If I share a condo and we have not signed a lease, what recourse do they have if I am behind in my rent?

UPDATED: Dec 17, 2011

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If I share a condo and we have not signed a lease, what recourse do they have if I am behind in my rent?

I currently live in a condo with another roommate who has 3 children. Since moving in the landlord has not had us sign a lease agreement. I have been there for 6 months. I have fallen behind in the rent but have received no notices or late charges as of yet. What recourse do they have against me should they decide to approach me about my portion of the rent?

Asked on December 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The landlord can only take action if the unit as a whole is behind on its rent...if you and your roomate jointly fall beyind, the landlord can both bring an action to evict you and also sue you for the back due rent. Not having a written lease does not prevent the landlord from doing this--all it does is mean that either the tenant's or the landlord can terminate the tenancy on 30 days notice.

If your roommate has been covering the shortfall, then while she cannot evict you, she can sue you for breach of contract (an oral agreement is also a contract) for your not paying your share, and look to recover the money you should have paid.

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