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Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53960
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I am a landlord whereby I have a lease with a tenant that

Customer Question

Customer: I am a landlord whereby I have a lease with a tenant that will expire on 4/30/16. In Sep 2014 the tenant emailed me stating he will extend the lease for 2 yrs in exchange for a list of upgrades. I responded verbally and completed 90% of the requested work. The tenant verbally stated the remaining 10% was not required.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: The tenant in Nov 2015 vacated part of his space almost immediately when I left on a extended overseas trip. I emailed him reminding him of our agreement. He stated in his email that he did not agree to the existing rate or space and is siting any issue but those that matter. He is siting what others are paying in the bldg etc. However, his upgrades are substantial whereas others are not. The upgrades were done at his specific request at great expense. His response seems to indicate he does not intend to honor that extension
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

You do have recourse here. If the tenant won't pay your damages voluntarily, you should sue him. Filing your suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if he doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property he owns to satisfy the judgment. In my experience, simply filing the suit is typically all you need to do to resolve this outside of court because most of the time, once served with a summons he is being sued, he will resolve this rather than go to the expense of defending a suit he's going to lose. Even though you don't have a written agreement, the lack of a written contract can be overcome by the concepts of promissory estoppel and detrimental reliance. This situation arises when Person A relied upon the verbal agreement, Person A performed based on such reliance, and because Person B defaulted, such reliance is now to Person A's detriment. Where there is i) partial performance by Person A based upon the mutual promises, ii) Person A relied upon such promises to perform, and iii) Person B's failure to perform would be to Person A's detriment, Person A can overcome the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing.

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