Can we do anything to get the money we spent on the moving back if our apartment wasn’t ready?

I had to move this month with 2other roommates. A supposedly no fee realtor showed us an apartment that we liked and decided to take it. We went through all the procedure of giving him $50 for each credit check, including $50 for a guarantor and a deposit of $2,100. Everything seemed to be fine until the 1st when we went to the new building with all our stuff in a moving truck; we were being charged us by the hour. However, we found out that the apartment wasn’t ready until the 15th.

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You could potentially sue to recover your monetary losses--e.g. unnecessary moving fees; storage costs; costs to live elsewhere (for example, in a hotel)  if you needed to; deposit or application fees; etc.

You would sue one or both of the realtor and the landlord. You'd sue the landlord if it looked like the realtor had been honest and accurate, but for some reason, the landlord--even though he knew the realtor had rented the apartment--simply did not get the work done by when he had promised. You'd sue the realtor if he was at fault--didn't have the authority to promise what he did, wasn't actually acting for the landlord, didn't verify the apartment's ready date, didn't let the landlord know it was rented for the 1st, etc. In practice, you'd probably sue both, and then during the lawsuit, facts should emerge which will show which (or both) are liable.


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