How doI get back a deposit on an apartment if I did not move in?

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How doI get back a deposit on an apartment if I did not move in?

I was planning on relocating to OR pending that I got a job. I put a deposit on an apartment in case I got the job. Unfortunately I did not get the job so I called the apartment complex and said that she would rip up my check. Now 6 months later the apartment complex has cashed the check. I called them but they have not done anything. What can I do? Also, the reason I put the deposit down is that I was out of state and the manager said it was easier that way. Additionally she had me pay an application fee but my credit was never run. Can I get that back too?

Asked on July 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you might not be able to get the deposit back. Deposits are normally *not* refundable if it was the renter who breached the agreement or backed out of renting. The whole purpose of the deposit is to give the landlord money if the renter decides to not rent--providing that potential compensation to the landlord is what encourages the landlord to hold an apartment or consider the renter for it. Since you're the one who decided to not take the apartment (even if it was for a good reason) and not the landlord who backed out on you, the landlord is most likely entitled to keep the deposit unless the application or other agreement specifically said the deposit was refundable in a situation like this one.

Similarly, application fees do not have to be refundable; unless the application stated the fee was refundable, it probably does not need to be returned.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you might not be able to get the deposit back. Deposits are normally *not* refundable if it was the renter who breached the agreement or backed out of renting. The whole purpose of the deposit is to give the landlord money if the renter decides to not rent--providing that potential compensation to the landlord is what encourages the landlord to hold an apartment or consider the renter for it. Since you're the one who decided to not take the apartment (even if it was for a good reason) and not the landlord who backed out on you, the landlord is most likely entitled to keep the deposit unless the application or other agreement specifically said the deposit was refundable in a situation like this one.

Similarly, application fees do not have to be refundable; unless the application stated the fee was refundable, it probably does not need to be returned.


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