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Re: Tenant's rights against Owner's daughter

Posted by TenantNet on September 01, 1996 at 12:12:39:

In Reply to: Tenant's rights against Owner's daughter posted by Danny McLaughlin on August 31, 1996 at 22:32:06:

: Two women lived in this house, my girlfriend and the Owner's daughter. The daughter was moving out-of-state in 3 months and I was looking for a place to live. We came upon an (oral) agreement that if I moved in, me and my girlfriend would pay the rent while she saved money to move. She finally moved and we had the place to ourselves, with an oral agreement on a monthly rent. After 2 weeks, things did not work out and the daughter returned. She has (against our wishes) already changed her mailing address to here, as well as had her household goods shipped here. Neither of us want her here, but what rights do we have against her parents (the tenants) so that we can remain here? She has not moved in yet, but it has only been back one day and has indicated she will be returning.

It's difficult with an oral agreement, but it depends on exactly what that agreement was. Usually subletting (I assume you were subletting from the owner's daughter) specifies a period of time. If, on the other hand, you had a sublease or lease with the parents, it depends on the nature of that agreement.
She cannot just kick you out and must go through the courts. You do have some rights depending on the state you are in and I would even change the locks. But she might end up getting the place back if you can't prove your agreement or the terms thereof. This seems like a very sticky situation and I would think it through and maybe see if there's room for negotiation before both sides are painted in a corner. Maybe they can give you a few months.
You do have possession and whether you are a tenant, a subtenant, or licensee, she cannot just barge in. Place her belongings in the garage or basement (protected) and make a list so they can't claim you stole something. But do not let her in until there's a signed agreement. I would also speak with a lawyer.
There's one thing worse than a landlord -- a landlord's relative. Be very careful as these people often have venom and do not care about your rights.

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