can the property owner start charging you rent after you have lived on the property for over 16 years and not be charged

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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can the property owner start charging you rent after you have lived on the property for over 16 years and not be charged

short version the property owner gave me a three day notice to leave or pay
almost 5000 dollars in back rent can they do that when you never paid rent
in the years you have lived on the property. when something stopped working
or needed repaired i fixed it. if the lawn needs mowed i get it done. the
original verbal agreement was i pay the property tax and when i asked i got
i dont know.

Asked on April 12, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you didn't pay rent previously, most likely you would legally be considered a guest, not a tenant. A guest may only stay as long as the property owner let's him/her stay, and at any time--regardless of how long you have been there--the property owner can ask you to leave; or can say you must leave unless you agree to apy a certain amount. If you don't go, they could bring an "ejectment" action in the courts to remove you (this will likely take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending in part on how crowded/busy your local courts are). So while they can't compel you to pay in that they could not sue you for the money, they can give you the ultimatum of leave or pay, and you can decide whether to go or pay.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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