Recently I had a situation regarding first month rent deposits that I would like to share with other prospective renters.
Before going on showings with realtors, clients are suppose to sign a fee disclosure form. This form states that if you decide to rent properties that your realtor shows you, you have to exclusively rent through that realtor. Also, there is no fee for taking clients on showings. Most importantly however, the fee disclosure form states that if you are accepted from an apartment through verbal or written agreement, lease, tenancy at will, or taking possession of the property and you decide to withdraw, your deposit is NOT refundable. This is just like that South Park episode where Kyle doesn't read the I-tunes contract fully and he gets turned into the human centipede (I'll spare the graphic details). Clients MUST read the fee disclosure form and all other documents during the rental process. This is standard protocol. Please remember that realtors go through a lot of work to get tenants approved and moved into apartments. Although circumstances are circumstances, sometimes clients have to pull out of apartments after being accepted (examples being relationships breaking up, losing jobs, family situations, etc.). Realtors are human beings; we understand that. In this circumstance, your rental agency might be forgiving to your situation and give you some of your deposit back. If you are pulling out of the apartment because you don't like the apartment anymore or its too expensive, than here is the harsh reality of life: You never should have applied for it.
The topic of losing deposits is similar to buying an item and then immediately returning it. Why did you buy that item in the first place?