Can a Landlord Sue a Tenant for Unpaid Rent if No Lease Was Signed?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

‘I have a verbal agreement with my landlord. No papers were ever signed. She has not stuck to things that were suppose to be fixed for past year, one being a fire hazard. So, I am moving out and don’t feel I should give her any rent money for this month being I been living in a dangerous house. I paid a deposit and they’re not giving it back so I feel what I’m doing is fair. I just want to make sure legally I can’t get in trouble, being nothing was ever signed on either side.’It depends.

Question: You can rent property under a verbal agreement in most states. The problem with verbal agreements is that they depend on both parties’ memories being the same. When it comes to a lawsuit to recover rent, will your landlord remember the agreement the same way you do? (The answer is “no.”)
If you move out without paying the last month’s rent, your landlord may keep your deposit and may try to sue you for additional rent/cleaning/repair costs. Knowing that risk, you should have evidence
ready in case it happens so you can defend yourself in the lawsuit.