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Old 08-25-2009, 10:20 PM   #21
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I'm not sure if that's legal, but one time, I went to an open house for a rental. They had a few couples there at the same time. I filled out the application on the spot with a $25 check for credit check and left. I emailed them a few days later to ask the status, and they emailed back saying they are probably going with another couple. The house was allowing cats and dogs and I did write on the application form that I owned a cat, and since I knew my FICO score was quite high with good references, I asked them if they decided to go with someone else because I owned a cat. They wrote back saying my application form was fine - someone else offered to pay more than the rent specified in their ad (craigslist). I actually seriously considered for about an hour if I should bid because I really liked the place (bidding for an apartment rental was not that rare here in the bay area in 1997-1999 especially in a good school district), but I decided against it. I was actually pretty shocked that someone offered more money (this was in 2005 and there were plenty of rentals available). A few days later, the landlord emailed me asking if I was still interested. Evidently, when they ran the credit check on this couple, their FICO score was in the gutter and I bet that was the reason this couple offered to pay more... This landlord never asked me to bid against him though. If he did, I probably would have laughed at him.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:24 PM   #22
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Congrates Amethyst. I feel people who are habitually late for appointments show no respect for other people's time. (I used to have a friend like that and I told her so... Now she is never late, but even if I am 2 minutes late, I hear a ear-full!) People like that probably have no respect for other people's properties either, so I am glad they were late the 3rd time so you could deny their application (which you said was only partially filled, so that's another reason!)
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:10 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by vvsonikvv View Post
I know you resolved the issue already, but that $150 "deposit"... was that something they initiated or you (your husband) asked for it to "hold their spot" or an "application fee."

slightly off topic question relating to that.

What are prospective renter's rights regarding application fees?

When I was looking to rent with my roommate, we found this spectacular townhouse that in my eyes was 30-40% below market rent price. It was over 2400 sq ft townhome in arlington VA near a metro for $3k. It was huge and very nice. Most other rentals in the area was about $2700 for 1/2 that size. I saw the listing on craigslist and I contacted him within hours. I had to have been the first person to see it. My roommate and I applied that night along with a $50 fee from each of us. The realtor then told us they found another renter and the owner was going with them instead of us. However if we wanted, we could "bid up" on the rental price, otherwise it was going to the other prospective renters.

Is that even legal? I felt like it was some get rich quick scam, by listing a super low price, getting people to "apply" bc it was such a good deal and then denying all of them by saying someone else wants it, you can have bidding war with them, and hope they scare away all prospects and pull in all the "application fees".
When I was a landlord I would collect an application and $30 fee for a credit check via personal check from several interested tenants, choose the one I wanted to go with, and tell the other people I destroyed their personal checks. That seems to be the procedure among the classy landlords when I later was in the market for a rental. But there were a few that seemed to be using application fees as moneymakers, demanding them even before an understanding had been reached.

My current landlord originally requested the application fee in cash which worried me, but it turned out she was just a newbie landlord not a schemer.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:53 AM   #24
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Not sure what VA laws are ... try asking for the ap fee back. Especially if they want to play games (not what you signed up for!)
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:02 PM   #25
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It's been almost a year now. I dont remember who that person was etc.

I guess that'll just be a lesson learned. And next time if that happens I'll make sure I get my money back.

Otoh, I got an even better apartment, bc this one is right next to the grocery store. So maybe it was a good thing I didn't get that apt. Just seemed sketchy for all these app fees.
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