Can an apartment complex deny me a carport if it agreed to give me one at the time that I signed the application and it was mentioned in the form?

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Can an apartment complex deny me a carport if it agreed to give me one at the time that I signed the application and it was mentioned in the form?

An apartment management agreed and mentioned to give me a 2 bedroom apartment with an assigned carport; the signed application form mentioned the apartment number and car port number. Later during the signing of the lease it denied to give me the carport as it was already taken by someone. So when I asked for a refund of my deposit, they denied saying they were holding the apartment. Is it legal to deny what they promised in the application form?

Asked on May 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The key issue is whether or not you were told there was no car port prior to signing the lease. If you were not told prior to signing, you would seem to entitled to one or another of the following: a carport; to terminate the lease without penalty; or for monetary compensation (e.g. a reduction of the lease to an amount appropriate for this unit without a carport; or for the landlord to pay the cost of renting a nearby parking spot). That is because if the landlord (or its agent, such as a property manager) made represenations, or promises, to you that you would have a carport to induce you to sign the lease and you signed the lease in reasonable reliance therefore, then the landlord could be liable to you under either a theory of promissory estoppel or for fraud.

However, if you were told that no carport was in fact available prior to signing the lease but you went ahead and signed it anyway, your act of signing despite knowledge of the lack of a carport  could be taken as your agreement to rent the unit withou a carport. In this case, you would likely have no claim or cause of action.


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