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During the lease signing, when you get to the part that says how much the monthly rent is, this is a good time to collect the money for the first month’s rent. You should have already received the tenant’s security deposit (in the form of the “deposit to hold” when they were approved), so typically, this is when you would collect the first month’s rent.

If a tenant moves in in the middle of the month, I don’t prorate the amount they pay for that first month. Instead, I prorate the second month to match the first. In other words, every tenant pays a full month’s rent when they move in, but when the time comes to pay the rent on the first of the following month, they will pay only for the amount of days they lived in the home the previous month. For example, if the rent is $1,200 per month, and they move in on January 10, they will pay a full $1,200 for rent when they move in but only $800 on February 1.

One final note on the rent, only accept rent in certified funds, such as a money order or a cashier’s check. Don’t take cash, and don’t accept personal checks, especially for the…