Verbal agreements can't generally be used to override written agreements.
When two conflicting agreements exist, one oral and one written, the written
one almost always prevails.
Your security deposit is a different matter though, and your state may have
statutory rules as to how and when her deposit should be returned, depending
on reasonable deductions for damages (excluding normal wear and tear) or
Did she do a "walk-through" before she initially took possession of the
property? Did she take pictures then and list any defects that existed at
she obviously has pictures now, and although she might not have anything to
compare them to (if she didn't do the initial walk-through) she should be
able to easily demonstrate that the property was not significantly damaged
during her tenancy and that the property was left in "rentable" condition.
By the sounds of it, she probably has a better-than-average case, as it
would be difficult for the landlord to demonstrate any financial loss that
her security deposit would be required to cover.
Then again, if her lease explicitly states that early termination will
result in loss of her security deposit, then she's probably out of luck,
regardless of what verbal agreement she reached with the landlord
Axis Investigative Services, Inc.
Florida License #: A-2000163
On Behalf Of xrochester
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 8:09 AM
Subject: [infoguys-list] Legal Question: Landlord tenant dispute,
specifically lease details.
First of all, I apologize if this is not the appropriate forum in which to
post this question. If
so, then please just disregard and/or please point me in the right
Here's my question:
My girlfriend recently had to relocate to another city and break her lease
in the process.
Her landlord gave her a verbal OK to do this, with the caveat that she may
be liable to pay
the rent until such time as the unit was re-rented, as specified in the
However, the landlord also agreed to allow us to essentially re-rent the
unit. He indicated
that he was happy to do this since it would save the cost of a real estate
agent to re-rent
the unit, as the cost for this service is typically one month's rent. The
landlord would of
course have to approve any new renter we found based on their employment
As a result, and at some time and expense to us, we took gorgeous
of the unit, built a Web page to advertise it, and placed ads in the local
newspaper (as well
as Craigslist and other places), and showed it to prospective tenants.
To make a long story short, we found numerous qualified tenants based on the
our advertising efforts and he signed a lease with a new tenant with no
lapse in rent.
But here's my problem: he kept her $1,500 security deposit. We were led down
the path of
believing that we would avoid any costs by renting it ourselves. He agreed
to allow us to
do that although we didn't get it in writing. By not telling us that he was
going to keep the
security, and willingly accepting all the work we did to re-rent the unit, I
amounted to being unjustly enriched. In addition, since he agreed to let us
out of the lease
if we re-rented it, he shouldn't have kept our security.
Do you agree? Do we have a case in attempting to recover the security