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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Didn't sign lease yet - Can I get my 1st, last and security back??

    My question involves a security deposit in the State of: Massachusetts

    Two roommates and I applied for an apartment in Brighton MA(technically under City of Boston) through our real estate agent, and two of us needed a guarantor for the management company. We gave the real estate agent our 3.5 months of rent (1st, last, security deposit and 1/2 fee for real estate agent) to give to the management group. It took 3-4 weeks for the management group to get back to us to approve us for the application for the apartment (move in date 9/1/11). Within that time, we did not think we were going to get the apartment, so we looked elsewhere and now we don't want to live at the apartment we applied to anymore.

    We did not sign a lease, and we want to back out of the apartment. The real estate agent told us that if the rental market has changed due to the apartment being taken off the market, it may be difficult for us to get our money back due to what the rental application stated that we signed. This is what it says off of the rental application:

    The undersigned warrants and represents that all statements herein are true and agrees to execute upon presentation a Rental Housing Association lease or
    Tenancy at Will agreement in the usual form, a copy of which the Applicant has received or has had occasion to examine, which lease or agreement may be
    terminated by the Lessor if any statement herein made is not true. Deposit is to be applied as shown above, or applied to actual damages sustained by the Owner,
    except it is to be refunded if said application is not accepted by the Owner. This application and deposit are taken subject to previous applications.

    It is only April 4th, would it count as actual damages if the apartment will not be rented until September 1st? Would I be able to get all of my money back?

    Thank you for any help in this matter! I appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Didn't sign lease yet - Can I get my 1st, last and security back??

    According to the document you signed, with the acceptance of your application, the deposit may be "applied to actual damages sustained by the Owner". You may inform the landlord that you no longer want to rent, putting them on notice that they need to seek an alternate tenant. But here's a wrinkle: If they have multiple units, they can make yours the last one they rent out. From what you've told us so far, depending on what happens with their finding a replacement tenant there's a possibility of getting some or all of your money back, but nobody here can promise you that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Didn't sign lease yet - Can I get my 1st, last and security back??

    Thanks for the response Mr. Knowitall! I spoke with the management group, and they did say that they could return the 1st and last(but they haven't cashed the checks the real estate company gave them, so they'll sort it out between the two), but they would have to hold onto the deposit until it was rented out. However, since it is in a prime location and there is still 5 months to go, they told me not to worry as it will go fairly quickly. I do have another question, though. The apartment is fee based, and my real estate agent has been avoiding me since he charged 1/2 a fee to me and 1/2 to the management group. Can he keep the 1/2 fee if I never signed the lease, or is that a gray area? I didn't sign anything or verbally agree to a fee charged for just finding the apartment without signing a lease.

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