What to do if I’m being sued by my former landlord?

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What to do if I’m being sued by my former landlord?

I am being sued by my former landlord for about $2250 in rent and $1500 in damages to the property. This was from 4 years ago and they are just now informing me that I even owe them a debt of any kind. Due to the long time frame and multiple moves I cannot find the walkt-hrough documents that state that there was no damage to the property. They do nor appear eager to let me see their documentation.I don’t know what to do.

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you only had an oral lease, the landlord has five years from the end of the lease to sue for unpaid rent or damage to the premises; if you had a written lease, the landlord has 10 years in your state. So the landlord appears to still have time to do this. To recover the money, he will have to be able to prove in court, whether by evidence or testimony, by a "preponderance of the evidence" (or that it's "more likely than not") that you owe the money or did the damage (and the cost of the damage). You in turn can present your own testimony or evidence to the contrary, to help prevent him from making this showing.


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