Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2

    Post Can I Get My Security Deposit Back Prior to Moving in if I Didn't Sign a Lease

    My question involves a security deposit in the State of: New Jersey

    Hello -

    I recently applied for an apartment and was approved. I went to the realtor and paid my deposit of $1,800 (1.5 months rent) in early March, but I was told I couldn't sign the lease until I paid the first month's rent as well. (the lease was to begin June 1st)

    In the next few days, I was presented with a job opportunity in another state, and thus I won't be renting the apartment after all.

    What is the best way to go about asking for my deposit back? Am I legally entitled to getting the deposit back?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,004

    Default Can I Get My Security Deposit Back Prior to Moving in if I Didn't Sign a Lease

    Did you orally agree to rent the premises starting on June 1? For a period of a year (or less)? Did you sign anything in association with this exchange and, if so, exactly what did you sign? Are there any other writings, including emails, describing the agreement and, if so, exactly what do they say?

    Do you know if they have a replacement tenant lined up?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Can I Get My Security Deposit Back Prior to Moving in if I Didn't Sign a Lease

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Did you orally agree to rent the premises starting on June 1? For a period of a year (or less)?
    Yes - for one year. However, when I paid the security deposit, I asked to sign the lease, and the realtor wouldn't let me until I also paid the first month's rent (which I didn't have a certified check for at the time), so I told her I would come back with the first month's rent.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Did you sign anything in association with this exchange and, if so, exactly what did you sign? Are there any other writings, including emails, describing the agreement and, if so, exactly what do they say?
    Here's a timeline of events along with what I signed to give you a better picture:

    • Feb. 28: Submitted rental application and $50 fee (plus 4% charge for CC transaction).

      The rental lease lists an application fee of $50, a holding deposit of $1,800, rent of $1,200 per month, and a $1,800 security deposit. There is no fine print regarding security deposits - only holding deposits. The holding deposit clause states
      "the holding deposit is not a security deposit...by signing this application and paying the holding deposit, you are requesting us to reserve the [apartment] for you. You understand that the premises will not be taken off the market until such time as you have submitted this fully-completed and signed application as well as all of the necessary documentation we require in order to approve or deny your application. You further understand that his holding deposit does not oblige us to execute a lease or deliver possession of the premises to you.

      If your application is denied, we will refund the entire holding deposit to you. We may be required to deposit the holding deposit and issue a refund check to you.

      If we notify you that your application has been approved and you notify us within 24 hours of that notification that you do not want to enter into a lease with us, we will refund the entire holding deposit to you. We may be required to deposit the holding deposit and issue a refund check to you.

      If we notify you that your application has been approved and you do not notify us within 24 hours of that notification that you do not want to enter into a lease with us, your entire holding deposit will be forfeited. We both agree that your election to not enter into a lease with us, without providing the above notification within 24 hours of your approval notification, will cause us to incur costs that are difficult and impractical to fix. Such costs include, without limitation, lost rent on the premises as well as marketing, advertising, office overhead and other costs incurred by us in preparing the premises for rental to other potential tenants. We both agree that the forfeiture of the holding deposit, in such instance, is not a penalty, but represents a fair and reasonable estimate of the costs that we will incur as a result of your failure to timely enter into a lease for the premises.

      If your application is approved and you enter into a lease with us, the holding deposit will be applied, at our discretion, to one of the following: 1) any security deposit required under the lease, 2) any rental amount required under the lease, or 3) any other fees and charges required under the lease. If there is inconsistency between the terms of this application and the signed lease, the terms of the lease will control."
      Please note that I did not pay a holding deposit with the application - or any other time - only the application fee.
    • March 1: Received welcome/approval email from property company
    • March 8: Paid $1,800 security deposit via certified check (both check and receipt from company say "security deposit").

      I asked to sign my lease, but I was told I could only sign the lease once I also paid the first month's rent. I didn't have another certified check for the first month's rent, so I didn't sign the lease.
    • March 21: Apartment still listed on Craigslist as available.


    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Do you know if they have a replacement tenant lined up?
    I don't believe so. Again, I'm giving notice two months in advance (the lease was to start on June 1, so I would think that they would have sufficient notice to find a replacement.

    ------------------

    If I'd paid a true holding deposit, I would understand it's non-refundable nature. However, I only paid a security deposit for the apartment. They shouldn't be able to claim it's a holding deposit since it was not paid along with the rental application or treated as such; if it was indeed a holding deposit, the apartment would not still be listed as available weeks after the application was approved.

    I get that holding deposits protect landlords - and I completely get that. But it is very clear that I paid a security deposit - which I would think would get treated as such.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback/advice. I really want to get my deposit back, but I want to make sure I go about this the right way.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Security Deposits: Security Deposit Given, but No Lease Signed - Can I Get It Back
    By MRIKER in forum Moving Out
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-17-2011, 10:37 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-06-2011, 07:03 AM
  3. Security Deposits: If I Didn't Sign Lease Could I Get Some Deposit Back
    By ntech25 in forum Moving Out
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-31-2009, 10:29 AM
  4. Security Deposits: Security Deposit Without a Lease - or Moving In
    By amj224 in forum Moving Out
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-20-2009, 09:16 AM
  5. Security Deposits: Getting My Security Deposit Back After Moving Out of State
    By RReese76 in forum Moving Out
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-16-2008, 07:51 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 
Forum Sponsor
Termination Forms
Notices to end your tenancy in all 50 states.




Untitled Document