How do I Decline an Apartment after Approval?

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Have you applied for an apartment, been approved, and decided you simply do not want to move in? There are many reasons this could happen. You may have found something better, or perhaps you didn’t need the apartment after all.

So, let’s find out more about how and what happens if you decline an apartment after approval.

Can You Decline An Apartment After Being Approved?

The short answer is yes. If you were approved for an apartment, have yet to sign the lease, you should be able to walk away (less any fees you paid for deposits or application fees). Call the rental agent or landlord and explain your circumstances.

You are generally not legally liable to move forward with the apartment until you sign a lease. Having said that, you should expect to lose any application and deposit fees paid (depending on terms).

Can the Landlord Hold You Liable?

Generally speaking, no. If you haven’t signed the lease, you shouldn’t be responsible for any apartment rent but expect to forfeit your admin and any application fees.

Good landlords want you to make the best decision for you and your family.

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What Happens If You Sign the Lease?

Once you sign the lease to the apartment, you are generally legally obligated to pay all of the fees and rent under the lease, regardless of the circumstances. If there is a buyout fee (usually two to three months rent plus forfeiture of security), you could try to pay that.

If you decide not to go ahead, you can try to use this template or similar:

  “Thank you for the opportunity, and I am interested, but due to circumstances beyond my control (explain what they are), I have decided that I am no longer able to take the apartment. I understand I will have to pay breach terms per my lease. “

If you have a legitimate reason and a really generous landlord, you may be able to get away with a smaller penalty but this is rare.

Not going ahead with an apartment after approval is common (so long as you haven’t signed your lease). Circumstances change. However, once you sign a lease, you are generally obligated for all rent under the lease or pay a substantial buyout penalty (if allowed).


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