Best of Luck,
Maria E. Cipollone
As mentioned below by Brian and Michael, a landlord can charge 1 month's rent up front and also collect a security deposit (which may be equal up to 2x the monthly rent).
Therefore, the amount this particular landlord is asking for upfront may actually be correct; but his terminology is incorrect. Make sense?
Good luck home hunting!
What I typically do is charge for the first month and then a deposit approx. 1 1/2 time the monthly rent for the security deposit.
You always pay rent one month in advance.
And if the renter leaves, any damage he caused may be resolved with funds from the security deposit. Sometimes, the deposit isn't even enough to cover some of the damages or replacement. So some landlords are protecting their property by making sure they have enough funds for repairs.
If there is no damage, and the property is in as good a shape as it was when it was rented, the likelihood is high that the full security deposit is returned to the renter
Since you are in Fremont you might want to call and talk to a property manger like Carl Fox at Mission Property Management since he does this for a living
What would you do if were the landlord?
They're trying to week out flakes and drifters;
Just make sure you make copies of the Checks and documents; four years from now you won't remember what you did.
ps. you aren't mailing it to him; are you?
Good luck and may God bless