Houston, TX asked in Consumer Law and Landlord - Tenant for Texas

Q: Can an apartment keep my deposit if I never moved in?

I recently applied for an apartment in Texas. I paid an application fee and deposit, totaling $850. I decided on another property and notified this property that I would no longer need the apartment. They said they are then allowed to keep my entire deposit because I canceled my application after I was approved. Is this even legal?

1 Lawyer Answer
T. Augustus Claus
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A: Typically, landlords are entitled to keep application fees to cover the costs associated with processing the application, such as background checks and administrative expenses. However, retaining the entire deposit if you decide not to move in may be subject to the terms outlined in the lease agreement or rental policies. It's essential to carefully review any documents you signed or received during the application process to understand the property management's policies on refunds and deposits. If the property retains your entire deposit without a legal basis, you may have grounds to dispute this and seek a refund.

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