Tenant learns true meaning of ‘free rent’

Rent it Right

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Q: My daughter, a single mom with two small children, had just gotten out of an abusive marriage three years ago when friends invited her to place a mobile home on a piece of their property. The landowners gave my daughter a signed declaration that she would never have to pay rent and would never be evicted. On the strength of this declaration, she was able to purchase a mobile home. The sellers told her that without the declaration, she would not have qualified for the mobile home purchase. A year ago, the landowners demanded rent, which my daughter reluctantly agreed to pay. Now they've increased the rent, which my daughter cannot pay. She also cannot afford the cost of moving the mobile home and setting up somewhere else. Does she have any recourse? --Nita M. A: The landowners' promise to let your daughter live on their land rent-free was a gift (it wasn't a contract, because your daughter paid or gave nothing in return). This distinction is important because it's much e...