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I live in Illinois and I May I paid a damage deposit, first

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I live in Illinois and I May I paid a damage deposit, first months rent, and pet deposit on a rental unit. I signed a two year lease and was scheduled to move in on July 4. As part of the lease and procedure, I was to do a walk through with the agent. When I first looked at the apartment it needed to be cleaned and there was no damage to the interior master bedroom door. The agent promised that the apartment would be cleaned and put in order prior to my moving in. The agent scheduled the walk through for the evening of July 3. I was to take possession on July 4. When I arrived at the walk through, the apartment had not been cleaned, there was a hole in the master bath door and the kitchen lights did not work. The agent apologized profusely and stated she was embarassed. We did not take possession of the property due to the property condition. I informed the agent that I expected to forfeit my deposit but expected to get the rent and damage deposits back since they had six weeks to prepare and deliver the apartment. I received a reply from the agent today saying the essence of which is quoted below. The next day was a holiday and I had already scheduled movers and equipment. It was the evening of the holiday. I quote "We offered to have the home professionally cleaned the next day. I believe that was your main concern. The owners and I think it is appropriate and fair to return the deposits and keep the rent for July, given that there was an executed lease."

It is my understanding that a lease is not fully executed until possession takes place and that the deposit is to cover the loss of the agent or property owner if the lease is not fully executed. Am I entitled to the rent and damage and pet deposit and not the initial deposit to hold the apartment?
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

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Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.


Sorry for your situation.

But you didn't post what the agent's response was I don't think - can you post what they said?

Also, why do you believe that you would give up your deposit?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This is his email response received this morning:
Good morning David,


We regret that we could not work out the issues that you brought up during the inspection of the home. The issues with the condition of the home were minor and fixable. We offered to have the home professionally cleaned the next day. I believe that was your main concern. The owners and I think it is appropriate and fair to return the deposits and keep the rent for July, given that there was an executed lease.


Having said this, it is our duty to find a new tenant as quickly as possible to mitigate damages. We have located a new tenant and they will move in July 15, 2013<x-apple-data-detectors://2>. We will prorate the rent for July and return it to you.

The checks will be cut today. Thank you.

I thought deposits were automatically forfeited if you do not follow through on the lease.

Thank you

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Well first - they breached the contract because the house/property wasn't in a rentable and clean condition. As such, you could have immediately declared the lease breached and voided the lease agreement.

Moreover, they are liable to you for your damages (if any) in finding and renting another suitable residence.

So, in my opinion I would demand ALL my money back - the rent and the deposit.

You negotiated and signed the lease in "good faith". They breached the agreement because the house wasn't habitable.

You stated, "When I first looked at the apartment it needed to be cleaned and there was no damage to the interior master bedroom door. The agent promised that the apartment would be cleaned and put in order prior to my moving in. The agent scheduled the walk through for the evening of July 3. I was to take possession on July 4. When I arrived at the walk through, the apartment had not been cleaned, there was a hole in the master bath door and the kitchen lights did not work."

You owe them nothing and are entitled to a full refund of your monies.


In reality, they are lucky you are not suing them for your costs incurred - potentially additional days spent in a hotel to find other suitable accomodations.


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Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience: 20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
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