If you pay a complex a $200 move in fee, can they keep that if you choose not to rent there?

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If you pay a complex a $200 move in fee, can they keep that if you choose not to rent there?

They did not specify whether or not it was an application deposit

Asked on May 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no certain general answer, since whether fees, deposits, etc. are refundable depends on the wording of any leases, agreements, applications, etc.

Therefore, you need to look to the language of the document(s) to determine refundability. As guidance, if it is a fee that you pay on application without any guarantee you will get the apartment, then it probably is not refundable. If instead it says that this is a fee to applied against moving or apartment preparation costs, then it may be refundable, if the landlord has not yet incurred those costs in connection with this apartment. Again, though, you need to look to the language of whatever it is that you have signed.


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