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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27198
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Am I obligated to pay rent with an unsigned lease in the State

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Am I obligated to pay rent with an unsigned lease in the State of Minnesota? I live in the state of Minnesota moved into my first apartment in August. I received keys from my landlord the day I moved in but was told my lease needed to be processed and I would be notified meet and sign it but did not receive any notification. My lease was slid under my door in an envelop but at the time didn't realize the envelop contained my lease. I was not able to look at it at the time so I let it sit for many months and didn't know receive a reminder about my lease not being signed so I had forgotten about it. I later opened it and found my lease. After a few months my old landlord was fired for theft and found that payments that I had made in cash were never logged and I unfortunately never received receipts for them. My new landlord says I have to pay because I don't have documentation proving my payments so I moved out to stop adding to my dept. Unfortunately there are reoccurring late fees adding to the late rent adding large amounts to whats owed and I'm finding it difficult to pay off on my part time salary. Am I obligated to pay if I never signed a lease?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Without a signed lease agreement, you would be considered a month to month tenant. As such, there would have been an obligation to pay your rent since you took possession and lived there. However you said this man was fired for theft so there is evidence to support your statement that you paid but this man never applied it to the actual rent. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the owner to oversee and manage the property so if the money was owed in the past they needed to make sure it was paid. For them to come back months later and say 1) you owe for unpaid rent and 2) they fired the old landlord for theft seems odd. You could assert a defense that it was paid but would need evidence to support it. At the same time, for them to proceed with a cause of action they are going to have to show that this was never paid and the man never stole and this was just a situation where he failed to perform his duties and collect the rent or proceed with eviction. In a situation like this where there is a lot of money at stake and you have a basis to support your position that you paid but this guy stole the money , it is best to retain an attorney to represent you and fight against these allegations which are false
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help I had one more question. From the owed rent I told the new landlord I wasn't able to pay everything but he never evicted or gave notice for eviction even though I should have been. If I don't pay, could I be sued for the money owed?

Yes, they could sue you for any unpaid rent and if the rent is currently past due they could proceed with eviction was well. The landlord is under no legal obligation to allow less then the full amount owed to be paid but if they tried to evict and sue you past upon past rent that was paid in full but stolen it would be a different issue
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So since I wasn't evicted but moved out and 3 months were owed at the time I moved out, I am obligated to pay without a lease signed in the state of Minnesota or I may be sued?

If you lived there for three months and did not pay rent then it would be owed. However the law provides that written notice must be received by the other party at least one full rental period before the last day of the tenancy. This means the day before the last rent payment is due. As such, if you gave notice that you were vacating they could not come after you after the 30 day notice

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