Real Estate Law
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Cody: that does not sound like a very fair deal at all. On the lease agreement you have with the landlord, does it say you can do work on the property in return for a credit on rent. Alternatively, have you and the landlord agreed separately to that arrangement. If not, you will need to comply with your lease and pay the unpaid rent even if you installed a new well pump. The landlord, however, has leased you a property that must have a working well pump. In short, I would suggest speaking with the landlord and coming to an agreement on getting your well pump back and fixing the water on the property and then you catch up on rent less the amount you are out on the well pump. Short of that, you could deduct the amount for the well pump from the lease payments you owe. If the landlord accepts that payment and agrees you are caught up you will be fine to move forward. I hope this helps, David
Okay, if the oral lease agreement is for more than a year it would be considered void in California. Based on your statement, however, it looks to me you simply agreed with the son to work on the house in return for a place to stay. I think you might consider calling the father and explaining the situation to him if you are able to reach him. If you have done work on the property that includes a well pump and likely other things I think you add up what you provided and call the father and tell him what you have in work on the property and state his son made a deal with you that you expect to be upheld. Since the son is not calling you back I think you need to go around him and take care of this as soon as you can. I would think the father would honor the agreement you entered with the son and let you off on the lease payments, but possibly make you move out. If they sue you for payments I think you have a very good argument you were complying with the lease by working on the property per your agreement and owe them nothing. Thanks, David