Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Virginia

Tenant skipped out without ever paying, no lease was used

To help pay the bills (incl. mortgage) I sought a housemate. One response seemed perfect. I never did a b.g. check or established any lease or contract. When he moved in, he claimed to have lost his job a few days previously, but said he was on Social Security (he is deaf) and would be able to pay the rent. For several days he kept promising to pay , and said he was going to the Soc. Sec. office to request an advance. He said he needed a letter stating hed be evicted if the rent was not paid, so I wrote one and gave it to him. He presumably went to Social Security and collected the check, but he moved out in the middle of the night. I have learned from his ex that scamming is a habit of his. There was no communication issue as I am an ASL interpreter and everything was understood by all. Id like to bring him to small claims court, not only for the rent but also to show that I won't just let him do that to me. Do I have any legal standing? I still have the letter of eviction he asked for, and some early e-mails. It's worth it to me just to bring him to court or mediation, even if I don't get any money from it. (I'd like to report his Soc. Sec. fraud too, but I bet they wont investigate such a small amount.)

Asked on 12/17/02, 2:54 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: Tenant skipped out without ever paying, no lease was used

As you've already suggested, file your case in small claims court or its equivalent.

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Answered on 12/20/02, 7:43 pm

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