Am I legally bound to a lease when my application has not been approved?

My boyfriend and I applied to an apartment complex on Saturday morning. At the time of application the leasing agent had us sign the lease and all addendums, but it was our understanding that the lease was contingent upon our application being approved. I wrote a check for the deposit as well as the administrative... show more My boyfriend and I applied to an apartment complex on Saturday morning. At the time of application the leasing agent had us sign the lease and all addendums, but it was our understanding that the lease was contingent upon our application being approved. I wrote a check for the deposit as well as the administrative and application fees.

We have since found a much cheaper option and have decided that we should wait and shop around. I called the apartment complex and asked them to destroy our application and check as we did not feel financially able to commit.

They called us back today and said that we are legally bound to our lease and will be held liable for all re-letting fees and rent. They had not yet deposited our check, we have not returned the guarantor applications, we have not submitted income verification, and we have to our knowledge received application approval. I called my bank and made a stop payment order on the check I had written them to prevent them from depositing it and saying the deposit was paid.

Can we legally be held liable?
Update: I believe we did sign the lease, honestly they were throwing so much paperwork at us at once that it's hard to remember. We misunderstood what was said to us and believed that even if we were signing the lease it was not yet binding because we still had to bring in more paperwork to finish the application process.
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