Help, I live in California, I need advice on the following issue:
Sunday, I signed an "Offer to Lease & Receipt of Deposit" form with a real estate agency and gave them a check for $2100. I did not sign a lease. THe start date of the lease was to be 3-21-08. I need to know if I can cancel my check since I notified the agency yesterday (within 72 hrs). Below is the exact wording of the form:
Offer to Lease & Receipt of DepositI understand that my Retainer Depsit of $ 2100 shall induce the Landlord to take the Premises located at XXXXXXX off the rental market and held available for me in my name, XXXXXXXXX, starting today, 3-2-08 in anticipation of my future occupancy.
However, if I elect to take possession of the Premises and default, Landlord may deduct from said deposit a per day charge of $ 70 from today's date (based upon monthly rental amount of unit divided by 30 days) for a period up to 30 days, or until a replacement tenant is found, whichever occurs first. THe balance of the Retainer Deposit will be refunded AFTER another tenatn has been secured. (Any pre-paid rent is not subject to this forfeiture).
I agree that this arrangement as computed above represents a fair and reasonable charge for te property being removed from the rental market and pays reasonable compensation to Landlord for the lost rent, advetising, marketing and lost prospects should I not lease the property.
Signed Me 3-2-08
Signed Agency 3-2-08
Start Date of Lease: 3-21-08 Termination Date: 9-30-09 Term: Year
Monthly Rent: $ 2100
Total Security Deposit: $ 4200
Funds Due Prior to Occupancy: Pro-rated rent for march + $2100 2nd half of SD
ALL FUNDS PAID PRIOR TO OCCUPANCY WILL BE PAID IN FORM OF CASH OR CASHIER'S CHECK
Do I have a leg to stand on, I don't want to be a jerk to these people?
Does it matter that I notified them within 72 hours of my change of intent (actually it was less than 24 hrs)?
Should I put a stop payment on my check?
Does it make a difference that I gave them a check even though it says funds will be paid in cash or cashier's check? It was a Sunday and they said they "trusted" funds from my checking account. There was no way for me to get a cashier's check on Sunday, nor would anyone else be able to for that matter...
Thank you so much (I am in the military and cannot afford to lose $2100, because we still want to move later...)!!