If I paid a holding fee of $100 for an apartment and changed my mind before receiving approval, am I able to receive a refund?

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If I paid a holding fee of $100 for an apartment and changed my mind before receiving approval, am I able to receive a refund?

I paid a holding fee of $100 to take the property off market while the application process was under. The preapproval paper says the holding fee will be refunded if I don’t get approved for the unit. Upon seeing the unit my wife and I decided to withdraw our application. I had previously told the agent that my wife ould have final word and closet space was an issue. We withdrew our application before receiving any confirmation that our application was approved. I believe we are entitled to a refund, as the unit was 1 of many that were exactly the same, and actually still had tenants residing there.

Asked on July 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Delaware

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not entitled to a refund. When you provide a deposit to hold a rental (or a property to purchase, or a car, or furniture, etc.), then if you, the renter/buyer, change your mind, the landlord or seller is entitled to keep the deposit since your breached or terminated the agreement (i.e. the agreement that the landlord/seller would hold the apartment or property for you in exchange for you paying a deposit).


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