How long to hold a property for a tenant?

8 Replies

I have a property that I is available for rent April 1. Most of the people inquiring about it are students since it is so close to the 3 universities we have here in town. My question is if I find some tenants who are interested and fill out applications and everything looks good, how long should I hold it for them and what should my terms be since most want to move around the end of May? Should I have them sign a lease agreement from April 1 and have them paying rent for the two months they aren't going to live there? Or if they want to fill out the applications should I basically just tell them that they better hope they are lucky and no one else gets it before them?

I don't hold a house! It has never worked out well! Our area moved quick enough that I don't need to. So know your area but make sure you covered if you hold it and than they decide to no take it

If they want it and you are ready to have tenants move in now have have sign the lease and start paying rent otherwise move on the the next applicant.

Originally posted by @Thomas Quinn :

If they want it and you are ready to have tenants move in now have have sign the lease and start paying rent otherwise move on the the next applicant.

 Simple as that.

First person who puts the rent money in your hand gets the place.

Screen the applicants. Choose the ones you find acceptable as tenants. Call all of them and tell them that the place is theirs a soon as they get you a non refundable deposit (1 month, the other and security can be paid at lease signing).

First of the accepted applicants to get the deposit to you gets the place. Then you stop showing/advertising it. Should they back out prior to lease signing you keep their deposit.

I hold open for up to 30 days with a full non refundable deposit.

@Patrick Donovan 

I agree with everyone else.  I don't recommend holding a place for two months without collecting rent.  Best case scenario is you collect no rent for two months and then get a tenant going forward.  The worst case scenario is that you hold the unit for two months and then the tenant backs out.  Either way is bad.

I won't start a lease more than 1 month after unit is vacant and available for rent.  (This is only if the tenant's credentials look strong.)  


1. Prior tenant moves out of unit on 3/22/15.  

2. Unit cleaned and available to rent on 4/1/15

3. The latest I would start a lease is 5/1/15.

One important caveat is that I would require the deposit and 1st month rent paid now at time of application before I pull the property off the market.  I let the potential tenant know that until I receive a signed lease, deposit and 1st month rent, the property is still being marketed and will be rented to the first qualified tenant.

Good luck!

If it were in January, I might be more willing to consider that since rental traffic is slower then. But if there is lots of interest in the unit, and lots of calls and showings, you don't have to be as "desperate". 

Don't call it a "non-refundable deposit".  Call it a "holding fee".

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