Can my former landlord hold on or keep my rent money if he has the rental relisted as available?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my former landlord hold on or keep my rent money if he has the rental relisted as available?

This guy had a rental for cheap and I was in a bad situation. I needed a place

ASAP for me and my grand daughter who is being further tested for Autism. I was being thrown out after a break up. I was visably upset when I signed the lease and said the rental was habitual for use. He knew that I had a special needs child when I rented it. So I finally get there 2 days later to check out the place and there were bugs everywhere, nasty left over onions in the refrigerator, and a very soft spot in the bedroom which I was very afraid that my foot would go through. I begged the guy for 2 days to tear up the lease, telling him that I never stayed there and that he couldn’t sue or put a judgement on me since I was on disability. He is currently trying to rent the place again during the same month I rented the place. He says he is helping me and trying to save me money. He says that he will return my money when and if he rents the place out. The problem was that was all of my money. Now I’m displaced at my mom’s and have no money to rent something else. I need that money back to buy things for my 2 year old granddaughter. Is it legal for him to hold on to or keep my money while waiting to rent the property? I’m thinking about going get the key to the place and holding it until I get my money back. I don’t know what else I can do.

Asked on September 12, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You signed a lease--whether or not you were upset at the time is irrelevant, unfortunately, since the law does not, to be blunt, care about your personal situation; all it cares about is that for whatever reason, you entered into a contract (a lease is a contract). Contracts are enforceable. Having signed the lease, you are legally obligated to pay rent for all the months under the contract or until the landlord actually re-rents it and has a new tenant paying rent (not just when he lists it for rent). The landlord is under no obligation to return your money until he rents the space. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption