I signed a lease yesterday to start on 6/15/13 for a rental. I read through it today the realtor had me make 2 checks out one for her fee and one for the 1st months rent. It states I will pay the security deposit on the move in date. Is that the correct way for me to enter into an agreement.
I had to make them both payable for 5/13/13
Real Estate Attorney
Always read contracts (including leases) before signing them. It is only prior to contract execution that the terms can be negotiated. Having said that, terms asking the tenant to pay for the realtor's fee and first month's rent in advance are not uncommon. My advice is to keep accurate records of how much, and when, you pay for rent and security deposit (which normally should not be more than one and one-half month's rent.)
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Contracts / Agreements Lawyer
I know of no basis for objecting to this. It's relatively common for a month's rent to be paid in advance. Given that the realtor had gotten the rental for you, it seems appropriate to make the fee payment now.
Administrative Law Lawyer
Here's why. If you paid the security deposit and not the first month's rent and changed your mind, the LL would have to refund the security deposit. If you pay the first's month's rent and then don't move in the LL does not have to refund the first month's rent. I always advise my LL to take the first month's rent rather than the security deposit for that reason. The realtor does not want to lose its fee so regardless of whether you move in or not, the realtor has fulfilled its contractual obligation. This practice is common in NJ.