Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

I recently applied for a two bedroom for 30% at a tax credit apartment complex.

The manager that was processing my application said I did qualify and they will be processing my application. I needed to pay the $200 holding deposit to secure a two bedroom 30 percent so I made a money order of $200 to hold that 30% unit.

On 10/5 I called to see how my application was going I had not heard nothing from them and the manager told me it was going good to please wait for them to call to let me know how it was going.

10/15 Friday the manager calls me to tell me that I needed to go to Union City because they missed a couple things I needed to sign and paper work they did not have in my file, I was at work and she said no problem I can fax you the paperwork. So she did and I faxed it back.

10/25-I called to see what is going on after they missed paperwork I knew they did not know what they were doing and a man said my file was put on hold because they needed something else from me that child support popped up and I need to come in on Saturday immediately. In a panic mood I tool matters in to my own hands and verified with child support I have not gotten child support what so ever in the last 12 months. So Friday I go into their property.

The lady did not know what she was doing. She did not give me a receipt of the deposit until 11/4 that they received the 200..tried making me sign the paper as of 9/11 but i refused... and signed it on 11/4.

Two people looked over my file and said they will let me know when they send it to compliance...I passed the backround and credit so I am prequalified which is I am accepted and had an apartment number 327.

I told them how I fewlt that they were disorganized and put my file on hold instead of calling me to let me know beforehand that they needed some things from me...bypassed my file to work on other files.

11/9- I get a phonecall saying I am disqualified for the 30% unit . That my bonuses and my pay were not calculated correctly from thew beginning and my bonuses of 200 I get on my paycheck make me to the 40% bracket. Now I need to take the 40% and I will not get my holding deposit because I am "BIND TO Agree to get the 40% .I told the landlord that the rent for the 40% is too high I cannot afford it. That I just want my deposit back. She said no you are bind to accept or we will not return your deposit of 200..because I did not decline the 40% within the 3 days of giving them my deposit...

They just told me ON 11/4 that I had to sign the receipt they received 200. So she is telling me the 72 hours has expired and I will not get my security deposit back because I declined to take their offer on a 40%.....

Please In need help I cannot afford this rent I am single mother and need this money. What can I do? I will be going there on Monday.

Asked on 11/10/13, 8:49 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

The purpose of a holding deposit is to hold an apartment unit open. It is in a category of contracts that few lawyers understand, called "option contracts." The holding deposit is to hold the rental unit for a stated period of time until the tenant pays the first month's rent and any security deposit.

You are not clear on this issue, as you talk about other things that have nothing to do with the holding deposit. You call it a holding deposit, but are not clear whether they have breached the agreement and rented the premises to someone else, during the period they were supposed to hold it for you.

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Answered on 11/14/13, 7:44 am

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