Can an ex-landlord sue for missed rent a year later?

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Can an ex-landlord sue for missed rent a year later?

Myself and 3 roommates rented a house for 7 months. After the 7 months, 2 of us stayed and the others moved. They told the landlords and the landlords said it was OK. The landlords told us that we were OK to stay and to pay what we could until we found 2 more roommates. Over the course of 3 years several folks moved in and out and the landlords just told us to pay what we could; they said everything would be fine (being on a month-to-month). We moved out and they threatened us a year ago that they would be trying to collect the missed rent. What can I do since they said it was no problem at the time.

Asked on April 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The unfortunate fact about your question concerning the back rent where the landlord orally stated that it was not going to be a problem is that you have nothing in writing confirming this.

Under your state's statute of limitations, it seems that the landlord would not be time barred from bringing an action for the unpaid rent under a written or oral agreement.

Your option would be to address the claim for unpaid rent in writing (keeping a copy of the letter sent to the fomrer landlord for future reference) and to try and resolve the dispute before a lawsuit is filed. If you cannot resolve the dispute informally with your former landlord, your recourse at trial is to defend yourself stating that there was an oral waiver of the rent now claimed.


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