Refund of deposit

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Question

Country: United States of America
State: Wisconsin

I recently paid a $700 deposit for an apartment one week before receiving the lease agreement from the landlord. She then went on vacation. While she was on vacation my sister was involved in a motor vehicle accident and it is very serious, so I had a friend contact this landlord to let her know that I would not be signing the lease or renting the apartment because I may very well be moving to another state we're my sister lives to help with her and her children and at this time with traveling back and forth and dealing with my employment and my child as well, it would not be an opportune time for me to move. I then contacted her as well once I returned home after being with my sister. The landlord is refusing to refund my deposit until she finds someone to rent the apartment and has advised me that I will be responsible for the cost of advertising until it is rented. I have no problem paying for the advertising for the number of weeks that I had verbally agreed to take the apartment however the unit I was nterested in was not the only unit available and the ads she had in the paper were for all units in the building, not each listed separately so I feel I would also be paying for advertising for other units that I am not responsible for paying for. There was also nothing in the application that stated if the deposit was paid and the lease was not signed that she could keep the deposit. I feel that it is poor business practice to do this to me because she ccepted the deposit prior to even sending the lease to me, what if I did not agree to certain terms of the lease and decided I did not want to rent he apartment. I feel like I am being penalized simply because she has additional units open and it is hard to rent them out in the winter. If she makes me pay for the cost of advertising until she rents the apt. out, I could essentially not have any deposit left if it takes her months to find a tenant. Is this legal for her to do? Do I have any legal rights to pursue this and get my money back with the agreement that I would pay the advertising cost for the 3 weeks in which the apt. was not listed?

Answer

You could sue in small claims--she did not have any real damages...
References in periodicals archive ?
Plans must be returned in good condition within seven (7) days following bid date to obtain a refund of deposit.
Fukuda's remarks came after Koizumi reportedly told Financial Services Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa on Tuesday to come up with a measure to guarantee the full refund of deposits for financial settlements in the wake of bank failures from April 1, 2003.
Japan currently guarantees a full refund of deposits at failing banks.
Earlier in 1996, the Diet legislated another amendment to the Deposit Insurance Law empowering the government to guarantee a full refund of deposits at failing banks until March 31, 2001.
At present, the government guarantees a full refund of deposits at failed banks.
The Financial System Council, an advisory panel to the finance minister, will make the pitch when it unveils next Tuesday its proposals regarding the new system, under which a 10 million yen per depositor limit will be introduced on the refund of deposits at failed financial institutions, the sources told Kyodo News.
Assessing the overall situation that softened the bankruptcy climate, the agency said a series of policy measures, such as tax breaks for home buyers, the banking safety-net that enabled a full refund of deposits at failed banks, and the capital injection helped revive the economy to some extent.