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I recently provided a security deposit for an apartment

Customer Question
Good morning, Lawyer's Assistant:...

Good morning,

Lawyer's Assistant: Hello. How can I help?

I recently provided a security deposit for an apartment prior to signing a lease or receiving keys. This was to move my apartment up on the list of apartments requiring the carpet cleaned. This was 3 weeks in advance of me moving into the apartment on the 1st. I kept calling and requesting confirmation on the date and signing of the lease. They told me twice that the carpet cleaning got moved back. Once the 1st came and they told me I still could not move in and had not signed a lease, I told them I no longer wanted to move into the apartment. They still have my deposit, will not return my calls and I am receiving email alerts that my rent is past due on an apartment I never moved into and do not have a lease on. I'm not sure what my next steps should be. thank you

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Pennsylvania

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

The only documentation I have is a handwritten receipt with my name misspelled and the incorrect amount of the deposit. (it was my fault for not checking). After I submitted the deposit, I was able to sing up to the complex's webpage to pay rent and to log maintenance calls, but no lease was signed on the website.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I believe that is everything pertinent I can think of.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/6/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,468
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. Additionally, most people believe a phone call is the easiest and most efficient way to handle problems. Accordingly, you will receive an automatic phone call request. If you would like a phone call, please click “Accept” when prompted.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Please let me know if you need additional information.
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Okay, thank you very much for your patience. the general rule regarding contracts is that both parties have to agree to all of the material terms in the contract. For a rental agreement, this typically means that you need to agree to things such as the amount of rent that is due each month and when the rent is due. by providing the security deposit in advance, you are basically agreeing that you will agree sometime in the future to move in. However, if they said that you could not move in and you did not actually sign anything, then it's not possible for you to have actually agreed to rent the apartment. You may want to consider just writing a formal demand letter that they return your deposit if a condition of them keeping the deposit was you moving in.. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for a demand letter (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation.

Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Hello, it’s been awhile since we connected so I wanted to check in with you to see if you had any further before you rated. If you have any other questions or if there is anything else I can assist you with today. Please reply here and let me know.

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Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,468
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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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