Is a management company responsible for refunding security deposit/prorated rent if a tenant never signs a lease and never takes possession?

UPDATED: Oct 6, 2011

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Is a management company responsible for refunding security deposit/prorated rent if a tenant never signs a lease and never takes possession?

I paid for my daughter’s potential college roommate’s security deposit/prorated rent ($200 prorated, $325 rent, $40 appl fee). The girl lived and worked out of town and attended summer school and could not get there during the week to sign the lease which she received the 12th and it was due15th. The management company is closed on weekends. She agreed (by e-mail) to repay me when she moved in. She did not move in or sign lease. I have contacted the management company 3 times for reimbursement or to apply the $565 to my daughter’s account. No response. What are my options?

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your daughter's roommate never signed the written lease for the security deposit that you advanced her and you have notified the property management company for the landlord of the need for the security deposit's return, then there is no basis for why you have not received the security deposit promptly.

I recommend that you call the property manager seeking again the return of the security deposit that you advanced and follow up with that telephone call with a written confirmation letter demanding its return by a set date. Keep a copy of this letter from your records.

If not returned by the set date, your recourse would be to file a small claims action for the return of your security deposit.

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 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.

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