If I had a subtenent without permission do they legally owe me rent money?

Asked over 1 year ago - Ashland, OR

Without my landlords consent, I have had a subtenant living in my house for six months. This month I evicted him through a court proceeding because he didn't pay rent to me. If I take him to small claims court, will he be able to use a defense that because I didn't have legal permission to rent to him that he doesn't have the legal obligation to pay me?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Robert Lloyd Mauger Jr

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree


    Best Answer
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    Answered . Did you have a written agreement that he pay rent? If so, and he obtained the benefit of the rental agreement, I would expect that you would have the right to collect the unpaid rent, even though you may have been in breach of your agreement with your landlord. That said, small claims court can be a bit chaotic and judges can be more arbitrary than usual. Their decision is final, so there's always some risk that the judge doesn't see things your way.

    Licensed in Oregon. Advice provided is general legal information relevant to the facts provided. It is not... more
  2. Troy Austin Pickard

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . A subtenant in this position would not be making a very strong argument. Even if the agreement was in violation of the terms of the primary rental agreement, the subtenant still got the benefit of living in the home, and most judges will agree that the subtenant should not have been able to live there for free.

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