Rent/Deposit without a move in date?

6 Replies

Hello All,

I just joined this community because I have a strong concern over what a landlord is requesting of me.  I wanted to get some advice on if this is normal and not a concern at all, or if I should take action.

Two friends and I are renting a place. We have found a location, the landlord says that we got it (after a credit/background check), so we signed a lease. However, we do not currently have a move in date because "it needs to process through the HOA" according to the landlord. On top of this, he is asking for 1 months rent and the deposit (also 1 mo rent).

I feel very strange about paying rent and deposit without even having a move in date.  I have never heard of this before, but I have next to no knowledge of things like this.  Can I get some advice on if this is nothing to worry about, or if this seems shakey.

Thanks in advance.

Have you paid a deposit?  If not, I'm not sure you have any legal standing as you have not given any "consideration" to execute the contract you signed.

I would make sure that your binder contract has an approximate move-in date, or time period after which either party can walk away if the unit is not ready.  I have a hard move-in date that the tenant must adhere to, but if I cannot provide the unit to them within 14 days (outgoing tenant holds over, tree falls on building, destructive fire, code violations, etc.) they can walk away free and clear, or delay occupancy (their option).

The money they are asking for in advance is absolutely par for the course; I require first, last and security deposit (as well as any pet fees) to be paid before I will even sign a lease with a prospective tenant.

Maybe someone who is more familiar with HOAs can chime in, but it seems possible that they would have their own bureaucracy that they would subject their owners to.

No legal advice given.

I might recommend calling the HOA and double checking that they indeed require this process and that they are currently processing the paperwork for the property you are interested in. Just explain your situation to them and they may be able to help you out.

@Kyle Albus - You signed the lease and move-in date was left blank? Did the landlord give you an estimated move in date? How long does it usually take the HOA to process your application?

I would suggest that you and your friend tell the landlord that you need to move in by X date. If the landlord cannot make this happen, then request your security deposit and first month's rent back and search for a new place. 

I am not a lawyer, but I find it hard to believe that the landlord can keep your first month's rent and security deposit if he does not provide you with a place in a reasonable amount of time. 

I wouldn't provide any money without having at least a move-in date range.  What happens if it's 6 months later and it's "still being processed".

You need to coordinate your move-out of your existing space, moving, etc.  You need a date soon.  I would be honest and let him know that you need to know approximately when and plan from there.  

The HOA should have an approval timeline at least. Maybe they meet every two weeks on Wednesday - and that's when you'll find out. That at least is more reasonable than 'sometime'.

Good luck!

Hello All,

To confirm, we were given a range of when we should be able to move in. I confirmed with the HOA that this particular location does do some landlord checking before the rental can switch hands or something like that. My bigger concern is that he is asking for the rent/deposit before providing an official move in date. The expected move in date is supposed to be between June 1 and July 1; both of which work for us.

I checked with the HOA and even they thought it was a little weird to get the rent and deposit before having the official move in date. I am going to try and get something in writing stating that either 1) we will pay rent and deposit upon getting the move in date, or 2) a confirmation that the rent will go toward the first month we move in.

Would anyone have a better suggestion than this?  Personally, I would have just packed up and moved on, but my two roommates are excited for the place.  I am even catching flak from them for being concerned.

It’s not uncommon for an HOA to require an approval of the tenant and lease. It’s also normal for them to take awhile, boards usually only meet once a month and that is when they approve/disapprove unless they have designated people.

I’d suggest compromising that you will give the security deposit now and the first months rent when a move in date has been confirmed and in writing.