says since I am "approved" I can't get my $500 back. However, my rental application says March 1st... not Feb 15th.

He also stated that, hypothetically, a landlord can "approve" your application and then demand all 12 months rent to move-in, and because you are "approved", he gets to keep the security deposit.

Could this all possibly be true? Is there anything I can do to get my $500 back?
This is New York! Nobody gives you money back here. Get wise and grow up!
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:12 PM
 
7,819 posts, read 8,184,541 times
Reputation: 9635
That's something I haven't run into before, and it would make me very unhappy. I'm wondering how much the rent it that you had to go through a broker. In my experience most people only do that when it's an expensive apartment.

It's not even clear to me what you want - do you want a corrected date, or do you want your money back? I don't think you can count on getting your money back, but you could certainly speak very sternly to the broker, make it known that you consider this very deceptive, and tell him you plan on filing a complaint.
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