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 ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11317
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Type Your Legal Question Here...
ScottyMacEsq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I live in Texas and currently in the process of cutting off

Customer Question

I live in Texas and currently in the process of cutting off an 8 year relation ship we are NOT married

I own the home we live in. My question is can he make me pay back the rent he has been paying? We are working out an agreement that I will pay him back for some of the upgrades he did help pay for (I am ok with that). But how much can he take from me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Just to be clear, he's been paying you rent to stay at the house? How much has he contributed to the property?

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you see my follow up question to your issue?

Customer:

yes he has been paying rent to stay. There is about 60K worth of items he has contributed over the last few years.

ScottyMacEsq :

How much of that amount is long term improvements to the property, and how much would be considered maintenance and short term repairs, etc...?

Customer:

I would consider about 2/3 long term improvement the rest was maintenance type things that had to be done

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you. First of all, in the absence of an agreement between you two that he would be reimbursed if you ever broke up, etc... then any recovery that he may have would be based on either "promissory estoppel" or "unjust enrichment". Promissory estoppel means that you promise something, and he takes actions in reliance of that promise, to his detriment. If your promise was that he could stay as long as he wanted, then it's possible that he could have a claim to some of the long term expenditures. The maintenance expenditures almost never are reimbursable, because they represent "present expenditures", and that's sort of akin to rent.

ScottyMacEsq :

As for the rent, that two would not be reimbursable, because of the agreement that you had with him regarding the rent.

ScottyMacEsq :

(unless there was a separate agreement that it would be paid back to him)

ScottyMacEsq :

Situations such as this are somewhat difficult for courts to work out. The reason is that these contributions could be determined to be gifts. If they're gifts (to you) then he would almost certainly not have any claim to the funds, unless he could prove that they were "contingent" gifts (meaning that the gratuitous nature of the gift depends upon some future action or condition, such as you both staying together). It could also be an improvement with the assumption that he would have essentially an equal interest in the property (that he would continue to live there).

ScottyMacEsq :

So really what might be compensated for would be the long term improvements to the property (that increase the value of the property), but without an agreement at the time that the payments were made by him, and without a promise to reimburse him, then he could only at most recover under "unjust enrichment".

ScottyMacEsq :

That means that he can't recover the entire amount that he put in unless the value of the home has increased by that much.

ScottyMacEsq :

For example:

ScottyMacEsq :

Suppose he paid for a $20,000 swimming pool, but that it only increases the value of the property $10,000. If there was no contract or other promise to pay him back, etc... then he would at most be able to recover only $10,000 (the amount of the increase in the value of the property, not the entire amount put up). The reason is because you, as the owner, have been "enriched" by $10,000, not $20,000, even though that was the cost of the pool.

ScottyMacEsq :

The law says that it would not be fair, in certain instances, to allow you to be enriched in that situation (i.e. "unjust enrichment")

Customer:

wow ok

ScottyMacEsq :

So if you can properly valuate the expenditures that he has contributed to the property and the increase on the equity as a result (which is pretty difficult, to be certain, but can often be done by appraisers, etc...) then that could give you a good idea of what he could recover if he were to take you to court for this.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

Yes that answers very clearly and I do feel that I am being more than fair now seeing this. FYI I do intend to pay him 50k but at first he wanted me to sell the house and pay him a 1/3 because of the rent.

ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11317
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
ScottyMacEsq and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.