real estate law/tenant-landlord question

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real estate law/tenant-landlord question

My fiance and I found an apartment to rent so we gave a deposit but did not sign a lease yet. Unfortunately, we had a medical emergency and my fiance has been in the hospital since then. There is no way we can move in by July 1, 2009 because my fiance must now go on disability and we will not be able to afford the rent. Can we get our deposit back?

Asked on June 26, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT and pratice in this area of the law.  I suggest that you talk to the landland about getting the deposit back since you have not signed the lease.  Did you sign any paper stating that the deposit was non-refundable?  I would need to see that.  If your landlord does not give you back the deposit, sue him in small claims court to get it back.  This way you avoid the expense of a lawyer.  Explain the situation and the judge should give it back to you under the circumstances.  The issue will be how much notice before the move in date/date you were signing the lease that you told the landlord about not moving in.  The landlord has a right to recoup some money as he couldnt rent it out to other people in this time period.


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