In most real estate sales contracts, at least around here, there's language to the effect of "time is of the essence in this agreement." Not only is this true in sales, but it's especially true in today's rental market. If you're in search of your next home to rent, then you need to be prepared to act quickly when you find it.
Just today, I received a phone call from an angry almost-applicant. They felt as though they were cheated out of renting a house for which they submitted applications. I call them an "almost-appliant", because they hadn't submitted a complete rental application package and paid the application fees, prior to another set of applicants being approved for renting the property. These unhappy folks had first viewed the property a full week prior to today. They took the weekend to probably look at some other properties and think it over. Well, since the day they looked at the property, I'd shown it to 4 or 5 other prospective tenants, and 3 or 4 others before they looked at it. Just last night, one of those prospective tenants became an applicant, by submitting a complete application package and paid their application fees. So, first thing this morning, I screened them and sent their approval. After sending the approval, the almost-applicants faxed in their final paperwork, then called me to confirm I received everything. I acknowledged what I had received, but then told them I had just approved another applicant, so they may want to consider whether to pay their application fee. I offered to call them to let them know if the other person backed out, then the phone call ended. A few minutes later, they called back to hopefully speak with a manager and complain, but I'm the manager and owner of the company, so they commenced to explain they would tell everyone possible to never rent from my company. OK, thanks. :-)
On the first page of my rental application, it states, "Application must be completely filled-out, with all documents, and application fee paid, prior to screening." Can it get more clear than that? If an almost-applicant wants to take a full week to think about it, compile the necessary documents, then finally pull it all together, then there's a big chance they're not going to be the first one to submit an application and get approved. As much as I hate to use this phrase, since it's adapted from something I saw in a car salesman's office the other day, I'll say it anyway..."The rental you looked at today and want to think about until next week, may be the same rental someone else looked at yesterday and will sign a lease today."
Time is of the essence, renters. Don't wait around. If you want to rent a property, then take the required steps as quickly as possible. And, if someone else beats you to it, don't be a sore loser and make threats about bad publicity. Take it as a lesson learned, and don't make the mistake again of being slower than the one who beat you there.
Good luck to you all!!
Eric M. Boyd, Broker/Owner
Step One Realty LLC
Jacksonville Property Management Company