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Multiple Rental Applications

I have received multiple rental applications on my condo in the last couple of days. The only problem is that the first person that submitted an application doesn't want to move in until October 1st. I was willing to accept that because everyone that saw the condo also wanted it for sometime in October so I had just accepted the fact that I was going to have to be out 1 months rent for September. However, the next morning after having received her application, I received another one and this lady said she was willing to move in early September if I rented it out furnished. So the second lady would be able to move in earlier and I would get a higher rent because it would be a furnished apartment.   If the first person passes the credit and background check can I still reject them and go with the second person if I'm willing to give them back their application fees?

Jennifer, You are well within your rights to accept another applicant who can move in sooner. You can simply let the first applicant know you are going with the second applicant (provided second applicant is approved) because you were really hoping to get the condo rented sooner rather than later. Of course, you will have to refund the otherwise, un-refundable application fee. Keep in mind, the first applicant might be willing and able to move in sooner to suit meet your timeline. If that happens, you will have another decision to make, but the choice is yours.  Also, as a routine practice, whenever you have applicants who are looking to move further out than 2 weeks or so, you should make the disclaimer that you will go with the first approved applicant who meets your timeline.
Yes, you can accept her application, but make sure to screen her before renting out an apartment. If she does not pass the screening test, then you should go with the first applicant. I live in Killeen, TX and use tenant screening services from Hunter Rentals & Property Management. For tenant screening, you can also find good real estate professionals in your area.
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