IF I GAVE A DEPOSIT FOR AN APARTMENT BUT NEVER MOVED IN, AM I ENTITLED TO MY MONEY BACK?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

IF I GAVE A DEPOSIT FOR AN APARTMENT BUT NEVER MOVED IN, AM I ENTITLED TO MY MONEY BACK?

I put down a deposit on an apartment but didn’t yet sign the lease, nor did I move in. The lanlord stated that it was a refundable deposit. However, when I asked the landlord for the deposit back and he said he couldn’t give it back.

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A landlord is permitted to charge a nonrefundable fee or deposit for applying for an apartment, but it must be identified as such in advance. Even more, since agreements--even oral or verbal agreements--are enforceable, if the landlord had told you prior to putting down the deposit that it was refundable, thent he landlord is bound by that agreement. If the landlord will not return it, you may therefore have grounds to sue him. If you have to take legal action, for amounts under $1,000, you should probably represent yourself in small claims court; for amounts over $1,000, you could still do small claims court if you wanted, but it might make sense to instead retain a lawyer to bring the action on your behalf. Good luck.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption