UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022
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I applied for an apartment, paid my application fee as
well as my deposit. After 3 weeks I was informed that
the current tenant withdrew their notice and I was
told I would be given my deposit back. Is that legally
allowed? I live in Texas by the way.
Asked on April 14, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
Technically, they are in breach: they should not have done this and should have let you have the unit--when a deposit is accepted, the landlord must provide that unit or at least a closely comparable one so long as the would-be tenant is ready, willing, and able to move in.
That said, since you got your money back, it is unlikely to be worth it to take legal action: a court will not throw out the existing tenant to make room for you; if there are no other similar open units, the landlord cannot make room for you, so a court will not order them to; unless this unit was *such* a good deal that it would cost you much more to get a similar unit elsewhere, a court will not be able to award you much (if any) money in compensation for not getting this apartment...as a practical matter, this is a not a case that the legal system deals well with.
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