We work as consultants for a group in a nearby hospital. They have informed us last week that we owe back rent for the past year @ $600.00 per month. This amount was never agreed upon or billed to us. We have been expecting payment for services rendered for the year 2001 and, in a phone call to them last week, they stated we will not be paid for our services as we owe the rent. Is this legal?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Monies Owed
The short answer is: you can sue for your commission and let them file a counterclaim for the rent claim and prove it if they can. You need to weigh, however, the strength of each claim and the expenses of litigation. How much is your claim worth? (If more than $600/mo., why aren't they offering to pay the difference between your claim and theirs?) How strong (documented) is each claim? The answers to these questions will indicate whether, or how much, you should be willing to compromise your claim.
This is general information for discussion purposes. You should consult an attorney for legal advice about your specific situation.
Re: Monies Owed
Your work, if documented as to amount, value and when performed might be the basis for offsetting the amount of rent claimed. If there is no a written lease, landlord (lessor) will have the same issue, i. e. to document the rental value or amount agreed upon, the time over which rent was incurred, etc.
To avoid litigation and expenses and fees related thereto, you should have a candid "off the record" conversation about the above and both parties should agree in writing in advance before any meeting that the content of the meeting and records discussed shall not be used to show any admissions etc., should settlement not be achieved.
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