Broker requesting security deposit and broker fee before I have even seen the lease.

Asked by Unspecified, Westbury, NY Thu Apr 4, 2013

I found an apartment I like. Small building, 8 apartments. I applied and was approved. I have been asking about the lease for about 2 weeks. Now the broker has requested me to meet with her and the owners tomorrow to hand over 2 checks - 1 security deposit (1 months rent) and 1 broker fee (1 months rent) - to secure my spot in the apartment so that she stops showing it. She said the current tenant just moved out and the owners have not gone in to see and prepare the apartment yet. She explained the owners will then call us when they have a move in date ready and then I can review and sign the lease. I've only rented once before and I was able to do all of this at once. It makes me nervous handing over money before anything is signed or I have even seen if I agree with the lease. I also don't want them to give the apartment to anyone else. Am I being overly cautious or is this process a little off?

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Sanjaya Shakya’s answer
Sanjaya Shak…, Agent, Elmhurst, NY
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Hi there,
The property managers I deal with requires $500 or equal to one month rent (fully refundable if not approved) as security when my clients file an application for rentals. Once they are approved I setup a date for lease signing. That's when my clients present checks for Rent, Security Deposit ( remaining balance from the security deposit which they have already given while filing application) and broker's fee. Not before they sign their lease.
0 votes
Melissa Goss, , Center Moriches, NY
Mon Apr 8, 2013
That money will 100% be returned to you if you decide not to sign the leases
0 votes
Felix A. Gar…, Agent, staten island, NY
Fri Apr 5, 2013
I would only give a good faith deposit no other fees should be paid before a lease normally once you agree that you like the apt and would like to take it and the landlord says its your all parties should meet usually this is done at the brokers office and lease is given to you to review and if you agree you sign both the landlord and tenant get a copy at this point moneys are exchange then you should also get the keys

thaks felix
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri Apr 5, 2013
The broker fee should not be paid until the actual lease is signed by all parties; you can consider a deposit to secure the apartment provided that some kind of written agreement, signed by all parties is in place; you can also consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate for any necessary legal advice.
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Thu Apr 4, 2013
This process is a little off. Leaving a deposit to hold the apartment is fine, but make sure you receive a receipt for the money that indicates it is for the apartment.

You have a right to see the lease in advance and have an attorney look it over for you.

A broker is not entitled to the broker fee until leases are signed by both parties.
0 votes
Thank you, this is what I thought. Now what If i give them the month's rent for the deposit, and after reviewing the lease, I'm not comfortable taking the apartment? Will I lose my money?
Flag Thu Apr 4, 2013
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