Withholding a deposit on a property that I have not taken possession of.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Withholding a deposit on a property that I have not taken possession of.

I completed an application to rent a home. We were mislead on the move-in date. I now have to relocate from my home and I do not have a place to go because the unit is not available for me to move-in due to the HOA process. I am asking for my deposit back so that I can secure a home for my family and I am being told that I can not get none of those funds refunded to me.

Asked on October 10, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you can prove they misled you about the move-in date, that could provide a basis to recover the deposit, since there would not have been a "meeting of the minds" or agreement as to the important facts, and without such an agreement, there is no contract and no basis for them to hold your deposit. However, that would be the only reason to get the deposit back--a misrepresentation by the prospective landlord. And even if they did mislead you or misrepresent the date, if they refuse to give the money back voluntarily, you would need to sue them, and prove the misrepresentation in court, to get the money back.

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