If I leased a property to someone with an option to purchase in which the buyers/lessees made a substantial deposit, do I have to refund their deposit?

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If I leased a property to someone with an option to purchase in which the buyers/lessees made a substantial deposit, do I have to refund their deposit?

I had recently done some improvements to the property without obtaining building permits, which i indicated in the seller’s disclosure and the buyers signed an acknowledgement of the disclosure. Some time after the contract commenced the local community development department sent a notice of non-compliance and a notice of violation and abatement. The buyers stopped paying the lease so the lease and option are in default according to the documents They are now requesting that I give them back 95% of their deposit upon my finding a new buyer. If they sue me do they have a case?

Asked on July 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is very difficult in this type of forum to tell you if you have a case or not.  One needs to read the document in question and see who is in default or breach and what remedies are contracted for and are legal under the law in your state.  Please bring the document to an attorney to review.  Good luck.


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