New landlord wants us to send security deposit before signing lease…is this proper? If so, do we need letter/document of ‘intent to lease’ drawn up

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New landlord wants us to send security deposit before signing lease…is this proper? If so, do we need letter/document of ‘intent to lease’ drawn up

Asked on June 19, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Georgia lawyer, and there are some differences in the law between states.  What your landlord is asking might be customary in the area.  But I don't like it.

Working from general priciples, I'd say that if there is going to be a written lease at all, you need a chance to read it before you hand over a check, because otherwise there's no protection against the landlord "changing his mind" about how much rent, or if there's something unusual and a deal-breaker in the lease.  If he wants you to sign the lease and return it with the security deposit, before he signs, that's fine -- as long as you make a complete copy of the lease with your signature so you can prove it if he makes changes after that.  You still want a copy back with his sigature!

For detailed advice you can rely on, you need to have all of the facts reviewed by an attorney familiar with Georgia law.  One place to find a lawyer is our website:  http://attorneypages.com


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