Yes, a property owner and/or management can demand a half-months' fee up front based on poor credit or high risk of violations of lease based on prior evictions or other bad history.
It is legal. The owner / management can demand it if they wish, so the way around it is only to rent somewhere else.
I agree that such a fee is permissible. But as stated you are free to walk away and rent elsewhere.
Attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Landlord/Tenant, Appellate and Criminal Defense. Robert Devin, Esq. (954) 647-5927, 200 SE 6th St., Suite 603, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 email@example.com