Can I Back Out Of An Apartment Application?

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Can I Back Out of a Rental Application | Two Women Discussing |

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Yes, generally, you can back out of an apartment application as long as you haven’t signed a lease. However, be prepared that you will likely not be refunded your application fee or any deposits paid.

Can I Back Out of a Rental Application | Two Women Reviewing Agreement |

Before you sign a lease to rent the apartment, unless explicitly stated otherwise, you are generally under no contractual obligation to move into the apartment unless and until the lease has been signed.

An application to rent an apartment is not a commitment to pay monthly rent. At this stage, you only give permission to the landlord to do their checks and confirm your understanding of other notices.

However, you should be prepared to lose your application fee and any deposits paid.

For example, if you pay $250 for credit check and application fee, and you change your mind to back out, you should not expect to get these funds back.

How to Back Out of Apartment Application

You should call the rental agent as soon as possible and tell them you no longer wish to take the apartment. A sample script might be: “I have decided to back out of the apartment application due to [insert reason]. I understand I will likely not get my credit check or deposit monies back. I wanted to thank you for your help.”

After the call, you should follow up with something similar to this in writing. Ask where and how to send this written notice. Ask for confirmation of receipt or send certified mail.

What Happens Once You Sign a Lease?

Once you sign a rental lease, you are responsible for paying rent throughout the term. So, for example, if you sign a 12-month contract and want to back out in the first month, you may still be liable to pay the rent for the remaining 11 months.

If it is just the application, you may only lose the fees you already paid. If you are concerned or think there is a chance you may back out, check these details with the landlord before applying.

If you decide to back out of an application, let the landlord or agent know as soon as possible, so they can try to mitigate your losses.

Open communication is the best way to avoid confrontation.


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