Holding deposit confusion

5 Replies

I applied for an one BR apartment at a community in CA. The leasing manager was able  to convince me to deposit the holding deposit check the same day even before filling my application form. I submitted the check after their office hours and she made me sign a  holding deposit form which says I will be responsible to pay prorated rent for the time period they hold the apartment for me (max of 2 weeks, March 26th).

My application was approved the next day but there were conflicts regarding some of the advertised amenties ( microwave and clubhouse) which they decided to dishonor saying the condition is as it was shown. I still decided to move in.

They cashed in the check the same day. A week later, I had some issues with the move in date and requested them to move it forward by another week. They said to consider my request, they would need  extra 2 days and if they don't extend, I will be charged for those days as well else I could cancel same day and pay prorated rent for 9 days. There was confusion regarding number of days ( they were charging me for both day I deposited the check( after hours) and current day. This amount was $80 more than the holding deposit so felt like a big hit.

I couldn't afford to pay extra rent so I asked them to cancel over email in case they can't look into my request. One day later, my present landlord agreed for me to vacate earlier and I sent a mail if they would allow me to move in on March 25th. ( day earlier than my original move in date on the holding deposit receipt). They are saying your request is cancelled and you owe us $80.

Now I'm concerned about the legality of the document and if I'm obligated to pay more than the deposit in this condition when I eventually agreed to move in on the decided move in date.

I'm ok paying them to avoid the situation of them reporting me to any Credit bureaus for $80 but I'm curious about the legality of the document. Let me know your views.


This was a very long post, but it would appear that they had an apartment available immediately that you requested they hold at which point they essentially charged you daily rent to do so.  I am not 100% sure of your post but if you asked for an extension on them holding the apartment and said if you can't make it happen I would like to cancel, the most likely scenario is that they were not able to continue holding the property and thus cancelled.  If you asked to move in sooner there really should not have been a problem.  The story was a little hard to follow but I'll do my best to help answer your question.

so you didn't have a set date to move out from your current place before you signed a lease to move into a new place. that's the overall problem according to your thread. its always best to have everything in writing beforehand. some landlords want a 30 day notice (if you're on a month to month lease then that's what they generally get) to move out. some landlords ask for a 60 day notice to move out. Regardless of that, I really don't see what the confusion stemmed from if you put a deposit down on your new place to move-in and got a copy of your new lease in writing. Everything should've been written out plainly in the lease regarding move-in date, late fees, dos and don'ts etc. 



@Mary B:

I had not signed lease with them. It was just the holding deposit document which said mentioned my move in date and gave details of the rent in case I sign the lease.  

The new place I was supposed to move in failed to cooperate in all regards and laid all laws and conditions in their favor.

I requested to see a copy of lease to check if there were any terms I might not like, but they refused and said that will be available the day I sign the lease that is one day before I wanted to move in.

@Aaron Klatt Should I pay them $80 which they say I owe them or sue them for denying me the apartment and not refunding me my deposit. Can they report me for non payment to CBs or will this stand as a disputed amount?

There are a lot of complaints for their management on ApartmentRatings.com which I just checked, seems like they lack cooperation. Thanks!

@Ana James I still don't understand the situation 100%.  Did you ask them to hold the apartment for longer or ask to move in earlier than you had originally told them? It might Also help if you were willing to post the text of the emails specifically the one where you mentioned cancellation.

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