Can I get the application fees I paid refunded if I change my mind about renting an apartment?

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I get the application fees I paid refunded if I change my mind about renting an apartment?

I had filled out an application (credit check etc; did not sign a lease) to rent an apartment. I was told that the application would be processed on the following Monday as the offices were closed for the weekend. I gave them 2 money orders – 1 for $35 and 1 for application fees ($629). I read very bad reviews about the apartment later in the day and decided to change my mind. I called them but reached the voicemail. Then I called them again on Sunday night and wanted my checks back on the pretext that I had given them the wrong ones and needed to correct my mistake.

Asked on August 2, 2011 Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, applicatino fees are generally NOT refundable; that is, the law does not require that the landlord return them in the event that the tenant changes his or her mind. Rather, they are only refundable if either (1) they were stated to be refundable, such as on the application itself, and you complied with whatever rules existed about refundability; or (2) the landlord otherwise agrees to refund them. Therefore, it is likely the case that you cannot get the fees back. Moreover, what you write that you did may constitute additional grounds for civil or possibly even criminal liability against you--e.g. for committing some form of fraud or theft by deception, since you are looking to take money to which you are not entitled.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption