Am I liable for rent for the next 4 months if I moved in with a friend8 months ago butwe never signed any kind of contract?

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Am I liable for rent for the next 4 months if I moved in with a friend8 months ago butwe never signed any kind of contract?

Her sofa and love seat are 7 years old; she told me that she got them when she bought house. My dog scratched a whole in both pieces. Now she wants me to pay her $900. Everyone says that’s too much and she wants me out in 4 months. She said if I leave before then I still owe her $440 a month. We have no written lease. I pay every 2 weeks. What are my options?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) If you are renting or subletting from someone without a written lease, you are a month-to-month tenant on an oral lease. That means that either party, you or the person you are renting from, may terminate tenancy on one months' notice, and one month's notice is all that's required. Therefore, the most future rent you could be liable for is one month.

2) If your dog damaged or destroyed her furniture, you could be liable for the actual cost to repair or replace it. Even if it's an old sofa, she could seek the cost to re-upholster it, or to buy a new sofa of similar quality, even if that is more than you think the sofa was worth. If you do not pay what she asks, she would have the option of suing you and trying to recover that amount in court. She'd have to prove both that your dog did the damage and the cost to repair or replace.


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