Is it legal to require a security deposit before running a credit check?
July 28, 2014 9:09 AM Subscribe
I'm looking to rent a new apartment in NYC. For our 3 previous NYC apartments, we’ve filled out an application and paid an application fee and then once our application was approved, paid security deposit / first month’s rent at lease signing. The management company for the apartment that we are looking to rent is requesting the following: we fill out an application, pay an application fee and give them a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. If our credit is approved, then the security deposit is non-refundable and we basically have to sign a lease. Is this legal?
posted by bzn to Law & Government (6 answers total)
It seems to me that they should run the application/credit check after receiving the application fee. To request a one-month security deposit to process the application seems really aggressive. My wife and I have good credit so this isn’t an issue for us, but this process seems to be fairly predatory for renters with borderline credit. If someone applies with borderline credit and their application is ultimately denied, then they may have to wait up to 10 days to receive their deposit back. In the meantime, they may not have enough funds to put a deposit down on another apartment.