What to do if a bride that came in for a consult who gave me a deposit without signing the contract and she now wants to cancel but the deposit is non-refundable?

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What to do if a bride that came in for a consult who gave me a deposit without signing the contract and she now wants to cancel but the deposit is non-refundable?

If we go to court, am I protected? She would have signed the contract but it wasn’t yet typed up. I also gave her a copy of the handwritten notes that states the terms and conditions on the last page.

Asked on June 8, 2014 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, deposits are non-refundable unless--

1) the business failed to provide the services or goods contracted for (that is, if the reason she wanted to cancel is that you could not provide her services on the date you were supposed to  or else that *you* did something wrong); or

2) the contract says that deposits are refundable under certain circumstances, and those circumstances apply.

On the other hand, if with no fault of yours and no language or agreement that the deposit is refundable, she simply changed her mind, you would normally be allowed to keep the deposit.


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