Author Topic: Landlord perspective needed - Application Fee  (Read 678 times)

YummyRaisins

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Landlord perspective needed - Application Fee
« on: January 17, 2017, 05:46:55 PM »
Landlords (or tenants who've experienced this) of MMM, I could use your help.

I'm searching for an apartment in Salem, MA (high demand location as Boston is out of control) and I've run into a situation I haven't encountered before.

The realtor told us that we need to provide a full month deposit with our application and that it should be made out to the real estate agency. I've never encountered a deposit this high before.

Some more details:

The rental is a 2 bed/1 bath for $1,700/mo that is in the area we want and it has off-street parking. Also deleaded. The price is pretty reasonable for this area and much cheaper than our current place.

The terms are that the tenant pays first, last, security deposit, and all utilities. All this seems normal.

The realtor showing us the place said the unit is currently under lease through May, but the landlord has agreed to break the lease for the current tenants if they find replacements.

The realtor also told us that the current tenants had paid her fee.

Specific questions:

Is a full month application deposit normal?

Shouldn't the check be made out to the landlord?

What are the chances this is a scheme to get a realtor fee out of us?

What guarantee do we have that we'll get our money back if we decide not to sign a lease? We haven't seen the lease or know all the terms in detail yet, so it's impossible to say we'll sign it 100%.

Should we ask something in writing that says under what terms we'll get our deposit back?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!





YummyRaisins

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Re: Landlord perspective needed - Application Fee
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2017, 07:28:00 PM »
Did a bit more research and it seems application fees are illegal in MA.

http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/consumer-information/home-and-housing/landlord-and-tenant-law/

In that case, I assume the up front payment would have to be refunded if we don't agree on the terms of a lease? Can any MA landlords confirm?

It seems the best approach would be to get a dated receipt describing what the money is for and with the names of the landlord, realtor, and ourselves on it.