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Non refundable cleaning charge

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#1 riedberd


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Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:43 AM

Less than 24 hours ago I paid the landlord $300.00 non refundable cleaning fee.  I called him back today to rescind the deal since I found out I am going to be laid off from my job.  I have not moved in to the apartment yet and it is not a lease, it is month to month.  The landlord is refusing to refund the cleaning fee even though I have not even stepped foot into the aprtment other than when he showed it to me.  Can he legally keep the cleaning fee?

#2 Fallen


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Posted 15 September 2009 - 04:06 AM

Not clear what "deal" you're referring to, but I gather you agreed to lease a property.  Otherwise, wouldn't be clear why you'd pay someone a nonrefundable cleaning fee.  Also weird that you would have been asked to pay a nonrefundable cleaning fee vs. a security deposit.

"... it is not a lease, it is month to month."

This seems to imply that you think a "lease" has to be (i) long-term and (ii) in writing.  Neither is true.

"Can he legally keep the cleaning fee?"

That's for a court to decide when you sue him for it.  I would presume he's also going to sue you for at least a month's rent if you're reneging on an agreement to lease a place. 

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)

#3 riedberd


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Posted 15 September 2009 - 06:53 AM

By deal I meant the agreement I signed that the cleaning fee was non refundable and that the rent was $590.00 a month.  I was not to begin occupying the residence until September 20 but I found out last night that I am going to be laid off indefinitely from my job beginning this Friday.  I called the new landlord first thing this morning to tell him I wasn't going to be able to afford the rent and needed to back out of the month to month agreement.  I thought that most contracts have a rescind period.  Mortgages do and so do car purchases.  Why should this be any different?

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