Is there any way to get a new home deposit refunded if the contingency period has passed?

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Is there any way to get a new home deposit refunded if the contingency period has passed?

I gave a deposit for a house that I was going to buy in another state. At the time I was expecting an almost confirmed promotion at my job that would have let me move to this other state and work from home. However, something happened and I wasn’t able to get the promotion and the time to get the deposit money back under the contract had already passed. I talked with the builder and they told me that the most that they could do was to hold the money for when I’m able to move to this state. Is there any way that I can get my money back or at least some of it?

Asked on September 18, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you are not entitled to the money back. You breached the contract by not buying the home; when the buyer breaches, the seller or builder may keep the deposit. It doesn't matter if it was not your fault--i.e. due to a promotion not coming through. All that matters is it was not the seller's fault: you can only get your deposit back when the seller breached the contract (such as by not being able to close or transfer title) or committed fraud (such as by lying about the features the home would have).


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