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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  14 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years
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I had a lease to move in to a Condo on Oct 18. Went that morning

Resolved Question:

I had a lease to move in to a Condo on Oct 18. Went that morning and confirmed everything and got keys and passes. Came back 2 hours later with moving truck and everything ready to go and was told I could not move in because Lease hadn't been approved by Condo Board yet. I would have to wait until the next week. As a result I told them I was either moving in that day since I had movers and everyone there or wouldn't move in at all. They said I couldn't move in that day and that was my choice. I cancelled lease. Landlord now says they are not refunding any of my money which was security deposit, first and last months rent. Can they do that?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Did your written lease state that you were to be able to take possession of the property on Oct 18th?
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Was it the owner who told you that you couldn't move in?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Yes the lease states Oct 18 and the owner and building manager both said I couldn't move in until after the weekend and the board approved.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.


One additional piece - the reason the board had not approved prior to the 18th is the owner forgot to turn the lease in, we signed the lease Oct 12.

Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
Ok, then if your lease states you can move in on the 18th, and the owner wouldn't let you move in, then he is in breach of contract and you would have been justified in terminating the lease. When one party breaches a contract, it excuses the other party from any further performance under it.
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It doesn't matter that the Board hadn't approved the lease, that is the landlord's problem and he should have made sure that it was approved before he gave you a lease for a set date and accepted your money.
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With that said, you have the legal right to sue the landlord for the return of any money paid by you in addition to any damages you incurred due to his breach (i.e. moving expenses and rental truck).
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If your damages and prepaid money is less than $5,000 you can sue the landlord in small claims court for your damages. If it is over that, you would have to pursue it in a higher court with an attorney. However, since this was a willful breach by the landlord, the court has the discretion to award your attorney's fees as damages in addition to any costs of filing the suit.
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Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 23116
Experience: 14 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years
Barrister and 7 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

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