Ex partner moved out with no notice

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Ex partner moved out with no notice

I am the home owner. There was never a written lease agreement, only verbal, where she was paying monthly to reside here. Clearly she established residency as she lived with me for around 4 months. We split up and she returned with police as she said she didn’t feel comfortable going in alone. She never communicated with me about getting her stuff. We broke up, she left, and came back with family and police. She has paid a portion of the next month’s rent, roughly 40%, and is demanding that I return it to her or else she will get the constable involved. Am I legally obligated to return this money to her? From various forums I have read that since she did not give me any kind of notice, she would not get this back and instead would owe the remainder for the month. Now I don’t wish to push getting more from her, however I’d rather keep the amount she did give me as it does help to offset the mortgage expense that she has been assisting with for the past 4 months. Had I been given ample notice, I could have easily moved someone into the guest room to ensure a smooth transition, that wouldn’t leave me in a tough spot financially. The reason that I mentioned that the cops were involved, is because I have seen cases before where relationships went south and the woman immediately played the victim card and claimed she was in fear for her safety, which she was then given a free pass to terminate the lease and re-locate without and penalties whatsoever. There may be a better term for this but I’m not sure. Anyway, there was no physical assault of any kind, the police didn’t even get a statement from me. The police simply stood by while she and her family moved some of her belongings out. So I can’t imagine any legal repercussions coming of this for me but who knows.

Asked on September 19, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the money was for rent, then you can keep it.  She will need to file suit against you in small claims court to get it back.  If she does sue you, then counter sue her at that time for the unpaid rents.
Yes... it does look like she is playing the victim card.  However, the more she reaches out to you, the more she demonstrates on her own that she is not afraid of you and is not a victim.  If she does reach out to you again, document the contact and keep it to a minimum.  Do not meet with her one on one alone because you do not want to risk a false accusation of abuse.  If you have not already changed the locks, then do so at this time.  She has voluntarily left the residence, so you do not have to proceed with an eviction to lock her out or exclude her from the house.


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