Can a property manager give away the unit you put money down to secure the unit?

Hi my best friend which is pregnant was
trying to rent out a unit at an
apartment complex. She gave the
property manager the security deposit
to hold the place and all of the
documents she needed to get the place.
She was suppose to move in on the 8th
of April but the property manager gave
it to someone else and did not call to
let her know anything that was going
on. If my best friend did not call her
to find out the Status of the place the
property manager would not have said
anything. Is this even legal to do so?

Asked on April 7, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If she put down a deposit to hold the unit, then as long as she came to take by the date she was suppposed to, they cannot give it away. If they did, she can sue them to force them to give her another unit and/or to give her compensation in addition to returning her deposit. She would be well-advised to retain a landlord-tenant attorney to help her.
But if she did not come to take possession of the unit in time and missed the date she should have moved in by, then they could re-rent it to someone else and would be entitled to keep the deposit due to her breach (not taking possession when she was supposed to).


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