Who is responsible for the loss of a security deposit?

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Who is responsible for the loss of a security deposit?

3 individuals divided a non-refundable security deposit equally for an apartment and gave the money to the property owner. Before anyone signed the lease, 1 of the individuals decided that she is not going to live in the apartment. As a result, the other 2 individuals may be forced to forfeit their deposit ($933 each) if they cannot find a third roommate. Is the individual who is not going to live in the apartment responsible for repaying the other individuals for their lost deposit?

Asked on March 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. It appears from your question that there was an implied agreement between the three future roommates to reside together in the rental. Under this implied agreement the law in all states is that each would act in such a manner so as to not harm the others.

For the one person to have backed out of the agreement without a justifiable explanation under the law could very well be a breach of the implied agreement to you and the other person making the person backing out of the agreement rsponsible for $933 twice if you cannot get another person to fill the spot.

However, most states hold that there is no such thing as a non refundable security deposit. That might be the situation in the state where you live.


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