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Landlord breaking lease agreement?

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WouldBeTenant

New member
If a landlord in California collects 1st and last months rent in order to hold a rental property until the move in date on the agreement and then is unable or unwilling to let the tenant move in, is he obligated to return that money even if he wrote "no refunds" at the bottom of the printed agreement?
 


FarmerJ

Senior Member
Landlords cannot expect a court to enforce that kind of addition to a lease. If LL is in breach because it is past the date the lease was to start I suggest you consider sending to the LL a written on real paper letter via certified mail telling the LL since they cannot deliver the unit to you that you expect full refund of all funds paid right away. Make at least three copies, send on via certificate of mailing and another via confirmed mail delivery ( so when you sue for full refund they cannot claim you didn't contact them since you will be able to show a court that you used two USPS mail methods to contact the LL about getting your money back since they did not deliver the unit to you by the time the lease was to begin. ( yes its likely you will have to sue the LL for refund.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
The most common reason a landlord cannot deliver to a new tenant a unit for which they entered into a lease with a set start date for is that the current tenant refuses to leave and LL is going to have to end up taking them to court and use the courts to make the tenant who refuses to leave to get out. Some landlords do chance that every thing will go well and tenants will leave as expected and they can easily install a new tenant, but when a LL cant deliver to a new tenant the empty unit they entered into a lease for yes the LL should make it easier and just refund the moneys paid in advance but in your case I suspect your going to have to sue the LL and that's actually no promise that the LL will willingly pay you , you may have to learn what your other options are in your state in order to enforce a judgment and that includes learning how to make sure that liens are placed.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
He told me reasons why I couldn't move in which I do not believe are true. He might claim unable, but I think unwilling is likely more correct.


Do you happen to know where I might find that?
Actually, his reasons don't matter. He accepted money for a rental (1st month, last month) and he did not deliver, so he is in breach of the agreement. And, by the way, as AJ stated previously, the "no refunds" is at variance with CA state law.

It'd be only thing if there were a brief delay - like, they needed to get rid of a flea infestation, and they were willing to give you a credit for the inconvenience. But if it's just unavailable to you period, then yes, you are entitled to a full refund.

Otherwise a landlord could make a fine living taking deposits with no intention of letting people move in...
 

WouldBeTenant

New member
That's what I'm afraid he may have been playing at, I am just trying to cover my bases before court. I should think that a breach of contract on his part overrides the "no refunds" further down in ink thereby invalidating the latter, just looking to see if anyone knows a loophole. I would also hope specific tenant protections are in place to make this scenario illegal in the first place, but you never know I guess.

It's a shame, really. I'd have no issue with this guy if he hadn't lied to me, or if he'd come clean, and/or offer to arrange payments. Seriously, who would just forget about 2 months rent? Crazy world...
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
That's what I'm afraid he may have been playing at, I am just trying to cover my bases before court. I should think that a breach of contract on his part overrides the "no refunds" further down in ink thereby invalidating the latter, just looking to see if anyone knows a loophole. I would also hope specific tenant protections are in place to make this scenario illegal in the first place, but you never know I guess.

It's a shame, really. I'd have no issue with this guy if he hadn't lied to me, or if he'd come clean, and/or offer to arrange payments. Seriously, who would just forget about 2 months rent? Crazy world...
It is illegal in California to have a non-refundable deposit.

California Code, Civil Code - CIV § 1950.5 (m) No lease or rental agreement may contain a provision characterizing any security as “nonrefundable.”


What this means: the deposit is refundable. Even if the landlord wrote in medium point red Sharpie "no refunds".

The "no refunds" is invalidated by California law. How much bigger a loophole do you want than "non-refundable deposits in California are illegal".

Which you have been told REPEATEDLY.
 

WouldBeTenant

New member
It is illegal in California to have a non-refundable deposit.

California Code, Civil Code - CIV § 1950.5 (m) No lease or rental agreement may contain a provision characterizing any security as “nonrefundable.”
Actually this was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. It's one thing to know that it's illegal, but what is difficult is to find is where in the law it says it. This is the internet, after all. Really wasn't trying to be difficult, and I am sorry that I was apparently annoying.
 
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