If there has been no legal documents signed saying I will live in an apartment until August can they take me to small claims court?

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If there has been no legal documents signed saying I will live in an apartment until August can they take me to small claims court?

Currently living in an apartment with two other girls, they both are on the lease, I am not. I have not signed any legal documentation. I first informed them that I would move out between June and August, then July, and now circumstances changed so I must move out end of April. There are no legal documents saying when I will live there until, only text messages. Can they take me to small claims court for the money or force me to pay rent after I move out?

Asked on March 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is possible they can sue you for the rent due from end April to August. If the agreement(s) between you and your roommates were purely oral (sometimes called verbal), then you would be a month-to-month subtenant of the two tenants on the lease; in that case, you would only owe 30 days notice (or rent).

However, you state there are "text messages." A written lease does not need to be a single document titled "lease"--depending on exactly what the messages said, it is possible that those messages (one or more of them, or all of them in the aggregate) could possibly be held to form a written sublease agreement between you and the tenants. It's not a given they'd win if they sue you, but from what you write, it might be possible.


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