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Work for rent  



My son and daughter-in-law moved into a duplex 2 months ago in Arkansas with the agreement that they would do work for the landlord in exchange for rent.

They have moved huge amounts of furniture, appliances & misc. things for him. Cleaned bldgs., mowed & weedeated acres of land & painted. They thought they were paid up for at least six months (rent is $495)

All the work that has been done would have cost him thousands if it were contracted out. He is now demanding the full amount of rent for the previous 2 months plus upcoming months or face eviction.

They had to move from the last house they rented because the city inspector deemed it uninhabitable due to black mold.

They can't afford to move again as he was laid off, they have 2 children & she is expecting again, hence the work for rent agreement.

They have no lease or contract with this man...just a verbal agreement, what recourse do they have since in my opinion the landlord should be charged with theft of services..........


I am not an attorney, just a landlord. The following is just my opinion. It may be best for your son and daughter-in-law to speak with an attorney to get proper legal advice. To my knowledge, I am afraid that landlords are generally prohibited from renting property the way you describe. Read through the landlord tenant laws that apply for the state/county/city where the rental property is located to see what responsibilities a landlord has and what responsibilities tenants have under the laws.

On another note, it appears from what you state that the landlord hired your son and daughter-in-law as employees, but did not pay them. They may want to investigate the situation from that angle. Along that line, how can your son and daughter-in-law prove that they worked for the landlord? Do they have work records, time sheets or invoices that the landlord signed, for example, to prove the work that was completed for the landlord or at the direction of the landlord? I am afraid that this is not going to be a simple matter to settle. It will be especially difficult if there is no evidence available to show that your son/daughter-in-law and the the landlord had some sort of work agreement.

Good luck with the situation. I hope things work out for your son and daughter-in-law.


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