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Verbal agreements involving real property (e.g., apartment leases) are not legally binding. A written contract must be in place. Now, if you were to sue in small claims, you could try to hang your hat on showing proof of the first couple of payments she made as "proof" that there was such an agreement.
Honestly, your chances of winning are less than 50/50.
Good luck and best wishes. I hope that you find this information to be helpful!
So if I were to threaten to take her to small claims court, what would you recommend I provide as proof besides the following:
- Copies of receipts from the apartment complex showing where she did pay basically 1.5 times her daughter's share of the rent on 2 or 3 occasions, but only the stated amount of her daughter's share since then.
- Statements from the utility companies stating the date that my name came off the respective utilities (Cable and Electric) and the ex-girlfriends mother took over the utilities
- Witnesses stating that my son has not lived or even stayed at the apartment since the breakup
Here's the thing, honestly:
You can't hold the mother accountable for any debt allegedly owed by the (adult) daughter. "Threatening" will accomplish nothing. If the mother talks to a lawyer, the lawyer will tell the mom that (a) there's no written contract and, (b) to the extent she did make payments, they were "gifts."
So, if you just want to talk with her, you may find it more effective to appeal to her emotion and sense of fairness than threatening a lawsuit.
I actually made each of the parents sign the lease rather than the kids as a bit of added protection (or so I thought), so wouldn't the mother be liable for the lease payments and not her daughter? As for (b) above, the payments made directly from the mother's checking account to the apartment complex could be considered gifts? They were not made to the daughter who then paid the apartment complex.
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