Can a real estate agent keep our deposit if we were not approved on credit?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a real estate agent keep our deposit if we were not approved on credit?

My wife and I decided to move and found a rental house of our liking. The owner of the house uses a Realtor for all his business. Since we are renting the lady told us to pay a deposit equivalent of the first months rent of $900. So we did and were given a move in date of 09/15. Well today 09/14 she calls and said based on our credit we are not approved and that they are keeping the deposit. We never moved in the house nor did we get a “damage Walk through”. Can they keep our deposit? The owner just moved out today 09/14.

Asked on September 14, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what kind of deposit it was. If it either a security deposit--for damages or rent unpaid at the end of the tenancy--or it was last or first month's rent or something similar, then no, she should not be able to keep it. Those are deposits to protect the landlord from damage or default FROM A TENANT; but if you never rented, you were never a tenant. If instead it was a deposit to hold the apartment for you while you applied--call it an "application deposit"--then it *may* be nonrefundable, particularly if you were told it was a nonrefundable deposit.

There is  good chance then that you need to get the deposit back. You could either speak with an attorney or look to file a suit in small claims court. Good luck.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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 with SHA-256 Encryption