Texas Real Estate Law. May I recover my expenses from a tenant on a verbal real estate lease?

I was approached to lease my home out for 6 months. My house was not on the market. I agreed, we fulfilled all the tenant’s requests including emptying the house and removing appliances. We agreed on lease amt., terms, date of start of lease. All verbally because of life-long family connection to tenant’s Realtor. Tenant backed out and said they owe us nothing because we did not make them give us a deposit. Our house was not even on the market when they approached us to do them this favor. We incurred expenses with the knowledge we would be receiving rent payments to cover them.

Asked on July 2, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

David Eckman / David W. Eckman, Law Office of

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, but don't expect the tenant to make winning or collection easy. Depending on the amount you want to collect, you may be able to sue in a justice of the peace ( small claims) court, but the loser can appeal to county court, where the case is retried as if never tried in JP court. Even with a written lease, you could be up against the same problem, although a deposit would have given you some relief. A contract is only as good as the people who enter it.

You should consult an attorney to determine how much you might be able to recover if you win and are able to collect it. That will depend on facts you haven't provided here.

David Eckman / David W. Eckman, Law Office of

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, but don't expect the tenant to make winning or collection easy. Depending on the amount you want to collect, you may be able to sue in a justice of the peace ( small claims) court, but the loser can appeal to county court, where the case is retried as if never tried in JP court. Even with a written lease, you could be up against the same problem, although a deposit would have given you some relief. A contract is only as good as the people who enter it.

You should consult an attorney to determine how much you might be able to recover if you win and are able to collect it. That will depend on facts you haven't provided here.


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