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1st and last month and deposit paid then after 2 weeks tenant does not want to move in.

We met with the potential tenants on 2 different occasions and several phone conversations.  They had to be out of their existing home in less than two weeks.  The home that we were renting was not ready for tenants yet but on the second visit with the potiential tenants we agreed of what work would be completed prior to move in and complete other needs during warm weather.  The tenants paid 1st and last month rent and security deposit and a non refundable pet deposit, they had their small child with them and we agreed that they could take the lease home and read over and return to us in two days.  I cashed the check for rent and deposits at their bank and hired help to complete the needed painting and cleaning to meet their move in time frame.  When the work was completed (prior to requested date) multiple attempts were made to contact the tenants by phone (even tried work phone) left several messages with no response, three days after the date they had requested to move in I sent a text message to their phone and two days later received a message back stating they were not going to take the house, they had had phone problems and that is why they had not contacted me beforehand.  What are my legal rights here.  We had a verbal agreement and with them writing a check to pay for the deposit and rents.  We spent a lot of money to hire workers to complete the needed work to accomodate their move in date.  What do we have to refund to them?  
1 Comment

Since you don't have a signed lease that could be an issue. They also never moved in. Did you have to hire those people anyway to rent the unit? You may be able to keep some of the funds, to cover the time frame you need to re-rent the unit, but most likely not all. A signed check does seem like it would be an intent to move in. You may want to consult with an attorney or do a lot of research and or both.
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