Tenant failed to occupy and pay property within 5 days

11 Replies

I need help! I got a tenant who signed a Texas rental Agreement and supposed to pay security deposit and first month's rent and occupy property within 5 days as stated on the contract  he signed on  Jan 29. He promised to pay Jan. 30th but didn't not show up at the date and time we agreed on because he has issue with movers and asked that I meet him at the property February 6th but I told him that he has until 5 pm to pay or he will be on default but on Tuesday noon time I got a text from him that he cant make it due to issue with movers again. He promised  for the third time that he'll  he'll meet me  on Wednesday, the 10th day after signing contract and will send money via money gram but I refused because It's specified on the contract that security deposit, first month's rent should be in a form of cashiers check and electronic transfer won't be accepted since the company that will process payment don't accept electronic transfer and that he did not honor the deadline I gave him.   This is also the second time he promised to fed ex the cashier's check but failed to do it.  Now he's threatening to sue me for the cost of the movers and attorneys fee.  Does he have a case?  Non of the extension I gave as a favor to him because he's from out of town is  in writing.  The contract clearly stated that he must occupy property within 5 days. He did not make an effort to fulfill his obligation.  What is my recourse?  Thank you!

Why did you allow him to sign the lease without paying you in certified funds right then and there? I collect the (security) deposit with completed application, and the first and last month's rent at lease signing. If they don't have the money at lease signing we reschedule....

What kind of payment are you taking cash only? why did he not pay on lease signing. Could he not fedex A money order? What did he send electronically? can you get cash from that moneygram? You have something rented for today are you going to fill it so easily that it isnt worth spending a day? or are getting that uncooperative feeling from him and just want to cut your loses? Yes he can sue but anyone can sue. If it clearly states a date for payment and he has not paid you are ok. Otherwise it can get a little messy.

This tenant is already showing you that he can’t be trusted and he can’t afford your property. Do not let him move in under any circumstances and begin searching for a new tenant ASAP. Cancel this deal ASAP and I believe you dodged a bullet because you would probably have to evict him in the future if you had allowed him to move in.

He did not abide by the 5 days agreement so he is not going to win a lawsuit if he actually even files one which I think is unlikely. This tenant sounds like a lot of talk but without any action. When you find the next tenant do not allow him or her to sign a lease until you receive a certified check. Without a check tell the potential tenant that you cannot hold the apartment and will continue seeking applicants until a certified check is received. This saves you from wasting time with someone whom is either not serious or can’t afford it.

Originally posted by @Shelly Uy tesy :

I need help! I got a tenant who signed a Texas rental Agreement and supposed to pay security deposit and first month's rent and occupy property within 5 days as stated on the contract  he signed on  Jan 29. He promised to pay Jan. 30th but didn't not show up at the date and time we agreed on because he has issue with movers and asked that I meet him at the property February 6th but I told him that he has until 5 pm to pay or he will be on default but on Tuesday noon time I got a text from him that he cant make it due to issue with movers again. He promised  for the third time that he'll  he'll meet me  on Wednesday, the 10th day after signing contract and will send money via money gram but I refused because It's specified on the contract that security deposit, first month's rent should be in a form of cashiers check and electronic transfer won't be accepted since the company that will process payment don't accept electronic transfer and that he did not honor the deadline I gave him.   This is also the second time he promised to fed ex the cashier's check but failed to do it.  Now he's threatening to sue me for the cost of the movers and attorneys fee.  Does he have a case?  Non of the extension I gave as a favor to him because he's from out of town is  in writing.  The contract clearly stated that he must occupy property within 5 days. He did not make an effort to fulfill his obligation.  What is my recourse?  Thank you!

 If contract says he must pay within 5 days of lease signing, he is now in default of the contract, and you are under no obligation to allow him to move in. FYI for future, that clause is helpful for people signing the lease weeks in advance, but if you do it days before move-in, then you can get burned the way you did not accepting funds at lease signing. In this case, it was that much more important to collect certified funds at lease signing and continue to advertise the property until you receive those funds. Lots of flakey applicants that dont follow through. I would be inclined to move on and continue marketing the unit for other applicants. Let him make all the threats he wants, he is in default of the contract and has not paid any funds per the contract stipulation. If you do relent to his threats and allow him to move in, he looks like he is going to be a high trouble tenant that you will have regretted allowing to live in your unit. He hasn't moved in, hasn't paid squat, and already is threatening to sue? Imagine what happens if he discovers ants or some minor maintenance issue. ugh..

Breach of contract. I would tell him to go pound sand.  Go ahead take me to court 

I agree with everyone saying you should move on and remarket ASAP.

Here are some things to consider for next time to avoid this.  First, only sign the lease once ALL move-in costs are paid (and with guaranteed funds).  I only accept (a) cash or (b) a personal check drawn on a local bank.  When they put down a deposit, have them sign a binder agreement that says they forfeit the money if they don't come up with the rest by "x" date (I usually give them 5-7 days between deposit and the lease signing).

If, for some reason, they pull a "bait and switch" at the lease signing, and don't have all of the cash, DO NOT sign the lease.  Have THEM sign it, and explain you will sign and execute the lease after all move-in funds have been received and are settled. 

 Again, since this is a new business relationship, I would strongly caution against accepting anything other than cash or a local check for move-in fees, which you can walk into their branch and get the cash.  THEN validate the lease and scan/send them a copy.

You're asking a legal question based on an agreement no one here has read. Do yourself a favor and seek legal counsel on how to proceed. You've already made mistakes for whatever reason, don't compound them by stepping over a dollar to save a dime. If a real estate attorney says the tenant has not cause, the attorney will send the tenant a letter and it will likely end the tenant's threat of litigation. Remember, anyone can threaten to sue but the tenant would have to plunk down $5,000 to get an attorney to even consider taking the case so threats are often nothing more than that. 

I require my would be tenant to pay a holding fee equal to the deposit amount once I have decided that they have qualified for the house. They are then required to pay the first months rent when they sign the lease. This is done at least a few days (if not sooner) prior to them moving in. If they don't have the money, there is no agreement because they haven't signed a lease and I can pursue renting it out to someone else. I don't return the holding fee if they're the ones that didn't follow our agreement. This is the form I use.

Receipt and Holding Deposit Agreement

This will acknowledge receipt of the sum of $_________ by _____________________ ("Landlord") from _____________________ ("Applicant") as a holding deposit to hold vacant the rental property at _____________________, until _____________________ at _____________________. The property will be rented to Applicant on a _____________________ basis at a rent of $_________ per month, if Applicant signs Landlord's written _____________________ and pays Landlord the first month's rent and a $_________ security deposit on or before that date, in which event the holding deposit will be applied to the first month's rent.

This Agreement depends upon Landlord receiving a satisfactory report of Applicant's references and credit history. Landlord and Applicant agree that if Applicant fails to sign the Agreement and pay the remaining rent and security deposit, Landlord may retain of this holding deposit a sum equal to the prorated daily rent of $ ______ per day plus a $_______ charge to compensate Landlord for the inconvenience

Hi, how much holding fee do you charge? wants to hold it for almost a month will start April.  The rent is $2000.  Thanks!

I charge one month's rent for a holding fee, which becomes the first month's rent upon execution of the lease upon move in.  And the holding fee is non-refundable.

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