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Lease & Security deposit prior to move in

Hello:  I am a new landlord.  My rental is available now and new tenant wants to move in 17th of May.  The tenant is going to Give Security deposit on 5/1. Do I have tenant sign lease once SD is received and ask for prorated rent on move in day? Or do I ask for SD & prorate and have tenant sign lease and hold keys until move?  The rental is in Ga. Thanks.

Consider the following: 1. Collect 1/2 to 1 months rent (Bank Check or Cash, ONLY) as deposit (to hold unit (non-refundable if they change their mind) when lease is signed. 2. Lease should state date lease was signed and date terms of the lease. 3. At move in, collect sec.dpst and remaining rent due to cover rent from May17th to June 30th. All payments prior to handing them keys must be paid by Bank Check or Cash, ONLY. Thereafter, rent payment by check or direct deposit is acceptable. DO NOT give keys before move-in date or allow them to store items in unit. The above is to protect you in case they decide to change their mind or write you a bad check. Better to be safe than sorry. If they complain, you may want to find new tenants. Good Luck
I have that situation a lot. I go ahead and collect the security deposit and sign the lease now with the lease terms starting on the 17th. Then I collect prorated rent on move in day. I feel this locks them into the lease and gives me the comfort of having the security deposit. I have never had anyone back out after signing the lease and putting down the deposit in 10 years. Good luck.
Term Leases only benefit the tenant. It freezes the rent for the agreed time. A lease should not give you comfort by making you think that all will be good. If that was the case, this Forum would not be necessary. Read the many stories about broken leases (even in 30 days) posted here. ------  I would not call it a Sec.Dpst. Call it a Holding Deposit. This is a deposit to hold the rental unit for a stated period of time until the tenant pays the first month’s rent and any security deposit agreed to. During the Holding Period, the landlord agrees not to rent the unit to anyone else. If the tenant changes their mind about moving in (not an uncommon practice), the landlord may keep (at least some of) the Holding Deposit. When tenant moves in, apply the deposit – toward Security or Rent.
Thank you all for your replies.  I wasn't sure if I took the hold deposit and did an addendum or an actual lease with hold deposit.
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