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I was living a house under verbal contract for four years.

When I got a little...
I was living a house under verbal contract for four years. When I got a little behind I asked my Landlord to give me a couple days to pay my rent for March, but he said that if I did not pay on time I needed to get out ASAP. I said to him that I would leave within a week or so. The exact day was March 3th. After I week he send me a text and asked for the March payment. I did not reply he continue to text me. Today he said to me that if I do not give him the money he will take me to court, but I have reminded him that I have not been at his house for almost a month. He said that I have two choice to pay him to leave me alone, or he will take me to court. I do not know what to do. I do not have the money. Please, advice me what should I do? What else I can do? I feel that he is harassing me.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
4/1/2013
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27,690
Experience: 25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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Dear JACUSTOMER - If you are no longer living in the property then all he can do is file a suit for the last months rent to which he would be entitled. You can't get into "trouble" if you don't pay and if you don't have the money there's nothing you can do. If he continues to harass you then you can call the police and file criminal phone harassment charges against him. If he sues you all he can do is get a judgment. It is not a crime to owe money so nothing is going to happen to you even if he files suit. You would simply owe him the money pursuant to a judgment. He would have the right to garnish wages or bank accounts but that is all he could do.
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27,690
Experience: 25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I have not been living in his house since the 3th of March, why should I pay rent for a place I have not been living in? I do not get how this can proceed.

Unless you gave a 30 day notice at the beginning of February that you were vacating the premises the landlord would be entitled to the last months rent as a matter of law. This would have been legally considered as a month to month tenancy which requires a 30 day notice to terminate, either by the landlord or the tenant. So if you simply moved out on March 3rd the rent would have been due on the first and therefore you would owe for the month of March. As I said, you are not going to get into "trouble" for owing the money other than having a judgment filed in the court and the landlord trying to collect.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

The Landlord told me to leave if I was going to be late with my payment. I said ok to him and told him that I was leaving the 3rd. When he agree that I was moving in he said that I could stay as long as I wanted to, and as long as I could pay for his mortgage. There was not a document, it was all verbal.

The problem is that verbal contracts are not enforceable in real estate matters so whatever he promised when you moved in cannot be used in court. So you were simply a month to month tenant. You can argue that he forced you out and that you do not owe for the last month's rent. In order for him to collect he would have to file a suit and get a judgment from the court so you don't have to pay him just because he demands money.
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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
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Experience: 25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations

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