We gave a check to a rental agent but she now says other peopleare interested. Does the unreturned check make it a binding contract?

Asked by lfjunk, Eatontown, NJ Sun Mar 24, 2013

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Dennis Knight, Agent, Millstone, NJ
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Using the assumption, you gave a signed lease with a security check to the rental agents. You have only made an offer to rent at a set price and conditions. The check is added to show your serious intent and to allow the lease contract to be both accepted and made active simultaneously. You've only submitted a package to the agent, in order to be presented to the landlord for review. If your lease terms are accepted, you receive a copy of the lease with everyone's signatures. If rejected you receive either a counter offer, for you to review, or you just get your check back, so you can move onto looking elsewhere. Having multiple people interested, can mean multiple lease packages being presented to the landlord for review. They accept the one most to their liking and reject the others. Until you receive an acceptance, you have the option to keep looking and/or cancel the your offer, should you find something else or just simply don't want to wait past a certain time frame.
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Andrew Tisel…, Agent, clifton, NJ
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Best to ask these questions to your agent, If you do not have one representing you get one.
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Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Sun Mar 24, 2013
A binding contract is a contract which has been fully executed(signed by all parties)

Just because someone else is interested in the rental does not mean they will get it over you!
Since they have not returned your check just yet may be a good sign in your favor.

I would ask them to make a decision, and if they choose the other party over you, your check needs to remain UNCASHED and handed right back over to you!

Best of Luck to You!
Kawain Payne, Realtor
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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Mar 24, 2013
No, a signed contract makes it a binding contract.

Without a written contract, how is a judge to know what the rent is supposed to be, how long the lease is supposed to be, even what the check is supposed to cover?

No contract, no contract.

All the best,
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Diane Vanvli…, , New Jersey
Sun Mar 24, 2013
Was there a singed contract? Credit check etc..did you use an licensed real estate agent....Do you have an attorney? All good questions....,

Good luck .......

Diane agent. 732. 859 2376
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John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Sun Mar 24, 2013
Was this an offer? -or- or agreed upon rental? Did the landlord accept your lease?

I have been here myself with clients, making an offer and then three other leases come in and the landlord selected another tenant.

Happens all the time.
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Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Sun Mar 24, 2013
Contracts in NJ have a 3 day attorney review period...even lease agreements. This is a legal question, if you have signed a lease contract you should contact an attorney for advice. As a REALTOR I am prohibited by law from offering legal advice.
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Roland Vinya…, Agent, Sprakers, NY
Sun Mar 24, 2013
No, but it would bolster your case if it were in court. But when push comes to shove, it is what is written and signed that rules.
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