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Can I pursue a former landlord that owes me money from 6 years ago? He didn't reimburse me for his

Mckinney, TX |

Roof leak caused damage to my wall. Landlord agreed to pay repairs & use my contractor that built store.I did then he refused to pay contractor. I paid so I could run business. I tried to get the money from the landlord without success. I sent the landlord several certified letters, never received response, on the last letter, I stated that I would just hold an equal portion of the rent and if he didnt reply, I would take it as an agreement to settle the difference. He didnt reply. I sold the business a month later. He sent me a letter telling me to pay rest of rent and I responded w/ equal debt he owed me. He never pursued it. New owner selling now and the landlord will not sign her lease transfer unless she pays him the rent from that month, 6 yrs ago. She wants me to pay it.What to do

Attorney Answers 1


There are exceptions to the statute of limitations (in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code) but in general, a claim you knew about that is more than four (4) years old is subject to the defense of being barred by passage of time. The claim can be pursued but is subject to that defense from the statute of limitations.

Note also, it does not yet feel settled whether a counter-claim arises when a time-barred lawsuit is filed.

Also, I am not at this time the lawyer for you or the new owner or anyone else related to the business and property this story refers to and I am making assumptions about the facts. I am easy enough to find to talk this through or make referral.

Further, the written agreement with the new owner can control your rights and responsibilities regarding what she wants you to pay. After that, there is the straight up business deal aspect of this in addition to the legal rights and responsibilities of the parties.

The foregoing comments are provided for informational purposes only, and without a fee agreement and fees paid there is no attorney-client relationship being made and no legal services will be provided now or later.

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Thank you for quickly replying. The new owner that is trying to sell it tells me that it is rent I owed regardless of the repair issue that the landlord didn't reimburse me for and I will have to take that up with him. If I give her the money, I doubt he will pay me for those repairs from 6 years ago. (it's the exact same amount by the way).

John C. Knobelsdorf II

John C. Knobelsdorf II


You are welcome. I agree with your expectation the landlord will not reimburse you. I expect it is reasonable to assume the statute of limitations bars you from having to pay the rent to that landlord. I understand why the new owner wants to make this your issue and smooth things out for her. I cannot advise you about what your deal is with that new owner to know what your responsibilities are to her. Just don't have enough information. Wonder how much legal time is worth spending on the issue. Wonder how much that new owner matters in your life going forward.



She apparently doesn't matter as much as I thought because she just threatened to sue me. I wanted to help her out. I spent the day digging up all my documentation and letters between the landlord and myself. I told her that I would go talk to the landlord but, per the lease, she can transfer it and does not need his approval because it is a franchise. I think she is nervous because his attorney sent her a letter saying she owed rent from Feb. 2008. Can he really come after her for $3250 from 6 years ago.

John C. Knobelsdorf II

John C. Knobelsdorf II


- My comments about the statute of limitations applies as a defense she may assert. - And furthermore, as best I can tell she was not a party to the agreement the 6 year old claim arises from. So, in that situation I hope a judge would decide it is not her bill to pay. That to the extent the landlord has a claim, it was with respect to you alone. - It feels like a shame to see a business point over this amount of money spiral into anger and expressions of intent to start a lawsuit. I will leave it to you for the analysis of the business aspects of this. Your counsel appears to be rejected and she may benefit from getting her own attorney to share perspective.

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