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Can I recover deposit given to Hold Apartment?

Hi! My husband saw an apartment that he really liked for our family to move into... he didnt want to lose the apartment, so he wrote the landlord a check for $2000 (the amount the landlord told him the rent was). However, when he told me how much the apartment was, I told him that I believed the apartment was for $1800 (I had seen ads)and there must have been so mistake. When my husband brought this up to the landlord he said he never had an apartment for $1800 only the one for $2000 (It is a two family house and the landlord/owner lives in teh 2nd unit). My husband and I decided not to take the apartment after we felt we were being deceived. The landlord however canceled potential renters the night we gave him the deposit and now he wont give us back the deposit because he said he lost out on potential tenants due to fact he held the apartment on good faith that we were going to take it. He said the check represented a verbal agreement to take the apartment. Is this true? Can he do this or can we take him to small claims to get our money back? What is the likelihood we would win the case? Thank you, A.

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Hi. This is the same situation I'm in now. Does anyone know the answer?

The landlord has to be able to protect himself from people who back out of agreements.  If he loses a month's rent, plus other expenses, he should be able to use the deposit to cover those expenses.  It is possible (I do not know) the court might apply the same logic as Massachusetts courts apply in situations where a lease is broken.  The landlord should, when a tenant breaks a lease, make good faith efforts to find a new tenant and should not be able to keep an amount above what his actual out of pocket expenses are as a result of the breach.  So, for example, if he was able to call up one of the other candidates and get them to move in a week later, the judge might not let him keep the entire deposit rent.  Worth a shot anyway.

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