Posted by TenantNet on July 02, 1996 at 00:31:01:
In Reply to: Protection Against Realtors in NYC posted by l.woods on July 01, 1996 at 20:35:21:
: I am wondering what rights a prospective tenant has when he or she is applying for an apartment. My boyfriend and I recently saw an apartment, liked it and put down a $400 deposit as well as $120 for a credit check. The realtor then strung along for a week until he finally told us that we were to sign the lease. He told us to whom to make out checks, and in what amounts, but when my boyfriend showed up the next day to go over last minute details before the lease signing, the realtor told us that the apartment that the apartment that we had looked at had been given away to another couple who gave a "superior offer" and we were to take a different apartment that we had yet to even see. We refused the second apartment (which was smaller and darker) and expressed our outrage at the realtor's duplicity. In the days since then, the owner of the realty company has apologized and refunded our deposit and the money for the credit check. As a matter of fact, he's apologizing so profusely that he's acting pretty guilty. Did they violate rights that we don't even know about? What does it mean when you put down a deposit for an apartment? If anyone knows anything about this, let me know.
This is a guess, but sinnce you actually placed a deposit, you might be
entitled to "specific performance" by the owner. I may have misused the
term, but the idea is that the money guarantees your right to the lease.
This also might fall under the General Business Law or Statute of Frauds
if they made any misrepresentations. Also, if you're a minority, you might
have a Fair Housing case. I invite our attorney readers to comment. The
poster might wish to consult with an attorney to see if they still have a
right to the apartment or for damages.
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