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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default Can a Landlord Keep a Security Deposit Without a Lease Signing

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

    I am moving a few hours away from where I currently reside in Virginia. I found a room I was interested in renting and had a friend that lives close to the area I am looking at look at the place for me. The landlord told me that if I submitted the security deposit the room would be held for me. I submitted the security deposit via the friend that looked at the room for me. The landlord then emailed a copy of the lease agreement, but it has not been signed nor agreed upon. I decided I would no longer like to rent the room and the landlord does not want to give the security deposit back. Do I have any recourse? Thank you for any replies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can a Landlord Keep a Security Deposit Without a Lease Signing

    Your move-in date was what?

    The date you told your landlord that you were not taking the room was what?

    Did the email exchange between you and the landlord say anything about the purpose of the deposit or when it was refundable and, if so, what?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2

    Default Re: Can a Landlord Keep a Security Deposit Without a Lease Signing

    Thank you for your reply. The move-in date was to be around 11/15, this date was not set in stone. I told the landlord through email on 11/3 that I no longer wanted the room. Any discussion about the security deposit was through telephone and was only stated as a means to hold the room. Nothing else was agreed upon through email, verbally or paper as the landlord stated they would like to meet me in person first.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can a Landlord Keep a Security Deposit Without a Lease Signing

    There are a lot of conditions here that could affect the outcome. If the landlord said, in effect, "I'll accept a deposit to hold the unit pending your signing and returning the lease, and my meeting you to be sure that I want to rent to you," I think you have a strong argument that the deposit is refundable. In that scenario there was no agreement that it was not refundable, and your landlord imposed a condition on leasing to you that had not been satisfied (meeting you).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Can a Landlord Keep a Security Deposit Without a Lease Signing

    You paid him to hold the room as agreed.

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