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What happens deposits when tenants does not want to sign landlord's lease agreement?

Miami, FL |

there is nothing signed, and tenant deposited to hold rental property and take off the ads.
landlord solely prepared lease agreement, and tenants do not "like" the lease agreement (no illegal clause in lease agreement)

is deposit nonrefundable when tenant refused to sign lease agreement? thanks

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I presume that they didn't get a copy of the lease agreement at the time they gave you a deposit?

    Honestly, I would give them back their deposit. Their deposit is provided in good faith, before seeing your rental agreement. If there are one or more terms that aren't common practice and that they feel are objectionable, it is going to cost you more money and time than its worth if they decide to fight you for the money.

    The above is not intended to be legal advice, but may be used for general information. Please contact an attorney for specific help tailored to your needs. www.figgardenlaw.com


  2. I agree about returning the deposit. It is not uncommon, however, for such deposits to be kept. The rationale is that the property is taken off the market, thereby causing the landlord to potentially lose a month's rent. Many, indeed have contracts to lease which provide for this situation.

    Mr. Vicary is licensed to practice law in Florida. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Vicary strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.


  3. Unless you have something in writing stating that the deposit is non-refundable, and even better including a statement as to why (i.e. because unit is being taken off the market immediately pending completion of the signed lease as presented), I don't see any basis to keep the deposit.

    The law is complicated and although the facts expressed may seem to be all that is relevant, there may be many other important facts to consider. Also, the law is constantly undergoing change, so what may be correct today, may not be accurate tomorrow. Only a full consultation with an attorney experienced or knowledgeable in the specific legal subject matter is likely to result in the optimal course of action. My practice has entailed more than a 30 year span of many real estate, personal property, and bankruptcy issues. Find out more about me at: FloridaPropertyLitigation.com.