Holding Deposits ?
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2017 2:46 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Steve [MA]) Dec 7, 2017 2:55 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by myob [GA]) Dec 7, 2017 3:33 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by RR78 [VA]) Dec 7, 2017 3:51 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Susan [OH]) Dec 7, 2017 3:58 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2017 4:08 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by myob [GA]) Dec 7, 2017 4:35 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Gail K [GA]) Dec 7, 2017 4:44 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Frank [NJ]) Dec 7, 2017 4:53 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by David [MI]) Dec 7, 2017 5:13 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2017 5:14 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Vee [OH]) Dec 7, 2017 5:22 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2017 5:26 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Ken [NY]) Dec 7, 2017 5:30 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Nicole [PA]) Dec 7, 2017 5:43 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by RB [MI]) Dec 7, 2017 5:47 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by LindaJ [NY]) Dec 7, 2017 6:17 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by myob [GA]) Dec 7, 2017 6:26 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2017 6:28 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by NC INVESTOR [NC]) Dec 7, 2017 6:57 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Jennings [IN]) Dec 7, 2017 7:42 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Sisco [MO]) Dec 7, 2017 8:02 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by moby [IN]) Dec 7, 2017 8:48 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Kyle [IN]) Dec 7, 2017 8:54 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by allin [VA]) Dec 7, 2017 8:57 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by GKARL [PA]) Dec 7, 2017 12:00 PM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Barb [MO]) Dec 7, 2017 12:02 PM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2017 1:01 PM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2017 1:06 PM
       Holding Deposits ? (by David [MI]) Dec 7, 2017 4:24 PM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2017 8:05 PM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Tom [FL]) Dec 9, 2017 9:16 AM
       Holding Deposits ? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Dec 10, 2017 4:03 PM

Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 2:46 AM

Since not one applicant can produce both the deposit and 1st months rent on the same day, I have decided to accept a 'holding deposit' which will hold the house until January 3, 2018.

My deposit here is $500.00 and I am about to write up the terms of this holding deposit. The #1 criteria here is this deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE and will hold the house from today until January 3, 2018. If for any reason, you change your mind or bail on me between now and January 3, 2018,...you will forfeit this $500.00.

Does anyone here do 'holding deposits' ? Not one applicant in my tenant pool seems to have any more $500.00 to their name. It is sad,..but it is what it is. --68.63.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by Steve [MA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 2:55 AM

I've done holding fees but never a holding deposit. Deposits are refundable fees are not. --72.93.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 3:33 AM

Roy in AL whats going on over there? Holding this proeprty for so many days? We have a letter outlining, once a person is accepted, what and when money is due. The deposit can hold a home for 3 to 7 days max. Your talking a whole month?

One ploy we use is this we tell the applicant we can hold, if its before the 15th of the month for the deposit and pro rated half months rent. After the 15th of the month they will need deposit and full months rent. We will prorate the next months days. We are not allowing anyone to move in with a deposit and just paying 10 days rent (if they sign say the 20th of the month) Has worked for years.

Roy you gotta know if they can't come up with deposit and say half months rent its a doomed deal? --99.103.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by RR78 [VA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 3:51 AM

Just stop calling it a Holding deposit anywhere. It is a holding fee, that converts to a security deposit if they move in by Jan 3. --172.74.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by Susan [OH]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 3:58 AM

Just my personal opinion. IF the person wanted to move in for December, had the month's rent and a small deposit, I'd do that and make payment arrangements for the rest of the deposit. --76.189.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 4:08 AM


When you a Class C tenant pool, all of your applicants 'net worth' is determined by whatever amount is coming on their next pay day. My applicant's next pay day (disability income which is so common in my tenant pool) is January 3rd. 1st month's rent will be paid then.

I have given up on trying to collect any rent for December,...I have missed the December 'rent window' which here is always in the last 7 days of each month.

All LL's here are scrambling to fill vacancies before the winter doldrums hit (Dec.25th -Feb. 2018). I will admit that I am getting a little desperate myself since I have 2 more vacancies coming on Dec. 18th and December 31st.

I can not afford to allow my houses to sit vacant during the winter doldrums which is common among LL's here who have day jobs. Sometimes I have to do what is necessary to get a warm body in there to pay rent and the bills during the winter time. Don't give me a lecture on this,...I know what I am doing. --68.63.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 4:35 AM

well more facts are given. wasn't a lecture just wondering whats happening in my neighbor states rental market.

take this for what it's worth. why aren't you putting this prosepct into the dec 18 or better still the dec 31 vacancy? and continue to show the one empty now?

