I was just about to send the lease agreement to the applicant that I approved with a move-in date of May 1, then the next day he wouldn't be able to move in on May 1 due to the current contract binding. I said I'd stick to May 1 and hope he could work it out, but he asked me to consider for May 16 move-in. I just left the conversation and didn't mention I'd move on to another applicant at that time because I didn't want to lose him in case I didn't find anyone. So right after, I approved another applicant and I am about to send her out the lease agreement., however, he contacted me he'd make it on May 1 and ask me to send him the lease agreement. All happened so quickly within a day.
Any advice on how I could reject him?
Was I supposed to tell him that I'd move on to another applicant before I contact a new applicant?
Did you have a signed lease with the first person? When they changed the move in date, you should have told them that doesn't work and you have another person who can move in may 1. If you had no lease and no deposit, it should be a problem though you should have communicated with them before moving on to the next person.
I haven't even sent them the lease yet so no signed lease. It was text message communication. I asked them the date didn't work, and he also said he couldn't work it out either. He seemed firm at the moment and I didn't expect he'd come back compromising at all.
Is there a law related to this type of issue?
From what I can tell, what he was thinking was he'd have to give his 30 day notice to his current landlord and he didn't want to "waste" any money. Then he probably realized he needed the overlap so that he could move-out of one place and move-in to the other while still maintaining occupancy of both. Once he realized his mistake, he came back to you. In my process, I approve someone and then get a holding deposit. That locks them in for the unit until we sign the lease and then the holding deposit takes effect as a security deposit once they move in.
At this point, you have the choice of what you'd like to do. Which do you like better? Go with that person. There is no law that I know of that you'd have to worry about - he's the one that changed his move-in date and you don't have to accept his conditions.