Great potential tenant but cant move in for a month?

22 Replies

Found A extremely well qualified tenant but he can't move in until the 15th of September. Do I take his deposit and let it sit empty? Do I offer him the place but only if he signs and pays from September 1st? or do I just keep looking?  I've have 15 people call and probably 8 view the house most of them not meeting the income requirements.  

About me,  I have 5 rentals but I bought them all this year and most of them had tenants in place so this is my first time dealing with filling the door. 

@Tyler Flagg   I guess it depends on whether or not you think you can rent it to someone else.  I'd tell them that is fine, but it is from Sept 1.  Get a non-refundable deposit that upon move in, go to the security deposit.  Tell them by having it from the 1st will also allow them more time to move in.

I charge one months rent up front for deposit. What does your old lease say for the last tenant? Does the new tenant have pets? By the way, it is not rented until you have money and a lease in hand. Keep showing it until that happens even if it is an hour before the lease signing. If this tenant is as good as you say then they will have options and keep you on the line as back up. 

@Tyler Labelle congratulations on securing those 5 rentals all this year, and for getting him to agree to start on the 1st. That's a major move right there. If you need any help with trying to bring a certain level of automation to your rental process (ie. now that you have a lease signed and he's paid the deposit, you can make things easier by collecting rent online and automate some of that maintenance request process); additionally, there are definitely tools out there to make managing all 5 rentals super easy. Would be happy to answer any questions you might have. 

@Tyler Labelle Most great tenants are going to move in ~30 days as they plan ahead and have to give notice to their current landlord. This is why we start advertising our vacant units ~45 days before they are vacant so as to minimize vacancy. 

Since it sounds like you don't have other qualified applicants then you could either wait or try to negotiate the move-in dates to have them move-in earlier. 

At least you have a qualified tenant! 

Originally posted by @Cameron Tope :

@Tyler Labelle Most great tenants are going to move in ~30 days as they plan ahead and have to give notice to their current landlord. This is why we start advertising our vacant units ~45 days before they are vacant so as to minimize vacancy. 

Since it sounds like you don't have other qualified applicants then you could either wait or try to negotiate the move-in dates to have them move-in earlier. 

At least you have a qualified tenant! 

He's agreed to pay from the 1st.  so he's good to go. I really dropped the ball with not listing the house earlier but i had the inside torn apart and its a totally different place than it was and I felt I needed to wait for the professional photos to be taken and list with those.  

 

Personally, it’s a red flag for me if someone can/needs to move in asap and not need 30 days to give their landlord notice. I require a $500 deposit to hold a house, refundable within 3 days.

@Tyler Labelle people have given you some good advice here. Most of the companies I've worked at we would hold houses for 10 to 15 days without rental income for applicants. In Jacksonville FL most people charge a security deposit equal to one months rent. Sometimes they may charge more if someone has some credit issues or something like that. Example maybe a companies minimum credit score is 550 and someone has good income, no evictions, no criminal and they are around 535 maybe the Landlord will say a double deposit or deposit and 1/2. You may want to talk to a local attorney and ask them if they have a form that the Tenant can sign which says if they back out you can keep the deposit for lost marketing time if you are going to hold the house off the market for around 18 days. Most of the attorneys I've worked with will answer a quick question like that for no charge and some will give you a form like that for free. The other side of this is your area may not allow that option for keeping the deposit so it might be good to ask a local attorney. Your application may already have something like this in it, but figured I would share that in case the applicant backs out. 

@Tyler Labelle  I agree with @Jon A. . A property isn't rented until you have the deposit and signed lease. You've said that the potential tenant has agreed to start on the 1st of Sept but has he signed the lease? Without that he can back out anytime. It sounds like you are looking into a legal document that would define the terms of a deposit to hold the apartment. That's probably a good thing to have at some point but with Sept 1 a couple weeks away, I would be focusing on preparing your lease and having him sign that. If I understand the gist of those deposit agreements correctly, all they do is let you keep the deposit if the potential tenant decides not to move in. While you get to keep their deposit for holding the place, you're still left with a vacant unit and you've lost valuable marketing time, which is not what you want. If this guy is hesitant to sign the lease then you should continue to show the unit until you have a signed lease and deposit. Best of luck.

We will usually go 2 weeks out without problem, i.e. if we put a house up for rent on August 15th we are fine with rent starting 9/1. Earlier than that will just depend on the tenant and situation since most of our homes are rented within a week, and leaving a home vacant for weeks means someone has to keep an eye on it and make sure the lawn is being mowed. So if something went up for rent available 8/1 and a qualified tenant came in we would probably have them do no later than 8/15 or so. Yes, they have a little overlap, but it also allows them to move in a reasonable manner. Tenants who don't want to do that usually are broke as a joke and going check to check. 

I just want to repeat what's been said.....

Have him sign a lease! 

BTW: What made him such a great tenant? Since this is your first time finding a new tenant I am just curious what qualifications made him so good. 

Signed lease and security deposit. First months rent now or on the 1st. A per cent of the security deposit is non refundable if they change thier mind. This is so if they back out regardless of when you find a new tenant you are compensated for your trouble. They still have to pay until you find a new tenant but it brings home the reality this is a contract. God luck.

@Tyler Labelle . I would let the potential tenant know when the apartment is available and that they would need to sign a lease and pay the deposit and rent with your start date if they want it. Then keep looking if they are not willing to pay now. As long as they pay every month they don’t need to be there. But I would not lose a month’s rent for this tenant.

Originally posted by @Tyler Labelle :
Originally posted by @Cameron Tope:

@Tyler Labelle Most great tenants are going to move in ~30 days as they plan ahead and have to give notice to their current landlord. This is why we start advertising our vacant units ~45 days before they are vacant so as to minimize vacancy. 

Since it sounds like you don't have other qualified applicants then you could either wait or try to negotiate the move-in dates to have them move-in earlier. 

At least you have a qualified tenant! 

He's agreed to pay from the 1st.  so he's good to go. I really dropped the ball with not listing the house earlier but i had the inside torn apart and its a totally different place than it was and I felt I needed to wait for the professional photos to be taken and list with those.   

Awesome! What we do is have professional pictures taken after the property is cleaned during turnover and then use those pictures to list the property early while the current tenants are still there. 

Best of luck!