can a seller charge you a fee to remove a house off the market which you are trying to lease? Is that fee refunderable?

Asked by Dianekentish, Blue Springs, MO Wed Feb 6, 2013

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Mark McNitt’s answer
Mark McNitt, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Feb 7, 2013

When a contract is agreed to and signed by all parties, for lease or sale, the home goes into a "pending" status per the local Realtor MLS rules. The home is still on the market for lease or sale, but the signed contract is in control and no other renter/buyers can bump the first party out of the way. Real world, most renters/buyers will see that pending status and move on to other properties.

If the "fee" your speaking about is a deposit, the return of the deposit depends upon the wording in the lease. If the landlord wants some small fee from you while your working out the lease terms may be reasonable, but make sure it is addressed in the lease and how you can get these funds back.

Best advise.... Work with a Realtor, even on leases!!

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Thu Feb 7, 2013
Yes they can. Typically it is the deposit that holds the house and your application fee.
If you app is not approved, the deposit should be refunded.
If the application is approved, then typically the deposit would not be refunded until you complete the lease and return the house in the same condition and complete all other terms of your lease.
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Gary Steuern…, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Feb 7, 2013
In Texas the owner can charge an applicant any type of fee that they want as long as that fee is charged equally to all applicants. It's up to the tenant/applicant to decide if they want to pay it, as they say all things are negotiable as long as both parties want to negotiate. Regarding your last question, is it refundable, it could be but more than likely it would not be.
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Tina Lam, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Feb 7, 2013
If you're turning a house that's for sale into a rental unit for the seller, then it's possible they'll charge a deposit and application fee which may not be refundable or credited.
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