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Rental Application Fees by Jason on July 27, 2018 @02:31

I charge a $35 non-refundable application fee for ALL applications. My question is this...

Hypothetically, if I have 5 applicants, run her info and she's golden, do I have to return the $35 to the other applicants even though I never ran their info?

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Re: Rental Application Fees by Tom (NM/FL) on July 27, 2018 @10:22 [ Reply ]
Yes, I do, you didn't incur costs in running the applications.
With each application I actually process, I incur costs for the credit and criminal check which the fee covers.
Re: Rental Application Fees by AnonymousFL on July 27, 2018 @16:07 [ Reply ]
Yeah, you do. Be honest with your applicants.
Re: Rental Application Fees by Wonderly on July 27, 2018 @20:08 [ Reply ]
No way in hell. Application fees are there so the landlord can make money. Do you disagree? Consider this: The mortgage on one of my rental houses is $480 per month. I'm charging the tenants $1100 per month to live there. Should I refund them the additional $620 every month because "It's not honest?!"

No, don't return them. What do large management companies do? They charge an application fee for all parties and don't refund to anybody. Business isn't "nice".
Re: Rental Application Fees by Garry on July 28, 2018 @01:05 [ Reply ]
You have a legally binding contract here, even if part of it is written, and part of it is oral. You have an offer (the written app.), an acceptance (you accepting their app. and telling them you will run it), and money changed hands (the fee of $35 ). An applicant has a reasonable expectation that you will run their app, and either approve, or deny them, within , say, 1 week from them turning in their app. (they paid you to do something for them) If you are truly an HONEST LL, you will return the fee to them, saying the 1st person who turned in their app, qualified, so you did not run any other apps.

Now, obviously, you could just call all the other applicants up, and tell them you ran their app, and they didn't qualify. And no one is going to know if you did or didn't run their app. EXCEPT YOU! Those applicants kissed their $35 goodby forever when you took their app. This is REALLY all about how it makes YOU FEEL INSIDE. Are you as HONEST as the day is long, or do you sometimes tell "little white lies" to get you thru life. Regardless of what any of us say to you on this forum, ONLY YOU can truly answer your own question.
Re: Rental Application Fees by Jim on July 28, 2018 @10:42 [ Reply ]
I would say "IT DEPENDS".

How much time did you spend screening the application - checking references making phone calls, driving by their current home, etc. - whether you paid for a credit report or not?

Most management companies NEVER return nonrefundable application fees.
It's not a matter of being honest or not. It is a matter of if they want to apply and be considered, there is a nonrefundable fee. Period.
Re: Rental Application Fees by lpadave on July 28, 2018 @16:18 [ Reply ]
I charge $100 per person for a very comprehensive application. For self employed applicants with income from multiple entities I charge an additional $50 per entity that they are submitting Yes this is steep and when I have five unrelated adults applying for a three or four br house,....and the key tenant makes 40 k towards 3500 or 4000 rent per month,'s a challenge to try and meet the formulas.
Before I even send out an application I have a no nonsense conversation about how deeply I check and what I'm looking for. .....both verifiable income,assets and negatives. Some of em lie anyway and submit with the fees and with a lot of blanks on the application. Some of em I never hear from.

The decent forthright applicants that I feel might clear and be ok,....ill try and work with and with many of them,...I've actually sent their money back, midway thru..... But you lie to me or omit line entries, or send me to your brother claiming he's your landlord,?..and all bets are off

It never ceases to amaze me how many of these wise guys will send out hundreds of dollars with a bogus application. Do they actually think we as LLs don't even look at the paperwork .....??

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