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 Loren Your Own Question
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34091
Experience:  Attorney with 30 years of experience representing landlords and tenants.
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
Loren is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Find out I have an illegal landlord who issued me a lease.

Customer Question

Find out I have an illegal landlord who issued me a lease. This person does not own the house . Can I sue them, because now I have to move. Found out the actual owner, has lots of violations on the property, and has rental license expired in 2016.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Yes, if they have no authority to lease the premises to you then you can sue for breach of contract.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I live in Phila. Pa. How do I move forward with this legally and sue for breach of contract.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here is what I feel, I have lost. Monetarily, rent paid, security deposits, moving costs.
Now must pay again, because am looking for a new place. Also , this illegal landlord new there was a beam supporting a part of the house from the basement, supporting upper floor,and back of house. Was not told, till way after , I moved in of what turned out to be one of many violations . Can I sue for nondisclosure ?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

You can sue for breach and you may be able to sue for fraud. If you prevail on the fraud claim then you may be entitled to punitive damages and attorney fees, as well as your actual damages.

You will want to retain local counsel for this. If you need assistance finding local counsel try Martindale Hubble (site rules prohibit us from referring specific attorneys) . Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:

It is a huge worldwide database searchable by location and specialty. The attorneys are all peer rated. So, they represent the top of the profession.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I live in Phila. My illegal landlord,( rented out property she does not own,etc.), has sent me a notice about intent to evict, if I am not out by April 8th. She states the owner will file for eviction, and that the owner has full knowledge she sent me a certified letter, stating I must leave by April 8th. To me, this is harassment, and an attempt at an illegal eviction. What are my legal rights here ? Do, I act as if I never received any certified letter. How should, I reply to this.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Since you have no valid written lease then you are a month to month tenant and can be evicted on, typically, 30 days notice. There is not much you can do about the eviction, other than force the owner to go through the court and wait out the full process, because one of the main elements of a month to month tenancy is the ability to terminate the tenancy for any reason or no reason at all.
However, if the person from whom you leased falsely represented themself as the owner, or having the legal authority of the owner, you can sue them for fraud and the damages stemming from the premature ending of your tenancy.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
With regard to the letter, you can let them know that you will be pusuing all lawful remedies to their fraud. Otherwise, you should probably start looking for alternative accomodations to move to.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?