Can a landlord put a ding on your credit without a lease contract?

UPDATED: Jul 23, 2012

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Can a landlord put a ding on your credit without a lease contract?

I did not sign a contract but paid full rent. The landlord says that I missed some; they did not give receipts. Can he put a hit on my credit? How do I prove it?

Asked on July 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An oral lease, or an unwritten agreement to pay rent in exchange for leasing the premises, is as enforceable as a written contract, so you landlord may take the same actions against you, if you failed to pay rent when there was no written lease, as he could if there was a written lease.

Proving payment would be simple if you paid by check, money order, or the like; you could use the money order receipt, the cancelled check, etc. If you paid by cash and did not get receipts, then it will come down to your word--and credibility--against his. Never pay by cash unless you get a receipt at the time.

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