Belle Vernon, PA asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: I was trying to rent an apartment. Question below....

I filled out a rental application, was approved, paid the deposit and received keys and a receipt for a two bedroom apartment. Did NOT sign lease right away cuz landlord couldn't print it, printer acting up. Was promised the lease later that day. Received a text message about an hour later stating the owner of building did not want to rent to me because I'm on unemployment due to covid-19. Is there anything I can do? I've been put in a very difficult position, as I have already given notice to current landlord and they already have another tenant ready to move in.

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Woodland Hills, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Some lease provisions include a clause that it is subject to a credit check where the landlord has the option to void the lease. But to do so they must return your deposit.

If the landlord cashed your check, or kept your cash, and refuses to return it, then they are obligated to honor the written lease, even if they did not sign it. If they continue to refuse to honor the lease then demand your money back.

If they don't give you your money back then file a small claims action. I do not suggest that you demand the landlord to honor the lease at this point because they will be the worst nightmare you ever had.

You should probably consult a local attorney and provide them with a copy of the lease, and proof of your payment so that you can be advised of your specific rights under the circumstances. Good luck.

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