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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    4

    Default Can I Get My Security Deposit Back After Changing My Mind About Renting

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Michigan

    I was planning to attend graduate school, and I had found a place and so the manager asked me to send him a security deposit before I signed the lease. I sent the deposit, and a week went by and he never sent me a copy of the lease. About 15 days before the lease (which was never signed) was supposed to begin, I found out unexpectedly at the last minute that I would be changing schools in a different state. I sent him an e-mail saying that I would like my security deposit back. He told me it was non-refundable. I looked up the law and saw that he cant do that with the security deposit. He then responded by saying that it was a "holding deposit" that would be turned into a security deposit after I signed my lease. However, the check I sent him clearly says security deposit on the memo, and he never informed me in anyway that it was nonrefundable. Can he keep my money?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    28,906

    Default Re: Can I Get My Security Deposit Back After Changing My Mind About Renting

    Did you sign any documents relating to the apartment and, if so, what exactly do they say?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Can I Get My Security Deposit Back After Changing My Mind About Renting

    I did, I signed the application for the apartment. It specifically said "In no way does this application bind the applicant into a rental agreement"

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can I Get My Security Deposit Back After Changing My Mind About Renting

    So it's a one-line document, stating only that, then you signed and dated it?

    Seriously, are you not telling us what it says about the deposit because you don't think it's relevant, or are we supposed to guess from your failure to bring it up that it says nothing about the deposit?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    4

    Default Re: Can I Get My Security Deposit Back After Changing My Mind About Renting

    No, I did not sign any other documents relating to the apartment (other than the check that I sent him). It was not a one line document, it was an application. There was no part about a security deposit in the application. The whole blurb at the end of the application was

    "I represent that the information provided in this application is true to the best of my knowledge.**** is hereby authorized to view and verify my credit report, and contact any and all references listed in connection with the processing of this application. I acknowledge receipt of a copy of this application. In no way does this application bind the applicant into a rental agreement."

    All discussion of the security deposit was done over the phone. He called and told me that I was accepted and that the next step was to send a security deposit. Which I then sent to him.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can I Get My Security Deposit Back After Changing My Mind About Renting

    If the landlord concedes that there was no actual rental agreement (including an oral agreement) due to their being no lease, and you didn't sign anything indicating that the deposit you provided was a non-refundable application or holding fee, you should get your money back. As you seem reluctant to share information about the document you signed, I'll leave it at that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Can I Get My Security Deposit Back After Changing My Mind About Renting

    We did make an oral rental agreement, but in our written (and verbal) conversations, the check I sent him was always referred to a security deposit. He never informed me that it was non-refundable, nor did he ever make mention of a holding fee or non-refundable application fee. In fact, he never even mentioned me paying him to use in a credit check. The document asked for my name, references, a bank account, previous landlords, my criminal record (none), and if I had any money judgments against me(none).

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