What to do ifa landlord has changed their mind about renting to a tenant after the deposit has been paid?

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What to do ifa landlord has changed their mind about renting to a tenant after the deposit has been paid?

Our presumptive landlord has said in writing that we could begin living in a house he owns starting today, however one of our roommates dropped out at the last minute. Even though we could bring in someone else and/or cover the cost of his rent while waiting for someone else to take his place, the landlord is now saying that he won’t rent to us without this particular person in the mix. We have already paid a $1000 deposit and begun moving items into the house (no lease signed yet). Given that the landlord had made a firm promise on our being able to live in the house as far back as a month ago, we have not been searching for housing elsewhere and as of right now have no place to live.

Asked on August 27, 2011 Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Okay you should try and seek some help from a tenant's rights organization of legal aid here because someone needs to read the writing that you speak of to see if it will be considered enough of a contract to hold him to it. What you have to see is if one of the parties to the contract breaches the contract - the roomie that left - does it void the entire agreement?  The deposit may or may not mater with the writing.  A lease is a lease and you admit you do not have one.  But I think that you may have a fighting chance here.  Get help.  Good luck.


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