[Florida] Paying deposit at the same time as application fees?

Hi RealEstate!

Me and two friends have been looking to rent an apartment. We found one and called and we were sent a "pre approval form." Which we filled and emailed to the realtor (seems owner is going through a realty company). This included regular information as well as photo ID and pay stubs from each of us. I contacted the realtor today and he said the owner pre approved us, and wants to meet us to give him the signed lease agreement, application fees and deposit.

Is this normal in the state of Florida? I was reading through reddit and found it to be common in other states.

What should I look out for to make sure we don't get ripped off? We already saw the rental property and everything.

Any advice is appreciated.

More real estate tips at Program Realty Wix site


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