Is this legal in FLORIDA?

Asked by alayneunterberger, Miami, FL Sat Sep 28, 2013

I was just told my a rental/real estate company that I had to provide them with a cashier's check for about $2500, along with my bank statements (3 mo) and the rental application (which I already gave them, plus $50). They stated this:


Starting Oct 01/13 ( after 4:00 pm )
Expiring Sep.30/14
Rent $ 900.oo
Security Deposit $ 1,350.oo
Application Fee $ 50.oo ( Non-Refudable)
Check-Out-Cleaning-Fee $ 75.oo
Pet fee $ 100.oo .
Please note that reservations are only confirmed with payment and that upon rental application approval,no monies will be refunded other than the security deposit and the Check - out-cleaning-fee.

So this means that if they do not approve my rental application, they will not return anything besides the $1350 and the $75?

That seems wrong. Why don' t the run the credit then ask for the check? It's a cashier's check so it's like cash.

Skeptical in Miami
Thank you!

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Joe Lee’s answer
Joe Lee, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Thu Oct 3, 2013
Hello Sir or Madam,

If you would like advice about what is legal or what you can do if you don't get approved, it would be best to ask a lawyer.

Generally speaking, a fee is usually non-refundable unless otherwise stated. A deposit is usually refundable baring no terms being triggered.

Lastly, each real estate company has their own policies. It would be best to ask the point of contact your questions before renting with any company. After the money is in their possession, you would be subject to their terms whether you like it or not.

Best of luck.
0 votes
Oliver von G…, Agent, Coral Gables, FL
Tue Mar 3, 2015
The letter refers to the case "once your rental application is approved". If you are approve you don't need your rental payment back.
0 votes
, ,
Tue Dec 31, 2013
Joe's advice is spot on. We might add that before consulting an attorney, ask the agent for some due diligence in regards to the application and/or lease agreement. Ask them to show you where (in writing, in the application document) it states the cashier's check is refundable or not. Ask them about a time frame on a refund also (i.e. 10-20 days, etc). If what they show you is not very clear to you and you still want to pursue this property or working with this company, then consider an attorney. If it isn't in writing, you may want to save yourself the headache and look elsewhere if possible.

From personal experience with a very similar situation years ago, we can tell you an attorney will bill you for 1hr for this service which would run you $100-300. This is certainly money well spent to protect $2500+ and your time. Hope this helps.
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