I am looking for an apartment and I came across a property management that had some rentals available.

The person in the leasing office of the property management gave me a sheet with buildings marked (all few streets around) that had units available. While checking one of the buildings I accidentally walked into a nearby building (maps let me down) instead of the one that was marked on the sheet. I went back to the office and signed the lease. But only when I went back again I noticed that it was a wrong building.

The problem with this apartment that I signed the lease is it doesn't have parking and the street parking is always occupied. I didn't get the keys from the manager in the building as I wanted to check with the leasing office regarding this. The person in the leasing office didn't call this out I didn't ask either as the wrong building I visited did have in unit parking.

I have been talking with the person for like 3 days now to end the lease and he keeps saying me to come back the next day. What are the options i have to end the lease since I didn't actually move into that.

Because of this, I couldn't sign a lease to another apartment without knowing whether I can terminate the lease. Any suggestion would be appreciated.

Edit - The apartment is in downtown Los Angeles, I paid the first month rent($1250) and the $1000 deposit as well + an application fee ($25)


2 Answers 2


Rules vary from location to location, but there is usually a time limit. Within that time limit, you can legally cancel a contract. You need to consult with an advocate familiar with your local laws. I don't want to get your hopes up, so you should know that in some locations the time window is 24 hours, others 72, so you may be beyond the window.

If you have access to any legal advice, now is the time to use it.

  • legal advice - try to find some
  • stop payment - if possible
  • ask nicely - Explain that the unit you toured was not the one they leased to you and that the one they leased to you does not meet your needs.

Did you happen to give the leasing agent anything that could be considered written notice (with a date!) that you wanted to cancel?

The delays you've faced may be a tactic to exhaust the "buyer's remorse" window, or to give them time to clear your check, or both. To be fair, they may just be busy. When you talk to them and explain and they decide whether they will cancel the contract, you will know.

Before you go, decide how much of the deposit and first month you're willing to give up to break the lease.

TLDR; Get legal advice, ask nicely for them to break the lease, be prepared to sacrifice the money you've given them.


Talk to a lawyer now (I'm not one)

I don't believe California has a cooling-off period where you could get cold feet about the lease and back out. Currently, you haven't moved in, do not.

What I would do

Check if the checks have been cashed yet. If they have not.

Go back to the management office and offer some money (like a few hundred) to get the checks back and the lease ripped up. You can get lawyer to write something up if you want, but this might be the fastest and cheapest route out.

If they have cashed them or won't give them back

A little harder. Let's assume first they want to work with you to resolve this issue. Have you explained that you need an assigned parking spot? If not, try that first. Say something like

I need an assigned parking spot and I thought the building had one. Is there another apartment you manage with an assigned spot I could switch to.

They still get an apartment filled and you get the parking you need.

If the above doesn't work, consider taking them to small claims court. You though parking was included, it isn't. Especially since they won't have to repaint or clean the apartment (you've never moved in), just the threat may be enough to get them to rip up the lease and find a different tenant.

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