Another crazy tennant...

Had a tennant supposed to move in this weekend. She gave me one month’s rent and one month’s security. I deposited both of them. She calls today to tell me she isn’t moving in. I say ok well I will refund partial amount of your rent. She then demands her money back immediately. I tell her well I have to verify that your money even cleared my bank account before I even attempt at writing you a check. I tell her I will try to have it taken care of Monday. She becomes irrate and says I know it cleared the bank it cleared on June 2nd. I say that’s great but I don’t know if you’re scamming me or not we will have to wait until Monday. She then tells me she is going to call the cops and press charges. I say go right ahead.

Where do these people come from?!

I have had a few of those and they are no fun. Usually I keep the rent money and return the deposit after I have the keys back. In my state the tenant has 3 days right to recision. If it is in the first three days then I will give it all back but only after I have the keys and confirmed that they have not moved in.


She was supposed to pick up the key in the mailbox the day of move in. I had one of my guys pick the key up. She was to sign the lease on the day of the move in due to schedule conflicts on both parties. How much would you give her back?

Some people simply make stuff up to suit them as they go along. Reality doesn’t intrude, and that’s why they have so much trouble as they go through life. Nearly all of those people are tenants, and if you are going to be a landlord, you will meet a lot of them.

You have to be exceedingly clear about everything when dealing with tenants. Then you have to put it all into writing, because they will still make up their own version.

In the future, you should have paperwork that states what refund they will get if they back out.

My “receipt” is a contract that states they have given me a non-refundable holding fee / reservation fee. I tell the applicant very clearly that they’d better be certain they want the house, because they aren’t getting their money back.

The holding fee converts to the security deposit after they have meet all the terms and moved in.

The applicant has to sign that and they get a copy.

You MUST have a drop dead date on the reservation, otherwise you’ll always get a few who stall and put off the move-in date, and that causes problems because they don’t want to pay for any days before they move in.

As to what you have to give back, it depends upon your state law. Deposits are generally considered to be refundable. That’s why I never take “deposits”.

I’d say she owes you 30 days notice, and 30 days rent, but she never signed a rental agreement, so that one will depend upon your local judge. Also, you can’t double dip, so once you find another tenants, she doesn’t owe you rent for those days.

By the way… count your lucky stars that you found out what she is like before she moved in.

Think about it: you could have been stuck with her.

I’ve learned from that mistake years ago. Cash, certified cheque or money order always, and even with that policy I still get problems.

Just a few weeks ago, I had someone on social assistance hold an apartment for June 1 with last month’s rent paid by cash. He shows up May 31st with his social worker without paying first month’s rent and says he doesn’t have it. I tell him I won’t give him the keys without being paid the balance owed. Then, he social worker starts talking about laws that he needs the keys to the apartment or their money back. I said I will hold onto the apartment until he comes up with the rest of the money, but he won’t get the keys till then. They leave. I go out and D-bag applicant comes back buzzing all the apartments looking for me and wanting his money back. Then, I have tenants calling me and head back and write him a cheque for his deposit back because it’s not even worth the hassle. Where do these people come from is right!

My gut told me to decline his application the first five minutes after talking to him, but I was more interested in getting the place rented. I should have followed my gut. I got it rented to someone else a week later, luckily. Looking back, I’m sure glad he didn’t come up with the rest of the money and I didn’t give him the keys to the place. I can just imagine all the headaches that guy would have been if he moved in.

Oh my goodness!! Those people are like hmmm never mind…
They are sure a headache!
If ever i encounter people like that
I already know what i have to do…
I’m not gonna let them in any more to avoid hassle
as that you guys have experienced.
I think people like that Psychologically ill, i don’t know it’s just my opinion…

Tatertot –

So if you don’t take a deposit you charge the person a full month’s rent as a “reservation fee” ? You don’t take a damage deposit?

From what you’re saying, I gather the following:

Tenant views unit on June 20th. Tenant to move in July 1. Tenant to give one month’s rent $600 as a “reservation fee” and one month’s rent due upon move in. Tenant gives Landlord $600 on June 20th signing a receipt that states $600 is non-refundable effective midnight on July 24th. Once tenant pays rent on July 1st, $600 becomes used as Tenant’s security deposit.

Do I have it right?

When the tenant pays all the rent, puts the utilities into their name, signs the rental agreement, and gets the keys, the reservation fee converts and becomes their refundable security deposit.

Deposits are , by definition, refundable. If I am holding a unit for them, I am not going to refund the “fee” that they give me to reserve the unit for them. They go through with the deal, or they lose their money.

Tenants will reserve units all over town while they decide which one they want. Don’t hold a unit for any applicant unless they put their money where their mouth is.

As a landlord you must do your do diligence to avoid these situations. Never take in a tenant who wants to move in right away, most likely they are being kicked out of where they live now. Good tenants start looking around 2 months to 45 days before they are going to move out in order to give existing landlord a 30 days notice.
Always call their landlord from two properties ago. The existing landlord wants to get rid of them and will give a recommendation if you call him/her.
Make them deposit a security deposit at lease signing. Lease should state that if they fail to fullfill their obligation in moving into the property, the security deposit may be used for damages to landlord.
Always require cash, or money order for first months rent before handing over the keys.

Good luck