You absolutely do have a right to terminate and receive all your money back. You 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. Your situation essentially satisfies both these elements. A valid rescission will terminate your obligations under the contract. You 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 your money is not refunded voluntarily, file suit against the landlord. Let the landlord know that if you are forced to file this suit, you will be asking not only for the refund of your money, but also punitive damages
for withholding what is due you in bad faith. And, that if he files any negative report against you, you will be adding a cause of action for defamation. Filing the suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if he doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead
property he owns to satisfy the judgment. In my experience, simply filing the suit is typically all you need to do to resolve this outside of court because most of the time, once served with a summons one is being sued, your landlord will want to settle out of court to avoid the judgment being on his permanent record. Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!