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I had a verbal agreement for a gentleman that was in a bind…

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I had a verbal agreement...
I had a verbal agreement for a gentleman that was in a bind that I would be able to stay in his house in feb march and april and either buy or start renting his house in may. For some reason or another the rentor decided not to pay his mortgage since januarary, so while I was in the process of getting a home loan approved I found out I had to be out of the house in 5 days due to foreclosure. I got all of my stuff and got out quickly...a month later the "rentor" is trying to take me to court for rent for feb mar and april all of the utilities that he agreed to cover and cleaning costs for general cleaning as well as some things that were broken before I moved in. I would have never moved into the house knowing I was going to pay for those first few months due to the fact that my fiance had just had a baby and wasn't working. It was a verbal contract and no written contract was ever signed. What do you suggest?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
6/18/2010
Real Estate Lawyer: C.Fortunato, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
C.Fortunato
C.Fortunato, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8,023
Experience: Expert in Landlord/Tenant Law. Licensed Real Estate Broker.
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Hi JACustomer,
Is he claiming (in the court papers) that you agreed to pay rent for those months?

Edited by Christina H. Fortunato, Esq. on 6/18/2010 at 12:19 AM EST
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
He didnt send me court papers...he sent me a letter from himself with itemized deductions that are all ridicously not belonging to me...he didn't mention on the paper that any agreement was ever made just putting in the itemization that rent was owed for all of the months that I had lived there even though in our verbal agreement it was decided as i stated above I would start to pay or buy at the end of april along with utilities. It can be proven I switched utilities over to me last week of april as promised and I applied for a loan mid april to get approved by end of may. He also signed a purchase agreement the last week of april showing everything was going the way promised in verbal agreement. He is just trying to get money out of me now apparantly because he is broke and made bad decisions.
Real Estate Lawyer: C.Fortunato, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Verbal agreements are just as binding as written agreements, just harder to prove. Of course, per your agreement, you do not owe him anything - rent or money for damages that you didn't cause.
If he were to take you to court, he would have to prove that you agreed to pay him rent. Since it would be his word against yours, anything you can provide that tends to support your story, will help you win such a case, including the purchase agreement, the mortgage application, and putting the utilities in your name.
If he does not have any physical proof to support your case, it will be very hard for him to win.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
The letter he sent me in the mail certified...he had typed out on his computer listing all of itemized things he thought I owed..Do you suggest I reply to his letter denying that I owe him anything or should I not even reply due to the fact that he just typed it out and it isn't a legal document and he says I have 21 days to send a reply to him?
Real Estate Lawyer: C.Fortunato, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Even though you do not have to respond to him, it may be a good idea to do so, so that he will know that you do not agree with him, and to remind him of your agreement. Keep a copy, as you may be able to use this to help prove your case, if he does go to court.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Does he have any right to tell me I have 21 days to respond to him since he just pulled a number out of his head or I am in turn agreeing to the amounts listed if i dont respond or is this just a bunch of mumble jumble trying to corner me.

Real Estate Lawyer: C.Fortunato, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
There is no legal significance to his 21-day demand. Perhaps he meant that if you do not respond within 21 days, he will go to court.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Based on your experience, what are the chances of him winning in court on a verbal agreement that he is trying to switch around the truth on...how would you even judge on a verbal agreement when both parties do not agree on what was verbally agreed upon? I know I have more proof that what I am saying is true but his stand is basically I lived there for free for 3 months and therefore owe..even though that was not part of the agreement on his end whether it sounds crazy on his part or not...he lived in a town that is not too desireable to live so he got desperate and made this agreement with me
Real Estate Lawyer: C.Fortunato, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Both of you will be able to testify before a judge. Judges are surprisingly good at figuring out who is telling the truth. Because of this ability, and your physical evidence, I think you have a very good chance of winning.
One last thing - the burden is on him to prove this case - he must prove you agreed to pay rent.
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