If a land lord gave you a verbal arrangment for a payment plan and went back on her word when you came in with half the payment, what can you do?

I made a verbal arrangment with my lot lady. I was supposed to come in today with most of my rent, which I did. Then she was going to push the rest to next month but when my husband went in she said she never said that and if we didn’t have all the money by the end of the month that it would most likely go to court. She refused the $310.51 money order we had for her which would of left us with $216 to pay on the 3rd of next month. What can I do?

Asked on July 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, an oral contract or agreement like this is enforceable; practically, it can be very hard to prove the existence of an oral agreement. You might send the landlord a letter, sent some way you can prove delivery, restating the terms of the agreement and letting her know that you have the money and are ready to pay it--that will be something you can later show in court, if she refuses and tries to evict you, to show your good faith. In the meantime, if she will not accept the payment plan, put the money aside (e.g. in a saving account) and try to accumulate the rest of the money you owe her--if she tries to evict you for nonpayment of rent but  you can come to court with the full amount, you should be able to avoid eviction.

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