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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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Two weeks ago, I put down $1700 as a hold fee on a house I

Customer Question

Two weeks ago, I put down $1700 as a hold fee on a house I was interested in renting. I've been in the house twice, and each time something in the carpet (?) has triggered my asthma. The Property Management Company says I will forfeit that holding fee if I don' t sign the lease by May 5, because that is their policy. Renting a house where I will constantly be sujected to triggers is not healthy. I'd like my money returned. As a senior on a fixed income, that is really quite a chunk of change. Can you give me some advice.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 months ago.
Good afternoon,I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please. 1. Did you sign any document that stated that the hold fee was not refundable if you chose not to rent the home?2. Did you also already sign a lease agreement for the house?Doug
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes, I signed a document.
No, I have not signed a lease.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The first visit was quite brief, and I wasn't at all sure that the house was the trigger-- after all, it is spring, and there is a lot of stuff in the air. The second visit was longer, and when I had the same reaction, I was quite certain that it must be something in the carpet.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 months ago.
Did the document you signed say that the deposit was non-refundable?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes, although I thought that some of the wording was a bit vague.
Also, it was never explained about the forfeiture of the holding fee, at least that I heard. I told them that I had a significant loss. I really don' t think they wanted to take the time. They lost some of my paperwork. The vast majority of their clientele are college students, so they were very busy that day. Overall, this company has a less than stellar reputation.
When I put down the holding fee, I was under some pressure because the rental market is SO tight. It had just come back on the market because the person who had it on hold couldn' t get co-signers lined up. This house has a large deck, and a phenomenal, expansive view of northern Puget Sound and the islands. So, I really wanted to get this place. It really wasn' t until after the second visit that I definitely made the connection that my difficulty breathing had to be tied to the house. Allergies and asthma are covered by the ADA.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 months ago.
Good morning Linda,I apologize for the delay. By the time you had posted your response I had left my office for the evening and was out of town on business yesterday. What do you mean that the "language was vague"? What specifically was the language related to the deposit not being refundable? I have the sense that you feel that regardless of the no-refund language, which you believe you are entitled to a refund based on the fact that you suspect that a breathing difficulty you had was somehow caused by the rental unit. Is that a correct statement? You believe that somehow the ADA requires that you have the right to terminate the lease and get your money back? Doug

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