If I sue a former landlord for breach of contract , what can I base my damages on ?

UPDATED: Sep 1, 2011

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If I sue a former landlord for breach of contract , what can I base my damages on ?

To be specific, what kind of monetary award might I seek? I had an agreement with my last landlord that prevented an eviction, in which the landlord agreed to provide a neutral reference to other landlords. I recently applied and was denied for public housing, the denial based solely on a negative reference from the landlord I had the agreement with.

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your question is somewhat broad which makes it hard to provide a definitive answer unfortunately. To sue a person for breach of contract, once liabilty is established for the breach, the plaintiff has the burden of establishing damages. The damages are essentially what the plaintiff agreed to receive from the defendant and what the plaintiff received.

Damges in any court of law in this country must be reasonably certain and not speculative. meaning, amages must be able to be calculated without much difficulty and they are specific. What you have written suggests that your "damages" would be the denial of public housing based upon a negative reference by your landlord.

Whether or not this is true, this presumed negative reference seems as though it was an opinion by your former landlord and would not lend itself to a valid lawsuit by you.

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