the landlord let us move into her house without a deposit, they agreed when we moved in to split the cost of a fence with us.

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the landlord let us move into her house without a deposit, they agreed when we moved in to split the cost of a fence with us.

then she sent us a letter saying we owe $800 for a deposit and at this point we had over half the fence built, i told her she needed to pay us the amount agreed upon $2500 for her half of the fence. at this time she said she should have never agreed to the fence and said she wasnt going to pay us, we put our savings into the fence. there are alot of major problems with this house like the roof tiles are falling off, the stair rail is unstable, what looks like mold forming on the ceilings of upper and lower levels, what do we do, she gives us 3 day pay or quits every other month.

Asked on June 7, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is an unfortunate situation.  What you need to do if file a small claims court action agaist the landlord for her failure to pay you for the work.  You claim is for unjust enrichment and/or breach of contract.  The landlord made a promise to pay you and have failed to do so after you have substantially performed the agreement to build the fence.  As far as the security deposit is concerned, that ws never a requirement of your tenancy so the landlord is not able to get this from now after the fact.  the landlord's failur to keep the premises up to code is another problem they have and you can probably walk away from the house if you place the landlord on notice of the defects and they do nothing to fix it.  I would locate a lawyer to help you but if you cannot afford one, go to small claims court and tell the story to the judge as i believe you are in the right here.


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