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Old 04-02-2013, 11:54 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
518 posts, read 642,126 times
Reputation: 589

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So girlfriend and I found our very first apartment together. Unfortunately, the one we liked won't be vacant until May 31st, but we did get approved. So we won't be able to see/inspect the actual apartment and sign the lease until the end of May which is almost two months from now.

The landlord told us that we needed to put down the security deposit in order for them to "hold" the apartment for us. Is this standard practice or legal?

NOTE: It's a bit late now since at the time we didn't know much about apartment renting and thought it was required/standard practice but after I was reading some more on apartment renting a web page noted that it is a bad idea to put down any money to "hold" a place since nothing is in writing and we only lose out on our possible deposit ($500 since neither of us have any rental history).
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:07 AM
 
2,091 posts, read 6,752,413 times
Reputation: 2161
It can be done. There should be something in writing stating what the money is for. if you move in with no issues the money is put toward your deposit. If you back out because you changed your mind and left the landlord without the tenant he was expecting he can keep your deposit or not. The deposit secures your spot. And protects the landlord from someone being a flake.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:44 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
26,013 posts, read 34,374,658 times
Reputation: 54259
You got approved. That hurdle is already passed.

Yes, it is standard to give a deposit to hold a unit. That deposit is going to be non-refundable. You are expecting the landlord to not do any advertising and to not show the unit to anyone else, and if you back out at the last second, the landlord has lost all of that time that he could have used to find a tenant to rent that unit.

I hope you at least got a receipt that says the money you gave was to reserve an apartment for June occupancy.

If you don't give some sort of deposit, holding fee,or reservation fee, the landlord isn't going to hold a unit for you.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Honolulu
518 posts, read 642,126 times
Reputation: 589
Yup. Looks like this is not an uncommon practice after some more reading on here and elsewhere oh the web. Thanks for the advice.

Where we screwed up is we just handed over the check without having a written statement from management saying what the money is for EXACTLY. Aka, it is a security deposit and also it is used to hold the specific unit we wanted. The check that we wrote says "security deposit" but not sure how well that will hold up if it comes down to arbitration/court.

Oh well another life lesson learned in addition to question everything and read everything before signing anything...and that is: always know exactly what you are writing a check for in writing.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:36 AM
 
Location: Australia
432 posts, read 1,121,314 times
Reputation: 686
Let us know in June if it all works out for the new rental place.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
26,013 posts, read 34,374,658 times
Reputation: 54259
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginmqi View Post
.

Where we screwed up is we just handed over the check without having a written statement from management saying what the money is for EXACTLY..
At this point, try very politely contacting the landlord and asking for a receipt. If you don't turn it into an insult or imply that the landlord is at fault, there is a very good chance that the landlord will give you a receipt.

If he doesn't, then he doesn't and you will have to wait and see. But it never hurts to ask.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:31 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,605 posts, read 53,203,183 times
Reputation: 9451
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginmqi View Post
So girlfriend and I found our very first apartment together. Unfortunately, the one we liked won't be vacant until May 31st, but we did get approved. So we won't be able to see/inspect the actual apartment and sign the lease until the end of May which is almost two months from now.

The landlord told us that we needed to put down the security deposit in order for them to "hold" the apartment for us. Is this standard practice or legal?

NOTE: It's a bit late now since at the time we didn't know much about apartment renting and thought it was required/standard practice but after I was reading some more on apartment renting a web page noted that it is a bad idea to put down any money to "hold" a place since nothing is in writing and we only lose out on our possible deposit ($500 since neither of us have any rental history).

Yeah I just did the same thing, gave a security deposit to hold the APT and then I will be picking up the lease on Thursday of this week and then pay the remaining balance in 2 weeks. Also you only give a security deposit if you are a 100% sure that's the place you want. If you had still planned on looking around then it would not have made sense to give the deposit.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Niagara Region
1,335 posts, read 1,763,092 times
Reputation: 4529
Yes, very standard, I always call it a commitment or deposit - allows me to take the property off the market, and is non-refundable if the prospective tenant changes his or her mind, but refundable if I turn them down because of something on their application that doesn't sit well with me although that has never happened.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,955 posts, read 20,680,007 times
Reputation: 7228
I require 50% of the security deposit to hold the place but we don't sign the lease until they can inspect the house. And I have always told them they can have their money back if they don't like the house at lease signing because I also continue to show it to a coule of others and almost always have a backup party hoping they change their kinds....
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:00 PM
 
1 posts, read 85,936 times
Reputation: 10
Had a question, gave guy a security deposit and talked with him about possibly getting it back if I didn't move in he said no I couldn't so I said that's fine I'll see you on the 30th of August with the first months rent to move in then he texted my fiancee and told her that we breached our lease and can't move in now I told the guy we would be there on the 30th with the first months rent I already have him a deposit for 1100. I have a lease signed and I'm going to show up on the 30th to pay him. if he doesn't accept the money and let me move in is there anything I can do to at least get my deposit back?
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