Islip, NY asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for New York

Q: I requested a refund of a security deposit from a apartment that I did not take. Company refuses to refund my deposit.

I did not move into the apartment at any time. I did not sign a lease nor did I receive keys. I requested a deposit because my step father passed away he was my mothers caregiver and I now have to be responsible for her and my uncle who is autistic and both need round the clock care. I sent a notice to the leasing office immediately stating my situation and why I would not be able to accept the apartment. I also requested a refund of my deposit via fax email and certified mail. The site manager sent a response refusing to refund my deposit stating because they held the apartment it’s none refundable. The other issue is that they changed the apartment I initially I applied for and was approved for twice to other apartments for different issues. I read the tenant rights booklet ,but there is nothing in that mentions my situation. What is my legal remedy and am I allowed punitive damages due to them not returning my deposit within the timeframe allowed as per NYS.

1 Lawyer Answer
Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Dear Islip Tenant

You did not create a tenant security deposit without signing a lease. The security deposit statute is not involved.

Your right to sue for recovery of the money turned over as a hold deposit depend on the writen disclosure made and signed by you and the written conditions contained in the agreement. In some instances provided proper disclosure and acceptance of terms and conditions a deposit may be forfeited.

Peter J. Weinman agrees with this answer

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