My brother let my 20 year old son stay in his extra house on his property for a few months until he started his new semester in a new city. Now he is suing for new carpet and a new couch. We left the house cleaner then when he moved in, and my son was never given a key so it remained unlocked all the time and my brothers family came and went as they pleased even eating the food and removing items. We agreed to pay the differance in the Electric bill and my son took care of their large animals(cattle, sheep etc.) on the weekends for them. They said the cat and the birds left a smell in the house. The carpet was never cleaned in 15 years and the couch was also 15 years old. This house used to sit open all winter so their dogs would be able to go in and get warm and during the hot summer they actually brought a treadmill inside and worked their sheep in there for shows. What is my sons responsibility or ours(my brother is suing me, not my son) since no agreement was signed or offered and no key was ever given. We video-taped the condition of the house when we left and it was spotless, walls scrubbed and carpets steam-cleaned. The only smell that remained was already there because the sheep and pig smell permeated everything there.
Re: Rental Agreement?
You will have to take your defense to small claims court.
Since you do not mention any rent, I assume it was rent free. Your son is also old enough to sign a contract, as he would be the defendant, not you.
Landlord is always responsible for normal wear and tear (i.e. carpet and couch). Son is only responsible for damages he caused, so it depends on who the judge believes.
Keep your video tape for evidence.
Also, because your brother is suing you, you have the defense of not having a contract with the landlord.
Please feel free to e-mail me if you need more help.
Robert L. Bennett
Law offices of Robert L. Bennett
2117 N. Baker St.
Bakersfield, CA 93305