How long can a landlord take to approve/deny my rental application after I’ve paid a good faith deposit?

I applied and paid a deposit on 20th of last month. It took until the 8th of this month to learn that I’ve apparently been accepted. From the 12th-17th I’ve been trying to sign the lease but my real estate agent keeps postponing our meeting. It’s been almost a month and I have yet to have any proof of my approval. I’m concerned that something foul is going on and that the landlord may decline me at the end of the month, when I have no time left to find an alternate apartment.

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, it seems as though the potential landlord for you is in no hurry to get you signed up with a written lease agreement for the unit that you want to occupy. My concern is if the possible landlord is treating you this way before you have even entered into your lease with him or her, do you really want to enter into an agreement?

If you want to rent the unit you have written about, you should write the potential landlord a letter to the landlord giving a set date to provide you with the proposed lease and if not, you will find another place. Keep a copy of the letter for future reference. The letter should also mention the immediate return of your deposit if a written lease is not going to be extended to you.

Good luck.

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