Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Nebraska

Holding Fee

I signed a lease for an apartment and paid a non refundable holding fee that was to be applied to the security deposit when I moved in. The lease also said I had to pay the first months rent before I could move in. I lost my job and couldn't come up with the money so the Landlord said I defaulted and he refused to let me move in. He rerented the unit about three weeks into the month but has refused to return any part of the holding fee. He says I didn't follow the terms of the lease and and that the holding fee was non refundable. Is he right?

Asked on 8/21/08, 1:15 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Duke Drouillard Drouillard Law, LLC

Re: Holding Fee

An accurate and complete answer would require a review of the lease you signed. Unless the lease contained some unusual terms however, the landlord is right if the holding fee is equal to or less three weeks rent. You were actually quite fortunate that he was able to re-lease the property in just 3 weeks. By signing the lease you were obligated to make all payments under the lease regardless of your personal difficulties. You would have been liable for full rent for the amount of time it took the landlord to secure a new tenant as long as he was reasonably diligent in seeking a new tenant. In any case, the holding fee should not have been more than one month's rent. In that case the most you could possibly hope to recover is one week's rent. If landlord does owe you one week's rent and he fails to refund it promptly, then you may be able to bring suit under the Nebraska Landlord/Tenant Act for the one week's rent plus your legal fees. In some cases the court will allow treble damages and allow you to recover 3 weeks rent for the one week owed plus your attorney fees.

Read more
Answered on 8/23/08, 11:54 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Landlord & Tenants questions and answers in Nebraska