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How binding is a rental application?

ZeonZeon Registered User
edited February 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So basically, today i went to check out a new apartment in Toronto. It seemed ok, it was a little smaller than the floorplan on their website. I said i wanted to fill out an application, so i go back to the supers office. When i get there, five things happened that really turned me off of the place.

One, some weirdos came in to drop off their termination notice, the supers were rude to them. Plus they seemed generally crazy, and they werent the only people with a weird vibe i saw at that place.

Two, some guy called, his pipes broke, they told him they werent going to fix it till monday...

Three, the apartments going to cost 50 dollars more a month than listed on the website, plus parking fees...

Four, they want to charge me a fucking key deposit which is I know is goddamn illegal, so basically they want 2100 dollars from me before i move in (The apartment costs 800 a month, plus parking)....

Five, the place just seemed fucking sketchy.

So basically i had already filled out the rental app, and was just going over the other information with her when im thinking "This place is fucking terrible, i dont want to be stuck here for a year". But everythings all signed, and im thinking its only an application, so i should be ok. But as im driving home, i get the sinking feeling that this is something thats going to come back and bite me in the ass.

So, TL;DR, how binding is an apartment rental application in Ontario, Canada? I really dont want to live at that place.

Zeon on
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Posts

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    You kept a copy of the application, right?

    What does it say?

    When you sign something, it's a contract, no matter what they're calling it. If it says "you promise to live here for a year," then you've promised to live there for a year. If it says "this is just an application, you're not locked into anything," then it's just an application, and you're not locked into anything.

  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited February 2007
    No, they didnt give me one. The only thing i actually filled out myself was a signature page, and it just had space for six signatures and witnesses beside it. It didnt have any information about the application or the apartment or the lease at all. The rest she took and typed into a rental application on the computer. Everything was verbal.

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  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited February 2007
    An application is not a lease. The signature does not make it a lease, it means you're professing to have told the truth on the form you just filled out. If you haven't given them any money, and haven't signed a lease, you're not obligated to do shit.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited February 2007
    pheezer FD wrote: »
    An application is not a lease. The signature does not make it a lease, it means you're professing to have told the truth on the form you just filled out. If you haven't given them any money, and haven't signed a lease, you're not obligated to do shit.

    Cool. So if they call up saying i owe them money because i signed that paper, i can tell them to fuck off and not worry about getting served a notice or having them ding my credit?

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Zeon wrote: »
    pheezer FD wrote: »
    An application is not a lease. The signature does not make it a lease, it means you're professing to have told the truth on the form you just filled out. If you haven't given them any money, and haven't signed a lease, you're not obligated to do shit.
    Cool. So if they call up saying i owe them money because i signed that paper, i can tell them to fuck off and not worry about getting served a notice or having them ding my credit?
    They can always serve you a notice and ding your credit if they're trying to milk you for money. You'd have to fight it.

    Never, ever sign anything without reading it. Ever. Any sort of paperwork you're filling out for something as serious as renting someplace to live--especially renting/buying someplace to live--always, always, always get a copy of it for your records.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited February 2007
    Be polite and tell them that you've changed your mind and are no longer interested in renting from them, and see what they say. Play it by ear largely, but be prepared to take them into small claims court to wrestle your way out of it. If you find yourself there, point out that you didn't fill out any forms, they did, and you weren't given the opportunity to exam the document you were signing, and that they did not explain the implications of the document you were signing. They're going to have a really hard time justifying taking any money from you to the judge, especially since they haven't exactly performed a service or suffered any financial loss as a result of your actions.

    See, you haven't signed a lease or been approved to yet, so if they choose to stop listing the apartment, they're not behaving in a rational manner. If they choose to not re-list the apartment immediately upon finding that you are no longer interested, they are creating their own financial loss, you're not the cause any more, they're exacerbating their own situation for monetary gain against you. A Canadian court shouldn't uphold that in any way. Also, bearing in mind that there typically is not any charge whatsoever for a rental agency to process your application, they won't have an easy time arguing that they deserve to charge one when no one else does.

    See where I'm going with this? You haven't signed a lease and you haven't knowingly agreed to owe them anything, you've just submitted a rental application for processing. You might need to take it to small claims, but you can also ask for court costs as part of your settlement, and based on my one commercial law course, I'd say you have pretty good odds. See if you can get a free consultation with a real lawyer if it gets to that stage though.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Wait wait... the paper you signed just had a spot for signatures, and nothing else?

    You should not be bound by anything.

    In the US, at least, your signature must be on a contract, and every individual page of said contract must be initialed by you, and the landlord. If that's not done, there's no contract. I truly cannot see that being different in Canada. Otherwise, signing a contract would open you up to the landlord placing extra pages inside the contract stating that you agree to furnish a pink elephant, and left handed basketweaving lessons..

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Wait wait... the paper you signed just had a spot for signatures, and nothing else?

    You should not be bound by anything.

    In the US, at least, your signature must be on a contract, and every individual page of said contract must be initialed by you, and the landlord. If that's not done, there's no contract. I truly cannot see that being different in Canada. Otherwise, signing a contract would open you up to the landlord placing extra pages inside the contract stating that you agree to furnish a pink elephant, and left handed basketweaving lessons..
    Yeah, that's one of the fundamentals of English Common Law (which both Canadian and American law are based on).

    Really, legally, you haven't entered into anything that wasn't on that paper you signed. If they try to take you for money (and they shouldn't, since, as pheezer pointed out, you haven't cost them anything) you should definitely fight it.

  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Wait wait... the paper you signed just had a spot for signatures, and nothing else?

    You should not be bound by anything.

    In the US, at least, your signature must be on a contract, and every individual page of said contract must be initialed by you, and the landlord. If that's not done, there's no contract. I truly cannot see that being different in Canada. Otherwise, signing a contract would open you up to the landlord placing extra pages inside the contract stating that you agree to furnish a pink elephant, and left handed basketweaving lessons..
    Yeah, that's one of the fundamentals of English Common Law (which both Canadian and American law are based on).

    Really, legally, you haven't entered into anything that wasn't on that paper you signed. If they try to take you for money (and they shouldn't, since, as pheezer pointed out, you haven't cost them anything) you should definitely fight it.

    Im going to call them right now and tell them i found something else so im not interested any more. Ill see what they have to say.

    And yes, this was not at all like when i signed the lease for any of my previous apartments, however, it was not through a company, just private individuals, so i dont know exactly how all of this works. I know when i signed my leases before, they gave me everything, let me take it home to sign it, i read it all over, and then signed every page, including terms and conditions and stuff like that. The page i signed today was ONLY a signature page (Im not dumb, and i always read everything i sign, because ive seen people sign their life away out of stupidity), but just putting my name on something and giving them information they can use to hurt my (Drivers licence number, SIN number) im a little worried.

    *edit* so i called, they were busy so they said theyd call back. Surprisingly she did, and i cancelled the application, no problems. So i guess this thread can be locked.

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