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Old 08-20-2011, 03:39 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
27 posts, read 40,679 times
Reputation: 16

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So I am moving to an apartment the first of September, I haven't signed a lease yet but I did give $830 in application fees and first months rent. Today on the bedbug registrar website it showed up that there were 2 new reports within the last 4 days. I googled the address before I decided to take it and nothing like this showed up two days ago. I guess it didn't cross my mind to check for bedbugs, I'll know next time.

I'm debating finding a new place however; I looked at the find print of what I signed when I sent in my application and it seems that if I don't sign the lease I'll lose that $830, which would be a large chunk of money for me. Would it be worth it to find a new place or just roll the dice and hope that I don't get bedbugs.

Any advice someone had to give me would be much appreciated.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:04 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
933 posts, read 952,647 times
Reputation: 1315
If you haven't signed the lease yet you should be able to get back your first months rent. Your signature on the lease is what binds you to the apartment, NOT the signature on the application. I personally find it odd you paid them before signing the lease. Lol, maybe it's because of the bedbug report? They might just be playing games to try and scare you into staying there. But as long as you know your rights you should be able to get out of it easily. Just don't let them play you for a fool.

Last edited by EastBoundandDownChick; 08-20-2011 at 05:13 AM..
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:13 AM
 
Location: Central, IL
3,407 posts, read 2,104,605 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastBoundandDownChick View Post
If you haven't signed the lease yet you should be able to get back your first months rent. Your signature on the lease is what binds you to the apartment, NOT the signature on the application. They legally cannot keep your money for a lease you have not yet formally signed for, all they can take from you is the application fee.
This is not correct. They can and probably will keep the money for the application and the deposit. This is 100% legal and the landlord should keep the money. They will not be able to collect for breaking the lease, but they can keep the deposit.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:51 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
933 posts, read 952,647 times
Reputation: 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhawkins74 View Post
This is not correct. They can and probably will keep the money for the application and the deposit. This is 100% legal and the landlord should keep the money. They will not be able to collect for breaking the lease, but they can keep the deposit.
No, actually I'm right unless there's something she's not telling us. It's the first month's rent NOT the deposit according to her. And, no, you cannot keep the rent on a place that has not formally been leased- that is illegal. A deposit to hold the apartment could be nonrefundable but not the actual rent prior to the lease being signed by both parties. She made no mention of a deposit. Now, if there is something she is not mentioning, like the language of application stating something like 'let the amount of one month's rent serve as a deposit to hold this apartment'... then yes, she will lose the money. Otherwise she will only lose the money for the application fee but the money for the first month's rent should be returned to her. Just remember that landlord/tenant law trumps whatever was signed, granted it is not a lease and granted that the amount in question was regarded as rent. It's either rent or it's a deposit in the eyes of the law, it cannot be both at the same time. Still, even if this girl is out the money... she should probably still just run in the other direction. I know people that have dealt with bedbugs and they're a nightmare that can cost FAR more than $830, both in terms of money AND your sanity. If nothing else, consider it a lesson learned and proceed to your next place with more wisdom and caution.

Last edited by EastBoundandDownChick; 08-20-2011 at 07:34 AM..
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
27 posts, read 40,679 times
Reputation: 16
Ok the thing I signed for the application says:

Rent Amount: 780
Credit Fee: 50
Total: 830

I understand that the deposit will be refunded on if my app is rejected...The deposit will be used as liquidated damages should I cancel.

---------

To me that hurts my case. But also the saving grace is it does specifically say rent.
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
933 posts, read 952,647 times
Reputation: 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by scsm View Post
Ok the thing I signed for the application says:

Rent Amount: 780
Credit Fee: 50
Total: 830

I understand that the deposit will be refunded on if my app is rejected...The deposit will be used as liquidated damages should I cancel.

---------

To me that hurts my case. But also the saving grace is it does specifically say rent.
Okay, now that you are telling me what you signed I am understanding this more. Liquidated damages are a remedy in landlord/tenant law for when you break a LEASE... not an application agreement. This is also sometimes called a termination fee. You cannot legally apply liquidated damages when there has not been a lease signed. From what you have stated above it sounds like these people are being extremely manipulative and misleading. They are saying 'cancel' but not mentioning the lease specifically, leaving you to guess for yourself. You seriously need to run away from these people, and fast.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
27 posts, read 40,679 times
Reputation: 16
After checking around I'm pretty sure I signed a holding lease. I'm calling on Monday and seeing if I can get my money back.
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:13 AM
 
427 posts, read 114,949 times
Reputation: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by scsm View Post
After checking around I'm pretty sure I signed a holding lease.
You should have a copy of anything you sign. If you don't, that is pretty foolhardy.
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:51 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
27 posts, read 40,679 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sydbarrett View Post
You should have a copy of anything you sign. If you don't, that is pretty foolhardy.
I do have a copy
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:52 AM
 
427 posts, read 114,949 times
Reputation: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by scsm View Post
I do have a copy
And does it say lease or rental agreement?
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