Why are 3 leases expiring in December? That's not lecturing just questions. (needs diability income-- thats not collectable income-- neithe ris SSI. But you know that.)

Can I now question what your doing? You've posted for years here and now your all defensive?


Holding Deposits ? (by Gail K [GA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 4:44 AM

I have to agree with Roys plan since I have several folks whose income is based on either disability or social security. Checks typically come around the 3rd of the month.

In addition, there are folks who want to rent, are on month to month tenancies and, surprisingly, follow the requirements to give their current landlord a 30 day notice they are moving. I've got to give them credit for doing that since so many don't bother to do so.

Gail --71.203.xx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by Frank [NJ]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 4:53 AM

I am a little surprised that you have forgotten one of the common refrains here, which is "deposits are refundable, fees are not. I understand your concern just don't let your anxiety let you not protect yourself --70.208.xx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by David [MI]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 5:13 AM

Roy, if you rented your house for $1 , could you find a class A tenant? Just curious! --12.156.xxx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 5:14 AM

MYOB and others:

I sincerely apologize for my negative 'tone'. Since last August, I have been averaging one vacancy a month (each vacancy is costly too). I had to do a major $7K on the house that came vacant November 1st and it is this newly rehabbed house that I have been showing since the last week of November. There is no shortage of applicants here, however, they are ALL living with relatives and do not have any more than $500.00 to their names. That is my tenant pool right now. It is what it is and I just have to deal with it. Again, I apologize for my tone but it just irritates me to talk about my pathetic tenant pool. I remember the good ole days when my tenant pool much better than this.

I still have tenants living in my next 2 vacancies (1 is being evicted and the other I am losing to the LL who called last week). I can't do anything (now) with these 2 houses until the tenant's actually vacate them.


Holding Deposits ? (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 5:22 AM

Going back to Susan, when you know there will be a struggle apply account funds to pay the deposit in full, then the rent is the shortage - nearly impossible to evict for partial or unpaid deposit. Then the verbiage change from deposit to fee, everybody covered that, OK - Joseph and Mary, I can work with you on the funds, if you need me to hold for 2 weeks sign the holding fee agreement, if I can't give you the house I return your money, if you can't move forward as agreed upon you return to house shopping but I can not refund your holding fee, this is not Macy's layaway. --76.188.xxx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 5:26 AM

I just finished typing my 'holding fee' terms document. I am using the word FEE and not deposit.

Thank you. --68.63.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 5:30 AM

I take holding fees but not that far out,even with 2 weeks out at leat 10% of them never move in for whatever reason.I would put them in now,what do you have to loose you are already going to loose 23 days rent,today is 7th take 23 days of rent and take the balance toward security,if you never get security at least you are ahead by 23 days worth of rent or Tell them you have a program whereby when they have no security they can increase the rent to $525 and pay this full month of $525 and get in today,low income people don't care about losing a little money if it solves todays problem. --72.231.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 5:43 AM

I see all the time to use the word "fee" not "deposit". I do (legally) what I want basically and don't live by the "what would the judge say". I'd guess if anyone ended up in front of a judge and they read the agreements, they wouldn't nit pick over "fee" or "deposit".... they'd rule the same either way. --72.95.xx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by RB [MI]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 5:47 AM

It is what it is.

That and $1.50 will get you a Cup of Coffee.


Holding Deposits ? (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 6:17 AM

As I always say, we have to find what works in our area for us. It is great to see how others do things, and get ideas on this board.

Roy, I do a holding fee. That fee converts to the deposit when they pay the first month rent and move in. Unless the date passes, then it is forfeited.

Not sure what the temps are down there, but it might be worth it to move them in now, and they take over the heat costs, maybe a higher rent, maybe a payment for the deposit. That is calculations you have to do based on what it costs to have an empty place. It also involved your findings on the applicant and your gut feeling. --96.236.xx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 6:26 AM

Roy sorry you're having some bumps but you'll weather them. I have to admit this time of year for LL'ing is hard. Some low lifes come out of the woodwork knowing "tis the season to sc re w the LL" and get sympathy from the court.

Unless you've been a LL you never realise it.

Holidays are coming so with your years of experience you know more GREAT times are coming.

