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When #Tenant Borrows Security Deposit … #tenantscreening

We posted a 2 bedroom condominium for rent. The condo is located in a lower middle class area, so it was taking longer than usual to find an acceptable tenant. A 41 year old man submitted a rental application. His initials are DA. DA had fair credit, an acceptable salary, and a good landlord reference. We decided to take a chance on him, so we approved his rental application. At that point, he notified us that he needed to borrow the security deposit from his father. We waited 2 – 3 days while he worked things out with his father, and signed a lease around the 15th of the month. As a gift, we gave him 2 weeks of free rent, so his rent wasn’t due until the 1st of the next month! When the 1st of the month rolled around, we received an email from DA notifying us that he would be late on the rent, and it would be approximately 2 weeks late! Huh? We felt that DA was taking advantage of our generosity and flexibility! Two weeks late rent means DA would never catch up, so we decided to cut our losses with DA. We offered to return his full security deposit if we would move out immediately! Thankfully, he agreed. No harm. No foul. What lessons did we learn?

Lesson Learned

  1. If a prospective tenant has to borrow the security deposit, that means he or she cannot afford to rent from you.
  2. Borrowing the security deposit also means the prospective tenant has no emergency fund. If he or she loses their job or has an unexpected bill to pay, chances are they will be late with the rent!

To learn 8 Tips for Screening Prospective Tenants, click here.

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The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the Author/WebMaster. Before taking any action, please consult your real estate, financial, and legal advisors.


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