Sending a security deposit before seeing a place in SF?
Hi, I'm currently hunting for apartments in SF. I found a place that I like in craigslist, and the property manager said that the viewing is available three weeks from now because someone is already staying, but if I pay the security deposit of $2000, I can get the priority against the other competitors. He said that it's refundable deposit, so upon viewing, if I don't like the place, he will just refund it. He sent me some contract document to fill out, but I'm too nervous to send the money. Does this happen if the place is very popular?
I told him that I’d rather risk losing the place until seeing the house before sending any money, and on the day that the viewing was available, he said that the unit is rented out for a short term of one month, and the next viewing date is a month later. I wonder if I should send the money to secure the place if I really want the place. Have you heard of such practice?