Can a landlord be held to a verbal agreement?

My landlord asked if I would move into another property to help them out with a situation. They offered the other property at the same rent rate as the one I am in now. Things changed on their part; they have asked me to put the move on hold and said that since they do not need my help anymore, if I move to the other house I have to pay the full rent there. On top of that in the midst of waiting, they now say they will list the house immediately but they cannot lower the rent of the new house. Do I have a case against them?

Asked on July 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Agreements as to real property - rental and ownership - generally have to be in writing to be valid. You need to prove a contract existed - an offer and an acceptance - and damages to you in some way. I would speak with a person in your area on the issue of "reliance" and if you could prove that you in some way altered your life in some way to accept the terms (that you would also need to prove) of their offer. Good luck.

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