Can my landlord sue me for unpaid rent if our agreement was thatI work for rent?

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Can my landlord sue me for unpaid rent if our agreement was thatI work for rent?

My landlord recently evicted me from my home, and the lease is expired. Our agreement on the lease was that I work for him and the money earned paid my rent. What are my rights as a tenant and does he have the right to sue me for unpaid rent when I worked for him?

Asked on July 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The first thing you need to do is carefully read the lease between you and the landlord in that its terms generally govern the obligations of each to the other.

When you say that under the lease you worked for the landlord, do you mean you worked as an employee for him in exchange for living at the house that he recently evicted you from? If so, in what capacity did you work for him, meaning what type of work did you do?

If your employer and former landlord owes you money beyond the amount agreed upon as the monthly rental, the landlord needs to pay you what is owed.

In most States, prudent business people do not mix a landlord tenancy situation with an employer employee situation by offsetting wages against rent due. An employer can rent his property to a employee, but in such a scenario, the employee is paid wages owed by the employer and the employee then pays the landlord what is owed him or her for monthly rent.

Perhaps you might contact the labor department in the county where you live about the situation you have with the landlord. The offset of rent against wages between you and your employer/landlord does not seem appropriate.


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