Site unseen lease - newbie

7 Replies

I've got a home up for rent (our first rental property) and several approved applicants (verified previous landlord, employment, credit check, background check, copy of driver's license, pay stubs,FB stalked, etc.). I have one who doesn't want to lose the property, so he wants to paypal me the security deposit site unseen (and first month rent if necessary). He's afraid he'll lose the house to another applicant before he can get down to look at the home (job transfer from out of town). Do any of you do this? What is the best way to proceed?

No. I require all prospective tenants to see the property first so they know exactly what they are getting. Also, security deposit and first month's rent must be in certified funds. You can't reverse a money order or cashier's check, but you can certainly reverse a Paypal charge.

If you have several approved applicants lined up already, why is this one even being considered?

Just my .02.

Don't do it.  No matter how nice he seems. Did you vet the guy at all? Is it a real person with an internet presence?  Too many scam artists out there.  Even if he is for real, there is too much that can go wrong if the house isn't what he thought.  Then he says you misrepresented and stops paying.  This stuff actually happens.

If you think he is for real and you want to give him a chance, offer to hold the house and not make a decision until this weekend and require that he come and see it in person.  99% sure he doesn't want it that badly.

I'm sorry. I should have stated he is one of the two already approved. He's sent me everything required, and really wants this house. He's from out of town and can't get here to see the property until Monday. I've also approved another lady's application. If you have multiple approved applicants, how do you decide which to take? Is it the first one to get to you and pay the security deposit? Both applicants have very similar situations. One has seen the home (but is willing to break her lease to get it). The other hasn't seen the home and has been in the same rental for 3 years and is relocating for work.

Thanks K. Marie Poe. That's very helpful. I'll hold the house a few days.

Originally posted by @LaShea W. :

I'm sorry. I should have stated he is one of the two already approved. He's sent me everything required, and really wants this house. He's from out of town and can't get here to see the property until Monday. I've also approved another lady's application. If you have multiple approved applicants, how do you decide which to take? Is it the first one to get to you and pay the security deposit? Both applicants have very similar situations. One has seen the home (but is willing to break her lease to get it). The other hasn't seen the home and has been in the same rental for 3 years and is relocating for work.

What does "break her lease to get it" mean?  Is she paying her landlord to terminate early?   Is she finding a replacement tenant? Or just leaving the LL high and dry? Is that who want in your house, someone who breaks leases?

You ran multiple applications at the same time and "approved" several? Why not go with the applicant that is the most qualified according to your rental criteria?

If you think this tenant is the one you want and you are willing to wait for him, you can do so, with or without monies involved. Holding deposits are typically used for holding a property for a prospective tenant in situations like this. They do not bind either party to a rental agreement, but the deposit is forfeited if you complete the rental application process, approve the tenant, and then the tenant decides he doesn't want to rent the unit.

If you accept first month's rent and a security deposit in exchange for their right to live in the unit, you would be entering into a binding rental agreement prematurely. Do not enter into a lease/rental agreement without meeting the prospective tenant in person, verifying their ID in person and allowing them to see the property and complete a move-in condition report.

Marcia Maynard, Fischer Properties | Podcast Guest on Show #83

@Marcia Maynard that makes perfect sense. I spoke with the applicant this evening and his wife is going to drive down to see the property and pay the security deposit (certified funds only).

Kristine Marie Poe I don't want that kind of tenant, but my husband is considering it. I spoke with her landlord today and he told me how great a tenant she is. Always pays on time, takes care of the property, etc., but he had no idea she was even considering leaving. Red flag for me, but my husband wasn't nearly as concerned. It was her first time renting.