Can he sue me for rent when he hasn’t informed me that I owe rent?

I’m a recent graduate who (like many others) haven’t found a permanent job yet. I do have a temporary job but it barely covers my student loans (around $1500 per month). Because of this I have been living with my Dad for the past 10 months. My Dad’s house is under my Grandmothers name and my Dad has lived there for 15 years. Around December of last year my Grandmother was forced to give her power of attorney to my Uncle and since then things have been going haywire. My Dad and Uncle constantly fight. My Uncle thinks that my Dad has always gotten a free ride and states that my Dad should pay Grandma (really Uncle) more money to live in the house. My Uncle has cut off the security alarm (my Dad was paying for it but it was in my Grandmother’s name) and has tried to take my Dad to court for the money that Dad spent on the furnace (Dad paid $700 of his own money for a new furnace and my Uncle wants the money that my Dad spent on the furnace stating that it belong to grandma). My Uncle has also spread rumors that I stole money from Grandma and that I have physically threatened my Dad which he believes is the reason for Dad not give him the $700.

This mess goes on non stop and I think that they are both idiots. Today, I found out that my Uncle is trying to taking me to court for rent that he thinks I owe(starting from January). My uncle never informed me that I had to pay rent and we don’t have a lease. He did state and off hand remark saying “no one lives for free” but he has never told me what I have to pay or how to pay him (Plus I don’t live for free, I pay student loans, and utilities). He says that he will drop the suit if I pay him $500 ($100 per month) and is calling it back rent. My question is: Can he sue me for rent when he hasn’t informed me that I owe rent? Is there anything I can do? Thanks for your responses!!

P.S. I’m moving into my own place in two weeks (I finally got on my feet!!! YAY ME!!) So spending $500 on this craziness would set me back financially.

5 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Since you are living in his house he does not need a lease, I have no idea where the other poster got that idea. You ARE living for free, you are not paying for your housing.

    But that aside, he can only sue you if he informed you that you owe rent and you failed to pay that rent within 30 days. No one can sue you without first demanding payment, which it seems he has.

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  • 10 years ago

    Without a lease he has little to no legal standing to sue you.

    He could possibly evict you and/or your Dad for non-payment of rent using the Power of Attorney. Since your Dad has lived in this house and paid expenses on it a judge would likely take a dim view of the eviction.

    Move on with your life and let your Dad and Uncle hash out theirs. Grandma is probably less than happy that they can't manage to get along.

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  • Bibs
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Anybody can sue anyone for anything. That doesn't mean they can win the suit. Do not trust your uncle. If he wants rent, he must notify you in writing about the need for payment. Anything he does not have in writing will be very difficult for him to prove in court. It will cost him over $100 to start a law suit. If he wins, he can get a judgment against you for his claim plus court costs. If he loses, he pays. If you agree to give him any money, pay by check or get a receipt from him for the payment.

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  • ?
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    WOW, I am so sorry you got caught up in such a mess.

    No, you're uncle cannot suddenly demand back rent from you when you have not signed a legal contract agreeing to such. I'm sorry, but this almost makes me laugh. He is just lashing out. He has absolutely no legal ground to stand on.

    Since you are moving out in two weeks, I wouldn't worry about it; let your dad and uncle hash it out, move into your new place, and good luck with your new life. I know how hard it is to get on your feet right out of college in this economy. Congrats!

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  • 10 years ago

    A legal contract has to be "meeting of the minds" whether it be verbal or written.

    One person cannot create a contract and legally bind the other to it.

    In other words, he cannot allow you to move in, not speak of ANY arrangements regarding rent, and then claim you owe him rent...the courts doesn't allow it so no, you don't have to pay him. Let him sue you, you will win.

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