I am getting my application form and internal checklists finalized to screen tenants for my first SFR, and I have a couple of noob questions about logistics. What type of payment do you recommend taking for the security deposit and first month/last month rent? Are money orders acceptable or only cashier's checks? Also, in terms of timing, I am reading Landlording on Autopilot and the process he outlines, if I'm understanding it right, is to contact the tenant when they are approved and require that I receive the security deposit to hold the property within 24 hours of that contact. After that happens, is the first/last month's rent handed over at move-in or at the lease signing? (I'm assuming that the lease signing should happen as soon as possible after the applicant is accepted) Thanks so much for your help!
I accept cash, money orders and cashier's checks.
As far as the approved tenant. After letting them know they are approved, depending on when they want to move I will accept a "Holding Fee" (It's important to call it a fee) that is equal to what the security deposit will be and at lease signing that money will become their security deposit. If they back out then I get to keep the "Holding Fee"
The remaining money would have to be paid at the lease signing before they are handed the keys.
Thanks for these details Chris. Very helpful!
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