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RealEstateAnswer
RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26357
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Ws have a security deposit room mate situation signed aN

Customer Question

Ws have a security deposit for a room mate situation signed aN agreement, but then the guy asked us to get him a loan in lieu if 3 months rent telling us he gave all his money to his girlfriend. He never sent us a copy of the signed lease. We declined to move in after that and being told his dog is trained to attack and might bite our dog. He is now threatening us sayin he is suing us for 6 months rent due to him declining other applicants. We had declined him twice and he kept calling us back before making deals. Can he keep a security deposit and hold us to 6 months rent when we never moved in?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That should say we paid a security deposit and signed a room mate agreement.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. No, he can not. The reason why I say this is because the terms and conditions of the rental agreement are going to control. Unless it was previously agreed upon that you would secure him this loan, in lieu of the 3 months rent, you would have NO obligation to do so and you would only be required to pay the monthly rent, as agreed. What happened with him and his girlfriend is of no concern to you. If he refused to allow you to take occupancy because of this, then he would need to refund your security deposit or else you could sue him. Moreover, if he had a dog and you were bringing one in, he needed to disclose if it had any violent tendency or behaviors. Ha you just decided to just not move in, then he could impose a claim for the deposit and go after you for additional damages but it sounds as though that is not the case and he imposed additional terms and failed to disclose certain things, after the fact.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service at the top of this page, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hw didn't tell us we can't move in I'd we don't get him the loan. He just told us after we signed the lease that he had his car repossesed and asked us to get him the loan in lieu of 2 months rent. Does him asking us for the loan that way still count as trying to change the terms of the agreement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We declined to move in after he asked us for the loan.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He also wrote our room mate name in rather then waiting to get him to sign it as my room mate was on an interview.Don't all adults moving in have to sign the room mate agreement. He called it a room mate agreement telling us that it would protect us better.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he gave us an unsigned copy of the room mate agreement promising to give us the signed copy on the 25th of September, but he never gave us a copy of the signed agreement as he had in writing listed on right on the agreement.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the reply. Him asking you for the loan, would not be a legal basis to not take possession. Had he said he will not allow you to move in or accept your rent unless you gave him the loan, then it would be a different story. However, if you never tried to give him the rent and take possession and decided you did not want to live there once he asked for the loan, that would be a breach on your end, since the two things are unrelated. As far as adding someone to the lease, they need to agree to it and sign it, if they are to be liable. If their name was added as an occupant but never agreed to be liable, that would not be an issue. He could just not sue them.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was this whole slew of things such as him pressuring us for the security deposit 2 weeks before telling me he needed it to fix the roof leak, get a mold check and replace the wall panelin that we saw buckled. Once we told him he could not use our SD to repair the past tenants damage he then said he was going to use our first month's rent to do it, but we can't move in until it was done. He was changing his story and arguing about everything and called me ignorant once. We declined twice before signing the agreement And he kept calling us apologising and I know most of this doesn't matter to the law, but we did block him and he keeps getting through our blocks. He didn't disclose before hand his dog was aggressive. After the we signed the agreement we learned our elderly dog has cancer and at his last appt they found more. We tried to tell him with intestinal cancer Rebel can no longer be on a yard schedule as he can't hold his potty. We told him since he told us his dog would attack we did not feel safe. He simply responded he would sue us? Isn't the fact that his dog is aggressive which he admitted after the fact and my dog has incurable cancer make a hardship and impossible situation to live in which we can get out the agreement and get our security deposit back? He kept telling us he had someone else and we even before signing told him to take the single guy. He said no, because he wanted people like family who would have his back. So if he declined them can he say he is charging us due to him losing other applicants? I think he scammed us. And I know he never had the place inspected or tested for mold. I'm also positive he doesn't report the incomd. I think he is a con artist. He said now he will hold us to one month take the security deposit of 350.00 and we must pay him the 200.00 that adds up to 550.00 in 5 days or he will sue us and charge us for his court costs and lost wages. Also we never took possession of the place, he never gave us a key. The room mate agreement does not say anything about never moving in. It also says the security deposit is for damages to the place and will be refunded after a walk through when we move out. Will that give us our security deposit back? Or can we demand a walk through?
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

The issue with his dog being aggressive and him not disclosing that when he knew you had a dog who would be living there as well, could provide you with a possible defense. However, that would have needed to be the basis for you not taking possession once you found out about that, not the issue with him asking for the loan, which is not relevant. Typically, the landlord needs to make a good faith effort to find a new tenant, after the breach. They can recover for the amount of time which the rental remains vacant, plus any other costs in doing so. If he has your deposit, he likely can apply that to the damages suffered and then it would be at his discretion to go after you for any balance. You have every legal right to contest this and let a Judge decide but if you lose, you may have to pay for the time the rental remains vacant, which could be more then the $550 which he seeks. If you think he may actually sue you, then you can propose he just keep the deposit and both sides walk away. Not sure where he gets the $200 from but it may be made up.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In my decline letter we put both the loan request and the dog being aggressive as reasons. He is saying to cover one month rent he would keep the 350.00 SD we paid and wants an additional 200.00 paid to him in 5 days or he will sue us for unpaid rent, his court costs and lost wages.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
isn't he legally supposed to give us a signed copy of the agreement?
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Lost wages he can not recover for and is unrelated to this. He could recover court costs and unpaid rent, if he prevails. Not providing you with a signed copy of the lease is not a legal defense to get out of it. I think your strongest argument is going to be the issue with the dog, it being aggressive and you not wanting you dog to be around it, since it could be attacked or harmed. Had he disclosed this prior to, you would not have signed the lease.

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ohhhhh my husband just reminded me he told us the day of signing the agreement after signing the agreement he said if we change our mind he would give us our security deposit back. I wish the laws protected us more, because there are many ways to scam people and get away with it. If remember right he can't rent the place without having it inspected in My part of MD so I'm calling them too!
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

If he said that to you and you can evidence it, then it could give you grounds to recover it. Typically, a signed lease agreement says that only what is stated in the lease will control but if he said this to get you to sign and you relied on it, it may give you a basis to recover it. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I realize the aggressive dog is my best argument, but Im curious because the agreement does not address what happens if we don't move in, only that the security deposit shall be returned if the place has no damage, in good standing at move out. How does the law handle when nothing is in there about keeping deposit for not moving in?
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Typically, a deposit is used for 1) damages and 2) any unpaid rent. The lease should have a damages clause but if it does not, he is likely to claim that since you failed to move in and are in breach of the lease and did not pay rent, he can impose a claim to the deposit.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if there is anything else, as I will be signing off shortly. If not, please just rate my help at the top, so the site will give me credit for out time together. Thank you again.

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