Application in & approved but no security deposit

9 Replies

So I am in the process of renting out my first property and have recently dealt with an interested prospect come see the property, take an application home with them, send me an application with fee, pass all background/ credit checks & landlord references but become MIA when I reach out for the deposit to hold/ security deposit. Have most landlords experienced this? If so, how do you go about preventing this when a potential tenant wants to think it over before sending in their rental application?

stuff like this happens all the time. People are flaky, get used to it.

Move on to the next, I'm sure you don't want to be chasing them for money every time it's due...

edit - and congrats on the first unit!


I know it sounds crazy, but it happens all the time. Why on earth would someone pay for that, go thru the process, and then go silent!!!! 

Yes, happens all the time. For this reason, I never hold a property for someone until my holding fee (security deposit) is paid in full. I will keep showing a property until someone BOTH passes the screening AND gives deposit.

Agree with the other others that this happens from time to time.  What I do in this situation is let the applicant know that they are approved.  However, I also inform them that I will continue to advertise the property for rent, accept applications, and screen other applicants (and possibly select one) until such time as I receive the holding fee/security deposit and/or a lease is signed and all money owed is paid in full. 

I wouldn't wait on them because they may never contact you and then you'll have held it for nothing (and wasted all that time).  Plus, if you aren't up front with them and tell them that you'll still be advertising the unit and continuing to accept applications, they might think you're trying to pull a fast one on them by telling them they're approved but still advertising the unit for rent.  But if you explain it to them, they'll understand that the ball is in their court and - if they haven't followed through - they'll know exactly why you're still advertising the unit.

@Kevin Stolarski

As answered by previous people who has experience with tenants, it happens. Imagine this as Craigslist, whether it is for a lawnmower, or apartment, same applies. 

No good reason, just happens.

Congrats on your first step in a journey that you will not imagine in your wildest dreams. Strap on your seat belt, and enjoy the ride.


Best thing to do is continue to mass market the property so that you have multiples of interested people wanting to rent so that you are not dependent or chasing one tenant. If this is the best they have, then what happens when things go south?

You have an application and a paid fee. Sounds like you may have no way to prove that you notified the prospective tenants that they were approved. Maybe you do...

Everyone here is correct. I would only add that you should keep the returned application for your records, and add notes on how/when you notified the applicants of their approval, but heard nothing back as of X date, and approved next potential tenant on X or Y date.

I guess sate laws on statutes of limitation for civil suits (like alleged discrimination, charging fee but not running credit reports, or running credit reports with no application, etc) vary. Then there are the federal laws. I’ve heard lawyers say to keep records for 7 years.

Welcome to the club.

-Dark cloud.

@Kevin Stolarski ,

I agree with others, it happens...  just part of the business... whenever it happens to me, I actually feel relieved they didn't move in, because they are showing you upfront they can't handle money and prioritize, so they'd likely be a horrible tenant and cause a lot of stress.. dodged a bullet!   

Be happy they self eliminated, and find someone who is responsible and treats you and the process with the respect it deserves!

Thanks for the replies everyone!

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