Can I be brought to court for 4 days of rent and a few holes from shelves on the wall?

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Can I be brought to court for 4 days of rent and a few holes from shelves on the wall?

I moved into an apartment with a person that was already living there. I didn’t sign the lease from the landlord but I did sign an agreement saying I agree to paying $500 on or before the 1st of the month and that I would give 30 day notice when I was moving. The other tenant ended up telling me, in less than 30 days, that he would be moving (4 days into a new month). I asked if I would have to pay for these extra days; he said no. I also had a few hole from screws in the wall from some shelves. Now, he is telling me I owe him $60 for the 4 days and $100 for damages on the wall.

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer is, yes, you could be sued by a landlord for as few as 4 days of rent and for $100 of damages to patch a wall.

To recover the rent, the landlord would have to show in court that you owed the rent--i.e. that you were there for those days, had not paid, and also did not have the landlord's agreement to not pay.

To recover for the damage, he'd have to show that you caused the damage and the cost to repair.


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