What t do if I put a deposit on a specific apartment in a rental community several months ago but at move-in they switched apartments?

A few weeks ago I got a call that my apartment would not be ready until 2 weeks later than the date I was scheduled to move in. I responded that was unacceptable because I needed a place to live. They offered me the same apartment model on the ground floor around the back of the building, (I had specifically chosen a 2nd floor unit with parking directly in front). When I told them that wasn’t going to work for me and asked for my deposit back their response was they would give me my application fee back but the deposit was non refundable since they had offered me a suitable alternative. Do I have any rights here?

Asked on November 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes you have rights. You indicate this is a material breach on their part and suitability is based on what you want and bargained for and not on what they decided to offer as an alternative. Since you have not moved in, you expect your full deposit back otherwise you sue and you inform the state and local consumer protection agencies for the breach of contract and fraud they perpretrated.

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