How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Phillips Esq. Your Own Question
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17902
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
16551887
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Phillips Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I own a house and had a roommate that just moved out today.

Customer Question

I own a house and had a roommate that just moved out today. I asked her to move out at the beginning of the month since she was not holding up part of our agreement that she was to help with cleaning. We had a verbal contract that she is to pay $225 in rent and split the utilities and extra costs for soap, cleaning supplies, etc.. She moved out while I was still at work and sent me a text message saying that she put the house key and the money she owes me for utilities in the mailbox, but when I got home the money was not there. I think she thinks I am stupid. I texted her about it and the fact she left some of her things at the hosue and she acted innocent saying she left it in the mailbox and she didn't care about the rest of the stuff she had left in the house. She owes me $132 for utilities and the things she left were unopened mail, old high school stuff, and other stuff. What can I do to get the money she owes me?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 years ago.
You need to send her a written demand for payment. If she does not pay, then file a Small Claims action against her.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Will a verbal agreement like this hold up in small claims court? I don't know what Missouri law is about that? Also I don't know what her new address is, but I have sent her text messages demanding the payment by next Friday, so does that count as a written demand?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 years ago.

 

Will a verbal agreement like this hold up in small claims court? I don't know what Missouri law is about that? Also I don't know what her new address is, but I have sent her text messages demanding the payment by next Friday, so does that count as a written demand?

 

Response 1: Yes, you can sue her based on verbal agreement. However, if you do not know where she is, it will be very difficult to sue her because the notice of your lawsuit must be sent to her. Text her and ask her what her new address is and see how she responds.

 

 

but I have sent her text messages demanding the payment by next Friday, so does that count as a written demand?

 

Response 2: Yes, because you two have been texting each other. Also, you do not know her new address. Thus, you cannot sent her written demand by regular mail.

 

 

Click below for Missouri Small Claims Forms and procedures:

 

http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.asp?id=704

 

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What should I do with her mail and the huge pile of things she left behind? Should I take it to her workplace since I don't know her new address or should I store it somewhere?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 7 years ago.

Missouri § 441. 065

 

A landlord may remove or dispose of any property that remains in or at the premises after the tenant abandons it. The property is deemed abandoned if the:

(1) landlord has a reasonable belief that the tenant has vacated the premises and intends not to return and posts written notice of abandonment on the premises and mails a copy of it to the tenant's last known address;

(2) rent is due and has been unpaid for 30 days; and

(3) tenant fails to either pay rent or respond in writing to the landlord's notice within 10 days.

The notice must include a warning that the landlord may dispose of the property remaining on the premises unless the tenant contacts the landlord within 10 days and informs him that the property is not abandoned.

Phillips Esq. and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your help. I am only 24 and I have only owned my house for 1 year. This is information I need for now and for the future since I plan on renting out my spare room for a few years.