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What is the Condo Approval Process if You Want to Rent in Miami?

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Once you have selected a unit that suits your preferences, the following must occur:


  1. An Application to Lease is prepared for you to review and sign. This document defines how much you are willing to pay over a specified period of time (stating specific beginning and end dates). It is then presented to the owner’s agent.

  2. First Month’s Rent: Upon submission, the first month’s rent in the form of personal check, cashier’s check or money order is placed in EWM’s Escrow Account. These dollars are held on your behalf, and a copy of the escrow deposit letter is submitted with the offer.

  3. The owner will accept, counter or reject the offer.

  4. Once the offer is accepted, the Owner’s agent will prepare the Lease Agreement, sent to me for your review and signature/e-Signature. Once the applicant(s) sign the Lease Agreement, it becomes an executed contract.

  5. A copy of the executed Lease Agreement must be presented to the condo association, along with their completed application and defined fees. This happens within two (2) days of signing the Lease Agreement.

  6. Association approval is required, and the process may include a background and credit check, which can take an average of two weeks, and as much as 4-6 weeks in some cases. If the applicant is a non-US Citizen, the process can take longer.

  7. Last Month’s Rent and Security Deposit: All Owner’s typically request first, last and security deposit, equivalent to three (3) month’s rent. This is non-negotiable. Payment for the last month and security deposit, equivalent to two (2) month’s rent, will be made in the form of cashier’s check or money order only. These payments are due on the day that you receive the keys to the property.

  8. Condo Association Security Deposit: In the event that the condominium association requires a security deposit/fee, the owner can waive your last month’s rent so you can pay the fee directly to the association. Alternatively, the owner may collect two-month’s rent as security deposit and pay the building him/herself. In some cases, the owner will not agree to cover this cost, so a fourth-month’s rent will be required to cover the building and security fee. The condominium security deposit is refundable, provided there are no damages to the property, and all requirements are met.

  9. If you have a pet, the owner may require a pet fee, or additional amount in monthly rent. Pet fees are typically non-refundable.

Note: Security Deposits are held in non-interest bearing account.


  • An Application Fee is charged by the condo association/property management company to conduct the prospective tenant’s background and credit check. This can be $100-200 for every adult over 18 years of age. Married couples can sometimes complete a joint application. BHHS EWM Realty International has its own screening process for $45.00 per applicant. We encourage applicants to complete BHHS EWM’s optional background and credit screening as it helps expedite the approval process.

  • The Condominium Security Deposit/Fee (or Common Area Deposit) covers the “common areas”, and can be equivalent to one-month’s rent, as indicated above.

  • The Move-in / Move-out Fee can be as much as $500, and is often non-refundable.

  • An Elevator Fee is paid in the form of personal check, and is presented at the time of the application. This check is returned to the tenant once the move-in has been completed. Elevator Usage for move-ins are to be approved and scheduled in advance.

  • If the association allows pets, then a pet fee applies. This fee can be either refundable or non-refundable.


Once the condo association has reviewed the applicant’s credit and background check information, they will schedule an interview, typically with one of the board members for final approval. This process varies by building.


Prospective tenants must attend an interview / orientation session with the condo representative. In the event of a relocation where the applicant cannot be present, a phone or virtual interview can be arranged. Once the interview is completed, an approval letter is issued.

You may not coordinate any deliveries to the building prior to receiving the approval letter, as your residency is not official until then.


NO PERSONAL CHECKS will be accepted for the last month’s rent and any and all security deposits. Owners and condo associations will only accept cleared funds, and dollars must be in the form of cashier’s checks or money orders only.


Once all of the above-mentioned steps are completed, a walkthrough will be scheduled for the day of move-in, or 1-2 days prior, between the Owner’s agent, you and me to determine if everything is in working order. Notation will be made of anything that needs to be repaired.

Cash for Keys: At this point, you will give the payment for the last month and security deposit to the Owner’s agent, and he/she will give you the keys to the property.


$ 5,000.00 First Month’s Rent (held in Escrow)

$ 5,000.00 Second Month’s Rent (cashier’s check or money order to the owner)

$ 5,000.00 Security Deposit to Owner (cashier’s check or money order)

$ 100.00 Condo Application Fee (non-refundable)

$ 5,000.00 Condo Security Deposit (refundable if terms met)

$ 500.00 Move-out fee (refundable if no damages)

$ 300.00 Elevator Fee (refundable if no damages)

$ 300.00 Pet fee

$21,200.00 Total Move-in Cost

Of course, these figures may vary by building and association.

I trust that you have found this information helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Nadjalisse Rodriguez

REALTOR® Associate

+1 (561) 573.9824

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Follow: @LiveinSFL


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