Posted by TenantNet on March 01, 1997 at 14:30:16:
In Reply to: Status of lease without having taken possession of apt posted by Angry of Manhattan on February 24, 1997 at 17:41:10:
: Recently I was stupid enough to sign the lease and hand over a check
: for the first month's rent and security deposit for an apartment on
: application. Due to some credit problems approval was not given for over
: two weeks and I was not finally notified that I had been approved. When I
: called to withdraw the application, they said that I had been approved
: and, because I'd signed the lease, was trying to break it.
: I have not taken possession of the keys or the
: apartment and wasn't given a copy of the lease signed by the landlord.
: Furthermore, the lease was dated the first of the month in which I was
: applying, so that I would have been entitled to a refund of a significant
: portion of that month's rent. The management company say that they
: consider me a tenant from the date on the lease and am not entitled to
: any refund.My Questions are:
: Am I entitled to a refund of the total amount?
: Am I liable for the rent for the rest of the lease?
: Am I responsible for finding a replacement tenant for the apartment?
: Is the landlord/managing company's application procedure legal?
It probably depends on what state you're in. You're signing the lease
and handing over money was an application and because it depended
on a credit check, not a final contract. It's their obligation to
notify you of final approval and only then is the "lease" executed.
When did they sign it? I would assume after the credit check. And as
they failed to notify you (depending on the specific events), you
would reasonably be expected to look for alternate quarters. Did you
keep calling to find out? Did they keep saying "not yet"? I tend to
think they are trying to hold you to a lease that was never fully
executed. This gets into contract law and we're not experts there.
You may wish to consult with a lawyer.
I would also sned them certified mail rejecting their claim and
outlining what you've said here (in an accusatory way as to their
failures) to put them on notice that you are not the tenant, that
there is no valid lease, that you never took possession, that they waived
any rights to claim a lease, that they failed to timely notify you,
that you were put into a position to find alternative quarters due
to their failure and that even so, they cannot put the beginning
date at the time when they still had not approved the lease. This is
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