AL no apology needed to any of us. We all get it and are hanging with ya. --99.103.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 6:28 AM

Again, I remember the days when all of my applicants had good paying union jobs (Goodyear, Honda, etc.). Now, all of my applicants are sitting at home collecting disability checks (and they are not disabled either). With I visit this rental neighborhood, each day I over-hear someone say "My lawyer just called and said my first disability check should arrive any day now". What is even worse is 'there is no shame in being on the government dole'.


Holding Deposits ? (by NC INVESTOR [NC]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 6:57 AM

We require a $500 deposit to accompany the application before we will even process the app.

It is called a deposit as is required by NC. However, our app states that the deposit will be returned within 2 business banking days only if they are not accepted. If they are accepted the deposit becomes non-refundable and will be applied to their first month's rent.

In NC we are required to deposit all SD funds within 3 days (1 if cash) and we have to reconcile our Trust accounts every month so we do not even mention SD.

Requiring a deposit commensurate with the amount of the rent is standard fare here and helps to distinguish between the tire kickers and serious applicants. --71.75.xx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by Jennings [IN]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 7:42 AM

You could take the $500 deposit and rent the first month for $1.00 if they are on monthly SSI or disability and you really need someone in there to put the utilities in their name. Or you could take the $500 deposit and put them on a weekly pay basis if they are working. That way they could move in for $625.00. But again, if they don't have $625, probably better off letting it sit empty. --68.38.xx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 8:02 AM

For you to accept a holding fee seems like it binds you from a better opportunity.

Unless, this holding fee person has something that you have not described - don't do it....as you have posted on numerous occasions, It is expensive for you to evict and expensive to turn over.

Patience Roy. --72.172.xxx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by moby [IN]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 8:48 AM

Yes I will hold the house for $100 a week. Then transfer the deposit to the security deposit. The hold is forfeited if they change their mind. I look at as I get a qualified tenant and they get to finish out the rent / notice at the last place. --68.60.xxx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by Kyle [IN]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 8:54 AM

I do not do holding fees. The first one approved and with all the needed funds gets it. Sometimes an applicant will wait a few weeks after being approved for their next paycheck to get their net worth high enough to pay the rent and deposit. If my house is still available, they get it, if not they may be interested in the next one I have available. But, I did not tie up my house with a holding agreement, so if a qualified applicant ready to pay and move in now comes along, I can rent them the home.

I will agree with the advice of others, this is a fee, not a deposit. I have always thought it was strange that this non-refundable fee so often is described in the agreement as becoming a refundable deposit after they move in. That seems like it is refundable, then. If I were doing a holding agreement with a holding fee, I would draft it as an option contract. They pay the $500 option/holding fee upfront and it is non-refundable. That gives them the right to rent my house on Jan 3 for $25 the first month, and $525/month after that for 12 months and they must provide a deposit of $525 on Jan 3 also. This keeps my option/holding fee from ever being refundable.

I also like the idea of renting it cheap for December with the regular rent starting in January better than the holding agreement. Collect the deposit as normal, but first month's rent is just $1. This gets them to sign a lease which you already know how your judges enforce rather than a holding agreement you aren't sure about. It also gets the tenant paying the utilities instead of you. And, you were already planning not to collect any rent for December, so the $1 or $99, or whatever you choose is that much more than you would have had otherwise.

Good luck Roy. Just a few months and it will be back to a better time of year to find new tenants. --73.102.xxx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by allin [VA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 8:57 AM

I don't do the holding fee. I get first month's and deposit at lease signing. Too many problems with people backing out. Its not rented until its rented. I get the desire not to have a vac in winter. I have a couple myself. However, every time I moved in somebody with discounted rent or let stuff slide in my screening process "just to fill a winter vac" it almost never works out long term. --174.226.xx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 12:00 PM

Roy, I use the holding fee all of the time as few have all of the money. I leave myself an out as well. Here's the language in my Holding Fee Agreement. I've never had anyone who lost the fee due to not being able to move in. If they pay, they're pretty much committed. I did have one situation where I exercised discretion and returned the money. I've not had this vetted by an attorney:


I, ________________ received __________ representing a non-refundable holding fee for ___________________________. This holding fee shall be credited to tenantís security deposit upon move-in. However, if tenant does not move in for any reason, other than Landlordís decision not to rent the apartment, this holding fee shall be forever forfeited and shall not be refunded. Lastly, I retain the right to not rent this apartment for any reason and in my own sole discretion, however, if I so exercise my discretion not to rent this apartment I will return the holding fee in full.

