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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32369
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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State of Texas, Dallas County, City of Carrollton. My wife

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State of Texas, Dallas County, City of Carrollton. My wife and I got married on April 1, 2016. She was renting a house in the location listed. While she has moved into my home, she has continued to pay timely rent on the rental premises. We informed the landlord a few weeks ago that we were in hopes he would put the home back on the market and lease and let her out of the remaining balance of the lease once he secured new tenants. He verbally agreed to these terms. Since that time, we have continued timely rent payments, had the house professionally cleaned, had the carpet professionally cleaned, and continued all utility payments. We did move all of the furniture belonging to my wife out of the house prior to the cleaning. The landlord entered the premises this past week and informed us that he had contractors clean the carpet and that he had turned on the A/C units and fans to let it dry. He did all this without giving notice of entry or without asking whether or not the carpet had been clean. He claims that once we moved the furniture out and requested that he put the house back on the market that he was free to do as he pleases even if we continue to pay him rent. In his words, we had "abandoned" the lease. This would make sense to me had we not kept the utilities on and the rent paid. By turning on the A/C he in effect was utilizing our funds to dry his carpet that had now been cleaned twice. What are our rights and remedies in this case, if any?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

He can't have it both ways, you either abandoned the house or you pay rent. As long as you are paying rent then the right to use the property is yours and, unless there is something really unusual about your written lease agreement, he can't just come in your hose and do those kind of things.

Your only real option is to sue him, but if he is agreeing to let you out of the lease you probably don't want to do that since he can change his mind. In the case of a lease for real property (real state, house, etc) it is only enforceable if it is in writing, or at least that's the way most judges will interpret it due to a concept of law called the "Statute of Frauds" (which really has nothing to do with fraud.

If you do choose to pursue him then you could sue him in small claims court which, in Texas, is the Justice of the Peace courts. However, the burden of proving your damages is on you and it would be difficult to prove how much he cost you in extra utility bills.

If you decide to sue you can also use a lawyer and since it is a breach of contract action then you can sue for your attorney's fees as well.

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