Can I get my deposit back if I didn't sign a lease yet?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs/PLATINUM PROPERTIES & MANAGEMENT 0534986

Can I get my deposit back if I didn't sign a lease yet?

Generally, if you give a security deposit for a home and you don't ever take possession of or sign a lease for, then you are entitled to the entire deposit back.

Usually, until you have actually signed a lease, you do not have a lease. Virtually all residential leases are required to be in writing.  Was there supposed to be a later signing, or did you understand there would be no other paperwork? It is possible you have a lease without signing, but it may be hard to prove.

As a  property managers, we would keep showing the home until we had the signed lease. We have had this happen where a tenant was approved, gave a deposit but never came in and signed the lease!! We continue showing the property, the first approved tenant who signs a lease and puts up the security deposit is the one who moves in.

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Platinum Properties & Management 

A full service brokerage with Home Sales, Commercial Buying & Leasing, Land Purchases, Leasing & Property Management


Russell & Tracy Lee Parker 


(972)365-7198 Tracy Lee  (214) 477-5609 Russell 

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  1. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 11/21/2012 08:41 AM
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John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Tracy  In Colorado the buyer is protected by the the point that it does not matter what the contract said.  More than once I have seen a buyer get their earnest money back after they backed out at the closing table.  Colorado Real Estate Commission contract forms state your earnest money will be forfeited but they courts rule differently on a routine basis.

And of course, this has NOTHING to do with leases!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 21, 2012 07:19 AM #1
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I continue to market a property until the lease is signed and the check is deposited.  One reasons for getting "move-in monies" by bank or certified funds is to PREVENT the tenant prospect from backing out of the deal.  I ALWAYS have a return the signature page by 48 hours from delivery of the lease packet.

Nov 21, 2012 08:41 AM #2
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Yes, signed lease and deposit needed to complete the transaction.  Otherwise, we will give a deposit back.

We had some prospective tenants years ago who asked for a discount.  The landlord agreed, but they kept putting off signing or sending money.  Then, they were SHOCKED that we would rent it to someone else. 

ACTION is needed and required to make it happen.

All the best, Michelle

Nov 22, 2012 03:00 AM #3
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Tracy totally agree with you, sign the lease and get that check cashed, our tenants never get the house keys until the check clears.

Dec 06, 2012 09:12 PM #4
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