If a tenant never moved in after paying non-refundable deposits, do I have to give them money back?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2012

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 24, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If a tenant never moved in after paying non-refundable deposits, do I have to give them money back?

We charged a tenant $250 non-refundable deposits for electric and cleaning. We had property ready for them to move in, but they never did. They paid deposits and signed lease on 11th of the month, then never called until the 23rd. Now they want to waive the rent they owed for this month and move in on the 1st of next month. We have lost almost a full months rent due to them not paying the rent and moving in. Do I have to take the loss on rent for the month or can I hold them to the lease agreement they signed?

Asked on August 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, there is no such thing as a "non-refundable deposit". Since the tenants that you have written about signed a written lease, they are obligated under the lease for its full term based upon what you have written. I would let the tenants move in when they want to and charge them for all months under the lease that they signed as rent. The only money you have to return to the tenants if they do not move in is the security deposit and the deposits for electric and cleaning ($250.00).

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 AttorneyPages.com 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