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Landlord Error - The Renter Gets The Keys, BEFORE the Rent is Paid!

Being a Landlord can be a very daunting at times.  A Veteran Landlord needs to be on the alert at all times. They must exercise prudence and common-sense, or risk being taken advantage of.  

A Landlord made a classic mistake.  The Tenant has the Keys, she has already moved into the Rental House.  Now, the Check that she wrote for the Rent will not Clear the Bank!

     Here is what happened:



     The Landlord was contacted by a former friend, someone from several years ago.  She needed a House to Rent, right away.  She was returning to Tallahassee after being away several years, she had a new job.  Could he help?


     Yes!  He had an available house that would meet her needs. 


     They discussed the house, the rent, the terms.  She said, "Perfect!" and arranged to meet him at the Property in a few days. 

Rental House Example




Red Flags are Flying!  

     The Landlord arrives at the house on the agreed upon date.  The Renter is there waiting, standing next to a Rental Truck and an SUV packed full of stuff. 

     The former friends exchange hugs and greetings, and reminisce for a few minutes.

     Then the Landlord brings out the Lease.   Both Parties duly sign and date the Lease.  The Tenant gives the Landlord a Check for the Deposit and the Rent

     But wait!  The check is Post-Dated!

     "Well, I changed my address from New Orleans to Tallahassee; my Bank put a hold on my money until first of next week, then the check will be okay, that is why the post-date.  But you know me, and you know I'm good for it."


      Incredibly, he gave her The Keys to the House!




     You can guess the rest of this story:

       A few days later the Landlord got a call from the Tenant.  The Check would NOT clear on the written date; please do not Deposit the check. 

Bad Check Sample Only

       The Tenant told some confusing tale about the Bank holding her money.   "But I will get paid from the new job in two weeks; I can cover the check then, and everything will be okay".

     Two weeks later the Landlord called the Tenant to ask about the Money.  "My job was postponed.  The job will start in a few weeks, you have been so patient, I will catch up all of the money at that time." 


       At this point, the Landlord called me.  He felt like a fool, he knew better, he should not have given her The Keys.


      I told him what he already knew: 

     Talk to a Real Estate Attorney, and/or deliver the Statutory Notices requiring Payment or Eviction.


    Last I heard, the Tenant's ex-husband Paid the Deposit and the Back Rent.  I assume that she is paying the current rent, because the Landlord has not Evicted her.






    This is not Legal Advice, it is Common Sense Advice:  NEVER give the Keys to the Tenant until you have the Deposit and Rent Money as Cash in your Hand!







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Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

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C. Lloyd McKenzie, MBA

NM Real Estate Broker

Phone: (505)750-8552

Areas Served: Albuquerque Metro/ Algodones/ Bernalillo/ Cedar Crest/ Corrales/ Edgewood/ Los Lunas/ Los Ranchos de Albuquerque/ Placitas/ Rio Rancho/ Sandia Park/ Tijeras

Comment balloon 2 commentsC. Lloyd McKenzie • November 25 2012 06:11PM


Wow!    Wake up call for us among friends on some of these transactions!     Some of the nicest people.....

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Hi, Lloyd!  Thanks for the ReBlog.   Everyone makes mistakes - but this one could have been very, very costly.

Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 6 years ago