____________________, __________


By my signature(s) below, I request that the landlord accept __________ as a holding fee for _____________________ and the payment of such fee shall result in the Landlord not accepting any other tenant(s) for rental of this apartment up and until the commencement of my lease on _________________. I understand that this fee will be credited to my security deposit when I move in. I further understand and agree that if I should change my mind or become unable to move in for any reason, other than Landlord exercising discretion not to rent the apartment, this holding fee will be forfeited by me, and I will receive no refund of the fee.

Monthly rent per lease will be due upon move in the amount of $____________. I acknowledge and agree by my signature below that the additional money I will owe at the time of move in is calculated as follows:

Total security deposit of

First Rent:

Pet Fee and Parking

Less Holding Fee

Equals money due upon move-in

Lastly, I agree and acknowledge that Landlord may choose not to rent to me for any reason, however, upon Landlord so electing not to rent to me, I will be entitled to a full refund of the holding fee.

__________________________, __________



Holding Deposits ? (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 12:02 PM

If the person otherwise qualifies, and they have the deposit, I'd do the cheap rent for December as long as they can get the utilities turned on right away. Collect the $500 deposit and actually make it the deposit.

Then, they pay rent as usual in January - but that gives them the rest of the month to get settled. Why tie up the home for the rest of December and you paying utilities when you don't know for certain they'll have the rest of the money needed in January?

Note: I do a holding/move-in fee, but - I usually show places in February and March that won't be ready for new residents until June. That is my market. --64.251.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 1:01 PM

I have accepted the $500.00 non-refundable holding fee. If they do not pay the 1st month's rent on January 3rd, then I keep the $500.00 for an empty house no one ever moved into. If the next rental applicant in January wants the same $500.00 holding deposit deal, I will do it again.

Instead selling an Option to Buy, all I am doing is selling an 'Option to Rent' for $500.00. It is their choice as to whether or not they want to exercise that option in 3 weeks.


Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 1:06 PM

Since the house is empty and my rehab is completed, I can shut off the utilities and drain the water lines for cold nighttime temperatures. All utilities are in the tenant's name at move-in. --68.63.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by David [MI]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 4:24 PM

Roy I am genuinely curious if you advertised this house for $1, you could find a class A/A+ tenant willing to live there --50.4.xxx.x

Holding Deposits ? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 8:05 PM

David (MI)

I don't understand your $1.00 logic. Anyone with any sense would assume this is a real dump (or a scam) and not even waste their time to call. This house has been rehabbed to Class B quality but it is still located in a decent Class C hood,..if that tells you anything. --68.63.xxx.xxx

Holding Deposits ? (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: Dec 9, 2017 9:16 AM

Roy of AL, WHAT IF you tried the lease purchase or a land contract you hold the note in the land contract and IF they go south you do it all over again. Give the land contract a try on the next two houses you have coming vacant. You may find a better payor and then again you may not but its worth a try. You are the one holding the note. The deed stays in your name until the full balance is paid off. Talk to your attorney about the best paperwork. When you sign all the paperwork have them sign a quit claim deed and this will be held IF and when a lease purchase or land contract buyer goes south you can record it getting off the chain of title. Now I am not sure with the lease purchase if a quit claim deed is needed. Check with your real estate attorney what is the better option for you.

Best of Luck! Yes it can be very frustrating when tenant pool drops to a class D, E, and or F. At that point it may be better to leave the vacant units until the market gets better in the early spring. Financially thats a killer with 3 vacant units and no rent.

Roy what if you discounted the rent for Dec, Jan and Feb. I know you like to have your rents above market what if you dropped them to at market or 10% below market rent. Lets say drop the rents by $200 a month. Thats a hit of $2400 a year x 3 units $7200 a year for 3 units. HOWEVER, 3 months of no rent at $800 month is $2400 x 3 is $7200. so its a wash at that point.

Keep digging in the cesspool you may find a winner... --99.56.xx.xx

Holding Deposits ? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Dec 10, 2017 4:03 PM

I use a holding agreement form.

I ask for $50 for every week you want me to hold the place for you.


Subject: RE: Holding Deposits ?
Your Name:
Your State:

Holding Deposits ?
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from Mrlandlord.com every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: