Protecting the Client: Why I Won’t Let You Make That Deposit

J Philip Faranda January 22, 2011

A rental scenario:

One of my associate brokers helped a rental client find an apartment. They make an offer which is accepted, and then the fun begins. The landlord’s agent informs us that they require certified funds, and that laundry appliances advertised as part of the place won’t be installed right away. Moreover, they take their time getting us a lease to look over. 

The landlord is out of town, and the listing agent tells us that instead of a lease signing at the same time, that we should sign the lease first and give them certified funds for the first and last month’s rent plus a month’s security. The landlord, she says, will sign later. He’s out of town. 

No dice. 

No client of ours is essentially turning that amount of cash over without a fully executed lease document. The listing agent is aghast, because, what, we don’t trust her? 

Trust is for relationships. Business is business. If we had to go before a grievance comittee, I’d be raked over the coals for allowing my client to give certified funds with no landlord signature on the lease. Trust has nothing to do with this. 

Oh, and no, I don’t trust her. I’m not paid to trust, I am paid to protect my client. And I am leery of people who ask me to do things that compromise my client. If they don’t trust us to write a good check, I’m not going to take any risks on my side either. 

Once again: In business, you never give something for nothing. They don’t get certified funds until we get the landlord’s signature on the lease. 

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