Will a verbal agreement stand in court?

I supposedly signed a su- lease (I printed my name and left the signature blank for a later time). Due to certain circumstances I was unable to move in. Now the original tenant is trying to sue me for rent. He states a verbal agreement was made. The sub lease that I supposedly signed has dates a year before the sub lease was written. Will a verbal agreement hold in court even though I have documentation with incorrect dates?

Asked on October 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have a verbal agreement with a possible tenant for a sub-lease and the terms for the sub-lease were for occupancy for less than a year, then the trier of fact can make a decision as to whether or not there was in fact an agreement that is binding verbally for the rental.

However, if the verbal agreement was for a sub-lease where the rental period was for more than a one year period, then potentially the verbal agreement would be barred by a doctrine called the "statute of frauds" which requires any agreement to be performed for more than a year to be in writing IF there has been no reliance upon the verbal agreement.

Meaning, if you never moved in, then you should not be bound to the verbal agreement.

Go online and do a search regarding the "statute of frauds" defense.

Good luck.


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