Quick poll for all you landlords out there: what initial down payment do you require for new tenants?
I've see 1st month + 1 month security deposit, 1st month + last month + one month security deposit as well as other iterations in between.
What does everyone here use as their policy?
I have done both scenarios but would guess first month with security is most popular
I have always done first month rent plus 1 month security deposit. I think as your properties get more expensive it is a bit more unrealistic to do much more than that. On a 2k a month place your tenants need 4k, which isn't an insignificant amount of cash.
I've seen 1st month + 1 month security deposit to be more common!
When the initial costs are too high that may potentially stray away interested applicants. With the costs of moving, tenants may choose the properties that require less of a deposit upfront (the 1st month rent and 1 month security deposit instead).
You can look to see what more landlords are doing in your area and base it off of that. However, as a tenant with a choice between two properties, I would choose the property with the smaller deposit.
We have our lease written as first+last+deposit, but will often dispense with the last month for highly qualified, stable tenants. I am in a university town and we get a lot of students, and virtually always do first/last/deposit for them.