Tell me about escrow.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Tell me about escrow.

Wanted a 2 bedroom apartment and paid 500 less then 48 hours ago for a ‘good faith deposit’. I received the lease form 24 hours ago, I don’t want the apartment anymore found a better place. They don’t want to give me my money back. This is in Brooklyn NY

Asked on March 5, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A "good faith deposit" is not a security deposit: it is not a deposit against unpaid rent or apartment damage. Rather, it is a deposit to incentivize the landlord to hold the apartment for you and make it available to you (and prepare the lease, and run any background or credit checks that they do). When the landlord does their part--make the unit available to you--and you decide to not take it, the landord is entitled to keep the deposit because they performed their obligations. A deposit you could get back if you changed your mind would not be a deposit; it would have not meaning or value.

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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