Unfortunately, we were in the same boat - no written lease in place at the point that we received the news regarding the date change and so we had no recourse. We brushed it off, and spent an entire day looking for a quick rental and in the end found something that suited the couple even better.
You have the additional wrinkle of the cash security deposit - talk to an attorney about getting that back right away.
Then I say, get together with an agent and find another rental - and when you do sign all paperwork promptly so that you do not run into the same issue.
Rentals are moving quickly - so be prepared to sign, and have checks ready. Also, I'm quite sure that credit checks and employment verification will be required so have that prepared.
Good luck - I hope that your situation works out as my clients did - in the end, they found something that suited them even better.
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
As Joan stated that lease would have protected you and without a written agreement you have no recourse. With that being said, the security deposit you gave him -- was it check or cash? Especially if it was cash, did he provide you with a receipt? If it was a check you can prove that you paid him and in the event he tries to pull a fast one. Have you asked him to return the deposit yet? If you do not use an attorney then you should sent the letter requesting the deposit back via regular and certified mail.
Have you asked your current landlord if he rented the place yet? Perhaps you can renew your lease.
It is in your best interest in proceeding to find a new place to rent that you do not provide a security deposit or up front rent monies, etc. until the actual time of signing the lease. Also make sure you make copies and have receipts for all deposits given under the terms of the lease agreement.
Sorry about your inconvenience and good luck finding a new place and with getting your money back.
Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential New Jersey Properties
Good luck with this.
Joan Prout, MBA
RE/MAX Villa REALTORS
306 Grove Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
800-671-0596 x1 (direct)