What to do if I had an agreement with my ex-boyfriend regarding rent but he left without paying for the last 3 months that he lived there?

What are the steps to sue him and what evidence would I need?

Asked on September 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I would write the former boyfriend a note demanding payment of what is owed you by him payable by a certain date. Keep a copy of the letter for future use and need. If the due date comes and goes, your options are small claims court. You go down to your county clerk's office and fill out the complaint, file it, and have the "ex" served with it.

Evidence needed for the small claims court action would be the lease, copies of rent checks paid by you and the checks paid the landlord for the last three months that the "ex" lived at the rental.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

An agreement, including an oral or verbal agreement, to pay rent is enforceable. You could sue him by filing a suit in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney (saving lawyer's fees) and filing costs are low. You would need to prove the existence and terms of the agreement: to do that, you could use your testimony; emails, text messages, etc.; even cancelled checks or receipts from earlier payments which he had made, which can help prove that he was paying and the amount. You can get instructions and forms from the court.

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