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If I want to cancel a contract, do I still have to pay the deposit if I didn't pay it when signing the contract?

San Fernando, CA |

I signed a contract to rent a venue for one night. I did not have the money for a deposit with me, but they had me sign a contract anyway. Now that I want to cancel the event, do I still have to pay the deposit?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. The answer is going to depend upon the language of the contract. It is possible that you are liable to pay the deposit if you signed the contract, even if you want to cancel the event. On the other hand, there might be ways to cancel the contract without having the liability to pay the deposit, but an attorney will have to review the contract to ascertain your options.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


  2. Your contract likely addresses early termination. Read it.

    Kevin King, Attorney at <a href="HTTP://ESSENTIALAW.COM">ESSENTIAL LAW SERVICES</a>. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice for a particular case. This post does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author of the question answered. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult with me or other qualified legal counsel.


  3. As Mr. Chen and Mr. King have stated, the answer will depend on the language of the contract you signed. The agreement likely addresses cancellation, and whether the deposit is refundable in such instances.

    I would advise you to re-review the contract. If the answer remains unclear to you after another reading of the agreement, I would simply address the issue with the venue and/or consult with an attorney in your area for assistance.

    Best of luck.

    The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author, and Pham Law Group does not represent you as your attorneys until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both parties.


  4. In addition to the other answers, I think other facts may make a difference. is there an atty fee clause in the contract? If so, they may be inclined to have the atty sue you even if the amount of the deposit isnt that big. How much in advance did you cancel? The earlier the better for you. Were they able to get another event booked for the same time yours was going to be? Did they make reasonable effort to do so? They have a duty to try to mitigate their damage. if they did fins someone else to take the venue, did they make as much as they would have with your event? Did they turn customers away after you booked, and before you cancelled?


  5. Probably yes. If you don't pay it and they believe you are responsible, they make sue you for the deposit. Any judgment entered against you would affect your credit. You'd be subject to involuntary post judgment remedies to collect.