Am I required to pay rent?

I subleased a room in a house from someone for 5 months. We agreed that I would pay them for two months rent during the second month of the sublease because I was unable to pay for the first month upon move in. The agreement was made over text and we never signed an official sublease contract. However, myself and other tenants in the house recently received an eviction notice because the person I am subleasing from failed to pay for rent the month before I moved in. I am nearing the second month and am due to pay them for rent soon. Am I legally required to still pay them rent for the first month?

Asked on April 26, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you must pay rent for the first month: you lived there and occupied the premises; having had the benefit of possession, you have to pay the agreed upon amount for it, since your landlord fulfilled his obligation by giving you posession. If you don't pay, you could be sued for breach of contract and also based in the theory of "unjust enrichment", or that you must pay for benefits you get.

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