Real Estate Law
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Yes, you do have recourse. They do have a right to terminate and receive all their money back. They have grounds to rescind or break the lease based on one or more of the following: i) the property was not acceptable; for example, if the property was misrepresented as being something it is not or having something it does not have, you may declare a rescission of the contract; and/or ii) if the property had significant defects or other problems, you may also declare a rescission. This situation essentially satisfies both these elements. A valid rescission will terminate their obligations under the contract. They will need to set forth the grounds in a written notice of rescission to the landlord and return the keys as soon as possible. If their money is not refunded voluntarily, they should file suit against the landlord. They will want to let the landlord know that if they are forced to file this suit, they will be asking not only for the refund of their money, but also punitive damages for withholding what is due them in bad faith. And, that if he files any negative report against them, they will be adding a cause of action for defamation.
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