Can I back out of a lease 2 hours after signing it and ask for a refund of the security deposit?

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Can I back out of a lease 2 hours after signing it and ask for a refund of the security deposit?

I applied for an apartment with my brother as co-applicant. Then just 2 hours after signing the lease by myself, I called the landlord asking for a refund of my security deposit because I realized the landlord had a strong policy against smoking in or outside the building. I had just realized too that my brother smokes and my wife also smokes, which will make it difficult for me to keep up with the apartment. He has refused to give me my money and is only willing to give me far less the money i gave him. I never got the keys to the apartment.

Asked on May 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you signed a written lease agreement with your landlord, you are obligated under the term of the lease. For you to terminate the lease under the circumstances that you have written about would place you under an obligation to the landlord.

If the landlord is willing to let you end the lease for a penalty, then you should consider doing so and get a written release.

It is not the landlord's fault that he has a no smoking rule under the lease that you signed and that your relatives are smokers.

You can back out of the lease and ask for your refund for deposit paid to the landlord but the landlord under the facts that you have written is not obligated to return such to you.


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