Tip of the Month - October 2009

Rent & Security Deposits

Source: Every Landlord’s Legal Guide
             By Marcia Steward
                   Attorneys Ralph Warner & Janet Portman

Every Landlord’s nightmare is a new tenant whose first rent or deposit check bounces and who must be dislodged with Time-consuming and expensive legal proceedings.

To avoid this, never sign a rental agreement, or let a Tenant move furniture into your property or take a key, until you have the Tenant’s cash, certified check, or money order for the first month’s rent and security deposit. An alternative is to cash the Tenant’s check at the bank before the move-in date.  (While you have the Tenant’s first check, photocopy it for your records.  The information on it can be helpful if you ever need to sue to collect a judgment from the Tenant.)  Be sure to give the Tenant a signed receipt for the deposits.

Rent should become due on the first day of every month.  If the move-in date is other than the first day of the month, rent is pro-rated between that day and the end of the month.

Tip from Crossett Real Estate Services:
Example: Pro-ration is divided by a 30 day month.
Monthly rent: $750.00-pro-ration (rent per day) = $25.00 per day:

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This web page was updated on 10/17/2009.