I got tricked into free work, can I go back and request payment?

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I got tricked into free work, can I go back and request payment?

I ended up moving into this hoarder’s house months ago. During last summer things started getting rocky between the 2 of us. She asked me to watch her 2 dogs for a week while she went on vacation and since I didn’t mind doing it for just a week. When her vacation ended, she didn’t come straight back home. She started making excuses for reasons why she would be away, such as having to watch her brother’s dogs at his house, a girlfriend of her’s came to town for the weekend, etc. Honestly, I was kind of glad to have the place to myself. However, then there were times I wanted to go stay at a friend’s but had to come back to take care of the dogs. She would come home after a couple of days, drop off a bag of dog food and then leave again. This went on for a month and a half. It wasn’t until the water got shut off because she forgot to pay the bill that I had finally put 2 and 2 together. She had told me that day she wanted me to find somewhere else to live, that she wanted to come back to her house and live there with her dogs…as if I stopped her somehow. So that’s when I realized she had been using me for pet sitting and never offered to pay me or anything. When I mentioned payment for the pet sitting, she said that she would only pay for 4 days because that’s how long she was gone for, then lied to my face and told me that she was here everyday. I have the text messages showing our conversation and that through the month she would text me to check in on the dogs. If she was here everyday, why would she need to check in? Can I sue her for the money for pet sitting?

Asked on February 9, 2017 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue her, becaue at the time, you agreed to do this for free. You may feel tricked or taken advantage of, you may regret doing this, but none of that matters: if you agree to do something for free, you cannot later charge for it, because the other person did not agree to pay you.


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