What do I do if I believe I’m renting an apartment from someone that I don’t believe has the right to rent it?

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What do I do if I believe I’m renting an apartment from someone that I don’t believe has the right to rent it?

I started renting an apartment over the top of this lady in 3 months ago.I have repeatability asked for receipts and a lease. I still haven’t received anything. I went to her the beginning of this month and told her that I really need some proof of residence for my son’s school. She said she would work on it then all of a sudden I got a handwritten note saying the house had sold and I need to be out by the first week of the next month. Today I received a notice to quit for non-payment of rent. I paid her for this month already; I don’t owe her anything. When I asked for the owner’s info, she blew me off again.

Asked on April 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Oh my goodness.  How did you find the apartment?  Was it through an ad?  Maybe she is or was the owner and the she is just trying to pull a fast one and make a few bucks before she vacates and delivers the premises vacant. What you need to does to establish that you have a valid tenancy, although without a lease it would be considered only a month to month tenancy unfortunately.  But it will indeed by you some extra time.  I am hoping that you at least paid her in a money order or check and not cash to sow some form of payment.  Also, did you have anything installed in your name such as a utility account or cable or something to show that you live there?  If you do not leave by the first of next month then an eviction proceeding will have to be started.  That will buy you some time but really, it does not look good for staying more than a few months.  You may want to go and see if any tenant organizations can help.  Good luck. 


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