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Landlord changes his mind


My question is,

I was in the process of finding a house to rent for me and my family and found a house on a block that I liked, after viewing the house and much back and forth with the landlord negotiating tenant improvement we finally came to an agreement and I signed my half of the lease, I drove to the landlord’s house handed him a check we discussed how future payments will be made and what to do in a situation where something breaks, he handed me the keys to the apartment shook my hand and I left. He never counter signed the contract.
Later that night I get a call that the landlord changed his mind and does not want me as a tenant.

Does he have a right to change his mind once a check was handed over and the keys to the house were given over.
Again his argument is that he never signed

Thank you




it is not possible to give a final answer without hearing the landlords side of the story, but based solely on what you are writing,m it seems that the landlord would be mechuar amana, for backing out of the deal at this point, and it would be assur  for him to do this. If you gave him a check for rent, then he would be subject to a “mi shepara”, as he already received some of the money for the contract. however if the check was only a security check then he would still be mechusar amana. however a monetary claim you would not have, since he did not actually sign the contract.

But to reiterate, the story and halacha might change after hearing the reason the landlord decided not to rent it to you.

Hashem should help you find a better house for you and your family to live in.

Best wishes



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