Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Oklahoma

Getting back a deposit when tenant didn't sign a lease

When renting property if a deposit was paid up front and there is a reciept for the deposit and no lease was signed, if the tenant moves in and back out within a couple of days (not have signed a lease) should the tenant get the deposit back.

Asked on 4/17/01, 11:22 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jimmy D. Turner Jimmy D. Turner , Attorney at Law

Re: Getting back a deposit when tenant didn't sign a lease

I would need to know the terms under which you were put in possession of the premises, especially the terms relating to the nature of your deposit and the interval for payment of rent. The deposit could be one for advance rents or for possible damage done to the premises.

If you incurred an unpaid obligation to pay rent for a given period, the landlord may be able to deduct the rent due from the deposit. If you have not made timely demand for a return of the deposit, the landlord may keep it.

After a lease has been terminated, the tenant has six months in which to demand a return of the deposit, in writing. The landlord then has thirty days to deliver it to the tenant. The landlord must provide the tenant an itemized list of any deductions for unpaid rent or damages to the premises, by personal delivery or by mail with return receipt.

Unless the premises become uninhabitable, a tenant ordinarily must give the landlord an opportunity to fix any defects before the tenant is justified in quitting the leasehold.

If the condition of the premises is such as to pose an immediate threat to health or safety, then the tenant should give the landlord notice and an opportunity to repair the conditions a promptly as circumstances require. If repairs are not made, the tenant may immediately terminate the lease by giving written notice.

As usual, there are time limits involved in taking legal action.

This response does not establish a lawyer-client relationship. If you wish to do so, you will need to contact me in person or by telephone and arrange for legal services.

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Answered on 6/15/01, 6:23 am

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