Deny Applicant after Sending Lease Agreement

4 Replies

Hey All,

   I have a tenant that is out of state, approved thier application. Sent them the Lease agreement and requested they send the signed lease and security deposit within a week (actual date).  Prior to getting the lease they were "oh we will send the security deposit as soon as they get approved", Once i sent them the lease they are like well i need to wait 3 more weeks before getting that to you. Now i have not received either one of those, how can I move on and deny them without getting sued... Anyone ever had this type of scenario before or any recommendations?

Thanks,

Chris

Did you sign it? I have out of state tenants, and I email them the unsigned lease to look over first, which we then discuss on the phone. When they're ready to sign it, I send my contractor a Docusigned copy with my signature to print out, and they'll sign it in his presence when they give him the security deposit.

If you haven't signed the lease yet, and they're saying they're not going to sign it for several weeks and you have no security deposit, there's no lease in effect. My lease has some verbiage about "time is of the essence". Certain things have to be done by certain dates. Your state may have its own procedure to follow.

I recently went through this with a young man who was a bit lax on sending the signed lease and security deposit back.  He had been told that until the lease AND the deposit were received, the rental unit was still on the market.  It took him a week to EMAIL me back the signed lease with a note saying he was putting the security deposit in the mail that day (he was also in Georgia).  He actually sent the deposit out six days later.

By the time I got it, I had rented the place to another family.  I simply sent back his application (since it had his social security number) and his security deposit back to him with a note saying the place was rented.  I never heard back from him regarding this matter.

Sounds like you have clearly given your applicants a deadline as to when the signed lease and security deposit must be received by you.  They have failed to meet that deadline.  Move on and find more reliable tenants.

Gail

Ok Cool, I did not send a Signed Lease, So I guess we will see.

Chris

Anyone can try to sue for anything. For something founded or unfounded. Don't worry about that. You need to focus on proper tenant screening and proper contracting. 

If you sign a lease agreement with someone you have never met, how do you know they are who they say they are? Are you asking for a holding deposit while you process their application and offer to rent to them? Or are you asking for a security deposit?  A security deposit is most often paid at the time after you have verified they are who they say they are, processed their application with all background checks completed, approved them to rent the unit, offered to rent and they accepted, negotiated a signed lease/rental agreement and prior to handing over the keys.

To answer your question. You can certainly move on to the next qualified applicant. Just be clear in your communications and make sure your application process does not violate fair housing law. If the prospective tenant wants the place held for them, they should be fine with paying a holding deposit. If you are okay with holding the place for them for the length of time they need, fine. If not, let them know you need to place their application on hold and move on to the next applicant. Refund their application fee if you have not used it already to do background checks. If you have invested your time and resources in processing the application, keep the application fee. You can deny prospective tenants on the basis of not completing the application process or not completing the contract process. Be reasonable with your timeline and expectations.

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