If a deposit back was submitted with a rental application but I haven’t signed the lease yet, can I get my deposit back?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If a deposit back was submitted with a rental application but I haven’t signed the lease yet, can I get my deposit back?

I’ve come across a lot of negative comments from tenants about the management company, such as bedbugs, lack of response for the repair requests, etc. When I tried to tell them that I am not going to sign the lease and request my deposit, they just refused to listen. The deposit was made out by money order (as the broker insisted). Should I just go ahead and cancel it?

Asked on September 16, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The answer to this depends on what the fee paid was for. If it is an application fee for processing and determining whether you will be accepted in the complex then it is non-refundable. If it was a deposit towards the first month's rent or security deposit then you should be enttiled to get it back if you do not sign the lease. If it is a brokers fee, here is where it gets a little tricky. If the broker found you a place and you were accepted then he will in all likelihood be allowed to keep the fee since he found you a place. The fact that you had second thoughts based on the company's reputation is not enough. I would go ahead and cancel the money order and then deal with them later if they try and collect. You will argue that you were misrepresented and did not get a place as advertised.


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