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I recently put a security deposit down on an apartment that…

Hi, I recently put...

Hi, I recently put a security deposit down on an apartment that was "available now". After I paid the landlord, he told me the city still needs to do an inspection and it will be ready next week. Today I have tried contacting him and no response. I have not signed a lease only a handwritten note that states that I have made a security deposit. If I decide not to rent the apartment since it isnt ready and I need a place to stay would I have to forfeit my deposit?

Lawyer's Assistant: Does this involve a written or oral agreement? Is it a month-to-month lease or fixed term?

It was an oral agreement but we have yet to sign a written lease for a year.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the property located?

Hayward, california

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
8/1/2017
RealEstateAnswer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,786
Experience: 10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Good morning. When was the lease supposed to start?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Good morning, We did not really come to a specific date I was under the impression that the unit was move-in ready but after I gave the deposit the owner stated that it would be available after the city did an inspection which they said at the latest monday/tuesday which is today.
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
I currently do not have a place to live and I really need to rent a place as soon as possible so I need to know if the security deposit would be refundable so that I can rent somewhere else.

Thank you and please allow me a moment

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Yes, if the rental was advertised as "move in ready" and you gave the deposit and it was not until after the fact, that the landlord told you that the city had to inspect it, there would be grounds to obtain a refund of your deposit. The representation by the landlord would have been false, misleading and deceptive and if they are unable to allow you to take possession, you could demand your deposit back, since they can not rent it to you at this time, as advertised. Had the landlord disclosed this and you agreed to the deposit and would wait and/or provided a specific time to take possession, that would be something different but if they took your money and it was not move in ready and you need a place to stay, you could have a legal basis to sue.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
He didnt say "move-in ready" but he did say it was "available now". Is that the same?

I think you could make the same argument. It would express and indicate to a potential renter, that you could rent it now and there are no tenants. The only issue which you may have to explain, is why you never discussed a move in date and why you gave a deposit, without doing so.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
since he told me that it was available now and he wanted to rent to me i was giving him the security deposit thinking that i could move in immediately. But after i gave him the check and then he told me it wouldnt be ready until tuesday at the latest so i figured it was just a few more days and that it would be no problem but i have been tryig to call him and he has not been answering my calls

Yes, if he told you Tuesday and you said that was ok and now you can not move in and he has your deposit and will not return your calls, you would have no choice but to find another place to live and demand and then proceed to sue him, if the deposit is not returned.

RealEstateAnswer
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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Ok thank you for your help!
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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