Future Tenant Can't Occupy As Planned

6 Replies

I have a possible tenant that was planning to occupy my open unit on 12/1. The tenant was just notified by her current landlord that they must stay until 1/1. I would still like to rent to her, as she passed all screening and seems like her family will make good tenants.

What should I do in order to hold the unit? I was going to ask for the deposit, but would that offer any protection to me if they eventually back out?

How is your market?  If its so slow that you cannot get another tenant sooner, do a hold deposit.  I've done this a few times, though only for a week or so and not a month and a half.  I have them give me an amount equal to the deposit.  Its nonrefundable and the document says that multiple times in big letters.  If they sign a lease and move in on 1/1, it becomes the deposit.  If not, I keep it and find another tenant.

But our market is very hot and I would probably not even hold a unit for 12/1, let alone 1/1.  I would instead tell the applicant that their application is acceptable and the unit is theirs if they want it.  But I will continue to market the unit and if I find someone who wants to move in sooner I will give them (the first applicant) the right of first refusal.  I'm confident I could find someone who would move in on 12/1, given our market.  Realistically I think right about now I could put up a "for rent" sign and have a tenant this weekend.  But our vacancy rates are VERY low just now.  If I found someone who would move in on 12/1 I would go back to the first applicant and say "you can have it on 12/1. If you don't want it then I'm giving it to this new application."  If I don't get someone else they could have it on 1/1.  But I wouldn't willingly give up six weeks rent.

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC

Thanks Jon. The unit will only be available on 12/1, so it is 4 weeks. I think that I might ask for the 1st month of rent in advance, and make that non-refundable.

What do you feel about this proposal? I offered to have them pay the 1st month rent, non-refundable unless I am able to rent the unit quickly. I will ask them to sign an 18 month lease to get my lease end out of the winter, then collect the security at the time of the signing of the lease.

Get a Deposit for holding, not the 1st months Rent.  If they pay a month Rent, they have a lease and you'll have to evict.

Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks :

Get a Deposit for holding, not the 1st months Rent.  If they pay a month Rent, they have a lease and you'll have to evict.

 That makes sense, thanks!

Hold fee is more straight forward.  They sign a document that says this FEE is non-refundable if they back out, otherwise it becomes their deposit if they follow through and sign the lease and take possession.