Can I recoup my Application Fee if my landlord did not use it accordingly?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can I recoup my Application Fee if my landlord did not use it accordingly?

So I wrote a check to my landlord for 160 40 each for 4 applications for an
Application Fee in April. We got the house and signed the lease, but my check
did not get taken from my account until September. This leads me to believe
that she did not use the 160 for the application fee, otherwise it would have
been deposited in April and not five months later. Can I fight this in order to
prevent her from swindling us for money?

Asked on September 25, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the check was a nonrefundable application fee, then she did not "swindle" you out of the money: you agreed to pay it to her, and she is entitled to the money. Just because she may have temporily misplaced or forgotten about the check, or inadvertantly processed the application without cashing the check, does not mean that she is not entitled to the fee which you agreed to pay her. A delay in cashing a check does make the fee invalid.

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.

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