Can we get our security deposit and broker fee refunded if we signed a lease for an apartment that was misrepresented?

UPDATED: Sep 2, 2011

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Can we get our security deposit and broker fee refunded if we signed a lease for an apartment that was misrepresented?

We were looking for a 2 bedroom apartment through a broker, who found us a place, but was unable to show us the actual unit. He showed us the unit upstairs instead and said that the layout and conditions are similar to our actual unit. We signed the lease under the assumption that the conditions and layout would be similar to the unit we were shown. On move in day, the actual apartment was a disaster, unpainted, dirty, destroyed floors. The super even said it wasn’t ready. It was also a railroad apartment, and not a proper two-bedroom like the one we were shown. Not sure how to proceed now.

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you signed a lease for an apartment that you were unable to actually see but found out that the unit you actually ended up with is not as what was reprsented and had you known the true status of the apartment you have you would not have entered into the lease for it, you can rescind (cancel) your lease based upon misrepresentations of the landlord's agent or the landlord.

If you do not want to continue with the lease, you need to advise the landlord and his agent of the fact that you want to rescind the lease and follow up with a writing to that effect. You need to state the reasons for the rescission as well. If the landlord is unwilling to let you cancel your lease where you receive the return of your security deposit and broker fee, you will need to consult with a landlord tenant attorney.

Good luck.

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