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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55708
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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My roommate and I are on the contract renting an 1bed/1bath

Customer Question

My roommate and I are on the contract renting an 1bed/1bath apartment for $1450. Befroe signing the contract, I decided to live in the bedroom for $1000, and he lived in the living room for $450; Then I changed my mind to pay $900, and asked him to pay $550 for his rent, and I will cover all the electricity, internet free, etc. The reason I want to cover all the bills and services because he is not a responsible person who pays them immediately and always denies the prices when the bills and service come out. Therefore, I paid $1800 for the first month rent ($900) and deposit ($900), and he paid $1100 for the first month rent ($550) and deposit ($550)
When he went back to the home town, he only sent me $450 per month because he thought there is $100 include the bills and service, he would not pay them because he would not use them. So how can I ask him to get the money back?
P.S. He left many food in the fridge, is that possible saying that he did use the electricity when he was not here?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

Good evening. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

Can you provide me a bit more information? Is he no longer living there? Do you have any texts, emails, etc. evidencing your agreement? Thanks.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is still living here, he will come back tomorrow. We only has the contract regarding how much we are paying.
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for following up! What you want to do if he won't pay per your verbal agreement is to file suit against him. If there is nothing in writing, it is a bit more difficult process. But, not impossible. The lack of a written contract can be overcome by the concepts of promissory estoppel, detrimental reliance, and unjust enrichment. This situation arises when Person A relied upon the verbal agreement, Person A performed based on such reliance, and because Person B defaulted, such reliance is now to Person A's detriment. Where there is i) partial performance by Person A based upon the mutual promises, ii) Person A relied upon such promises to perform, iii) Person B's failure to perform would be to Person A's detriment, and iv) result in Person B being unjustly enriched, Person A can overcome the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing. Your situation satisfies all these elements.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
there is a little question that I asked before. He has many food in the fridge, can I consider that he is using the electricity?
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for following up. Yes, you absolutely can. But, also just the fact that the place is air conditioned and he's living there is going to be sufficient. But, do take a picture of the stuff in the refrigerator!