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If I feel I was taken advantage of in terms of being

Customer Question
If I feel I...

If I feel I was taken advantage of in terms of being overcharged, do I have any legal recourse to recoup already paid rent?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

It was a verbal rental agreement, being charged $1000 a month to share a bedroom in a four bedroom house. I have not filed any paperwork as of yet.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the house located?

East Culver City, CA. Zip code 90230.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I lived there for 10 months from Oct 2016-August 2017.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/15/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 4 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,617
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
Verified

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 4 months ago

Unfortunately a lease is a binding contract even if it is oral. So if there is a set amount that would be binding. Now if the unit was not habitable, or if there were maintenance issues (ie broken dishwasher, no parking as promised etc) then the tenant can sue for the difference in rent paid, and the fair rental value of the unit as it actually exists due to the defects and the resulting depreciated rental value.

But unfortunately the courts will not normally go back in time and rewrite/negotiate the terms of a lease.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That’s unfortunate. The situation was my ex-girlfriend’s (shocker) parents allowed us to live at their house rent free as long as we saved at least $1000 a month. We broke up and I took half of our joint savings account. Then her parents sued me for unpaid back rent for $10k and were awarded it because the three of them said it was a binding verbal contract.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Which of course there wasn’t, but the three of them aligned their stories against mine.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Can you think of any recourse I have to recoup some of my losses?
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 4 months ago

That is very frustrating.

So basically a judge can determine there is an oral contract and if it's 3 against one they may decide that (which does not seem fair if the 3 are self motivated to agree).

It is possible to appeal a small claims judgment if there is an error of law but unfortunately if there has already been a ruling the court will not rehear the case because it is "res judicata".

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Yeah frustrating is an understatement. Basically it was a legal shakedown.
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 4 months ago

Normally the judge will require proof of payment (rent) as opposed to mere verbal testimony as well.

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Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 4 months ago

Hello; just checking in on the above.
If you have further questions please post here and I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Otherwise
kindly rate positively (hopefully you feel I have earned 5 stars) to help maintain my high customer satisfaction score and so I know you were satisfied with my services.

The above information is for educational purposes only. An attorney in one's jurisdiction can be located at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_services/flh-home.html
Thank you.

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