If my landlord said our deposit was non-refundable but never explained what it was being retained for, is this legal?

The lease states it is non-refundable but doesn’t explain why. We had to terminate our lease after 4 days because the condition of the place wasn’t safe for us or our children and the landlord said he didn’t get to check it after the previous tenant moved out. My husband and I orginally asked to wait 2 weeks until the 1st of the next month before we moved in which would have given him more than enough time to assess the previous damage. Are we entitled to a refund despite his claim that it was non-refundable?

Asked on July 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are indeed entitled to a refund of your deposit in this particular situation. If you signed a lease and your landlord admits to not having inspected the premises prior to your move in, that is his breach and any claims he made prior to your move in indicates he was being deceptive. You would normally have to actually be responsible for the lease until he finds a new tenant; however, in this situation, I would demand the return of monies especially if place was uninhabitable.  Get your local consumer protection agency involved to help him change his mind.


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