I realise it’s conceivable this may vary based on local law - but is anyone familiar with a prospective tenant being held liable for any amount based on an email assurance that lease terms would be acceptable/signed, then declining to sign a lease? The landlord sent an email asking if they were prepared to commit to terms, with a lease to follow; the propspective tenant said they would be acceptable, provided that the lease was sent along shortly, and that they were no longer looking at other properties; the landlord sent the lease; the tenant then simply indicated that they had found another property. This was still a couple of months in advance of a possible move-in date. Many thanks.
No deal was done, period.
It would be hard to consider an email a binding agreement. Even if it could be, it’s unlikely worthwhile to pursue in terms of time and cost.
I always use a Deposit to Hold. The tenant signs it and provides a 1-month deposit. When they sign the lease, the deposit transfers and becomes the security deposit. If they back out for any reason, the deposit is forfeited for re-marketing, etc.
typically, contract law dictates that agreements for one year or more must be executed in writing. an email response is likely not enough to fulfill the requirements of an executed contract