When renting to own, do you pay a security deposit upfront along with the first month?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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When renting to own, do you pay a security deposit upfront along with the first month?

I am looking to rent to own a property
and the owner is asking for a security
deposit as well as monthly rent

Asked on January 5, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

While it's not legally required to pay the security deposit upfront, it is common and a good idea for the landlord--I tell my clients to get the security deposits, in both traditional rentals and rent to own, upfront, and to NOT hand over the keys until they get it. Remember: renting to own is still renting first, owning later. Until you finish paying and take ownership, the home belongs to the current owner and they have the risk of damage to it from you, the way any landlord has a risk of damage from tenants. It therefore is appropriate to make sure they get the security deposit immediately, to make sure they are protected from the beginning.

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