My landlord gave me a waiver on lease as I waited for Part Eight rental help — 25 years later, she desires me to pay $1,700

Dear Moneyist,

25 years ago I rented a maisonette house and had economic difficulties. While waiting for Section 8 to help cover the two months’ rent, I kept paying what I could.

I was also a single mother of two children with child support that the father missed. The manager at the time wasn’t very patient and decided to evict me from there.

At that time I spoke to the owner of the duplex about my need. I received a waiver from her, but there was no letter or note to confirm this. Section 8 came through three months later. By then it was too late and I had moved on.

Fast forward to 25 years later. The owner has a little black book and asks me to repay her debt that was supposedly waived years ago. She wants $ 1,700 from me today. So I have the question: what should I do?

Pay for it or dispute it

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Dear wages or quarrels,

You are not legally required to deny this. The statute of limitations on personal debt usually expires between three and ten years, depending on the condition and circumstances of the loan. You did not receive a written waiver of your rental while waiting for the rental assistance under Section 8. Therefore, in the eyes of the law of the time, you technically still owed the debt unless you could have convinced a court that there was an oral agreement.

I have a few questions for you, although my answer remains the same. Did the landlord receive your rental support in accordance with Section 8 at this point, even though you moved out? Or did you move out and left these two weeks completely unpaid? This affects the amount of money the landlord can ask you for (as opposed to the right to ask for payment under the law). Your financial hardship must have been difficult, but it shouldn’t change the situation.

There is a possibility that the landlord would have received the subsidized portion of the rent for the period in which you were a rented tenant if the subsidy according to § 8 had “passed” I would also be skeptical that the landlord did not write off the debt owed during this 25 year period. In the meantime, both you and your former landlord likely don’t have the papers to prove much of anything. So if this leads to a lawsuit, the outcome likely depends on whether you lived in a state or municipality with laws that are more favorable to tenants, or a landlord.

Nevertheless, we do not know what financial difficulties the landlord is facing, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. So it wouldn’t hurt to have compassion on that basis now. Assuming you are able to pay the landlord that money, and you lived rent-free in their building for two months despite the terms of your lease, I would get you to pay the $ 1,700. It will clear the board with the landlord. But perhaps more importantly, it will also clear the slate with itself.

The money is: “My husband told me that my $ 1,400 stimulus check will be spent on aluminum siding in our home.” What can I do?

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