Rentals in Chicago>Question Details

Michelle, Renter in Chicago, IL

Are you supposed to give out the security deposit and first moth's rent without a lease prepared?

Asked by Michelle, Chicago, IL Tue Aug 6, 2013

I told the property manager it is unprofessional to not have a lease ready. He gotten mad. I think you are supposed to have the contract ready before handing over that much in cash.

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It would be prudent to have a signed lease.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 9, 2013
Frequently the checks are handed over with the application to take the unit off the market, especially in this tight market. They have to process the credit and other job, employment and landlord verifications.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
The lease should be filled out by your or owners Realtor or the property manager and then you give cashiers checks, getting a receipt.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Not unheard of, but its up to you. Right now leases fly so fast, they want you to have it ready to go.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Hi Michelle,

It is not unusual to submit checks for first and security before signing the lease. However, the circumstance surrounding the transaction should be your guide.

If the individual requesting the checks is a licensed broker or if this is a property manager on premise for a larger apartment building there is less concern than if the individual is unlicensed, "working for the owner", is asking for the checks to be payable to a person versus a company and is doing so in the laundry room. The latter should cause a little concern.

Unfortunately, a lease in no guarantee that the transaction is legitimate as an individual bent on no good will have no difficulty preparing a lease. Knowing who you're about to do business with is the most important thing. If you are working with a broker or leasing agent do not hesitate to ask for his real estate license and ID and confirm the information here:

It's a little more difficult when dealing directly with the owner or his employee, but even here you should not hesitate to ask for the owner's name and contact info and the ID of the individual to whom you are giving the checks. Of course, you should insist on a receipt.

Ultimately, you hold all the cards. If something doesn't seem right simply walk away. There are other apartments, I promise.

Martin Medenica
Managing Broker - Urban Apartment Locators
Illinois Real Estate Broker Lic.# 471.007946
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013

I have been doing rental for five years when the market collapsed. You can give first months rent to hold an apartment but why anyone would anyone turn over the security deposit without a contracts is to much.

Just like Bill said keep to your guns.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
What does your lawyer say about that
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013

Your concern is legitimate. There are just too many scams going on out there today to take and becoming a victim. Your position make a whole lot of sense....ignor the manager's anger and stick to your guns....too many people feel that by showing a little anger they can get their way.

You are not wrong but take care that you don't lose this opportunity at the expense of proving a point.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Yes Michelle,

You should only tender funds for rent and deposit after you have reviewed the lease to make sure you fully understand your requirements as a leaseholder and the requirements of your landlord. All terms and conditions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Give them the money after you have reviewed and signed the lease.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
You are smart to be aware!

No lease, no keys, no money!

Work with an agent that can ensure you don't get scammed.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
You are correct and be sure to get a receipt for everything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
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