Is there a way to get my money from an Apartment complex?

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Is there a way to get my money from an Apartment complex?

I went into see about getting an apartment. I put down 235. 200 to hold the apartment and 35 for application fee. When I went in and filled application the lady I spoke with told me it was refundable if I was denied or if I cancelled my application. Now they are telling me it is not refundable and giving me a hard time. They are rude. I spoke to the manager. I did cut her off a few times and she hung up on me. I called back let her talk but the moment I started she interrupted me. When I told her not to just like she asked she got even ruder and hung up. I called today to find out the status of the application. She said someone emailed her asking for my deposit back. Which I have no knowledge of who would do that. So when I asked her who sent it she said it was not important. I told her it was because that put a hold on my money and the application. She kept being rude and said she would not answer that question. I no longer want the apartment but I want my money back. I have recording of her being rude and screen shots of them doing this to other people. Can you Help?

Asked on March 7, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Forget about them being rude: that is inappropriate and unprofessional, but has no legal relevance whatsoever. 
If they agreed that the deposit was refundable, it is refundable--they are bound to what they told you prior to you putting the money down. If you had nothing in writing that the deposit was refundable, however, you may have some problems getting the money:
If they won't return the money to you, you'd have to sue them (e.g. in small claims court) for it. Since you'd be suing them, you would be the plaintiff. The plaintiff has the burden of proof--you would have to prove your case by a "preponderance of the evidence," or that it is "more likely than not" that things happened, etc. as you say. If their is nothing in writing and the other side denies that the deposit was refundable, not only is it just your word against theirs--and if everything is even, the plaintiff, due to the burden  of proof, loses--but the normal presumption is that a deposit to hold an apartment is NOT refundable in situations like this; so you'd have to overcome that presumption as well as being more credible or believable than the other side. Winning a case like this without something in writing supporting your position can be difficult.


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