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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33740
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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My wife paid a lady 1st months rent and deposit to rent a house

Customer Question

My wife paid a lady 1st months rent and deposit to rent a house and 3 days later we changed our minds. There was never a lease signed and we never moved in. Now they want to keep so much of deposit for every day til it rents can they do that? In Texas
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Unfortunately, even if there was no signed lease, if there was an agreement to rent it and money changed hands, then there is a binding verbal contract that is a month to month tenancy by default in TX.
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If you have changed your mind, that would legally be a breach of contract by you and the landlord would then have a legal duty to mitigate his damages by trying to rent the property again. But he can only hold you liable for his lost rent until he does so, or one month's rent total (since this is a month to month by default). (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. CH § 91)
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If he is able to rent it halfway through the month, then he owes you half the rent and the entire deposit back. But if he can't rent it in a month, he is entitled to keep one month's rent, but would still have to refund your deposit as your maximum liability is one month's rent.
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So to answer your question directly, yes the landlord can keep up to one month's rent from your prepaid money if he is unable to rent it within a month's time.
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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...
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thanks
Barrister

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