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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
I recently filled out an application to lease a residence in Texas. On the application it said that any money deposited would be non-refundable. Does anyone know if this is legal? I would think that if pressed, and if the tenant never moved in and the tenant asked for the deposit back prior to the move-in date, the deposit would have to be returned in full since no credit or background check is done. 


Posts: 580
Reply with quote  #2 
You need to check Texas law. In Virginia, if it is called a deposit, it is refundable no matter what even if they go out of their way to call it non-refundable. We may deduct for certain things, but we would have to refund it or give them an itemized list of why we didn't (or what we deducted). So if we called it a holding fee, we wouldn't have to give you a thing. If we called it a holding deposit, we would have to refund it. You really need to check Texas laws to know for sure and compare that to what they actually call it in writing (a sales rep may call it a deposit, but if the paperwork says it's a fee, then it's a fee).

Posts: 3,817
Reply with quote  #3 
"Any money deposited" on a form?  They aren't necessarily speaking about a security deposit.  On an application, that means any money paid.  It is poor wording.  If what you paid was an application fee, it is non-refundable.  Those are almost always non-refundable.  It is understood to be a fee for the processing or screening of the application. BTW - how would you know if they did a background check or not?  These are done before you are told that you could have a unit.  We do them before you even view the unit.  And its all done online.  It isn't reported back to a tenant because it is public information.

If you then were told you were accepted for a unit and paid further monies, it could be a deposit.  What did they write on the receipt they gave you?
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