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My mother gave a holding deposit apartment about $900 the

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My mother gave a holding...
My mother gave a holding deposit for an apartment about $900 the apartment isn't ready yet and may not be ready for 2 to 3 weeks. She has changed her mind has not gone into a lease agreement with them. They told her she will lose all of the holding deposit because they had to take it off of the rental market. It was never on the rental market, someone moved out and it isn't ready for anyone to move into? Is this the standard and is it legal.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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10/26/2015
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 2 years ago
RealEstateAnswer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,669
Experience: 10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Good afternoon. When did your mother tell them she wanted to take occupancy? When they took the deposit, was it just to hold it and they said they would return it or was she advised it would be forfeited if she did not sign the lease?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
She wanted the unit as soon as possible. It was to hold the unit and they would let her know when to come in to sign a lease and it would go toward first month rent and deposit. The other tenant just moved out and they told her they would give her a move in date and they keep putting her off.
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

If they made it clear that the rental would be held and not shown to anyone else and be applied to the first months rent, then they could try and keep it and claim damages, if she does not sign the lease. If she told them that she wanted the rental on day X and they originally told her she could take occupancy but now changed the date to Y, she could have a legal basis to demand it back, since they would have failed to comply with the agreement. However, you shared that he said she wanted it as soon as possible and they are in the process of getting it ready, if the tenants just vacated. Even though it is not on the market, they would now have to show it and it is possible that it will sit idle and not rent as fast, thus resulting in damages. She can try and argue with them she needs occupancy by Nov 1, for example and if they can not comply or give her a specific move in date, then sue if they will not return the money, since it needs to be known when the lease would start. When she first saw it and gave the deposit, I find it odd that both parties agreed to rent it whenever it is ready and she would wait around.

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Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

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