John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 29, 2012, 4:33pm

GALVESTON - Richard and Judy Lehman are suing League City locals Sandra and Chris McGowan in an effort to recover approximately $20,000 in unpaid rent.

Recent court documents filed Aug. 24 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 say the McGowans reportedly owe the Lehmans $19,530.

Both parties entered into a lease on rental property in League City on Mar. 6, 2006, which required the defendants to pay $1,050 a month.

The Lehmans allege the McGowans started to lag on their monthly rental payments in April 2007, stating the respondents "consistently made promises that payment was forthcoming" when confronted.

"Over the next approximately 19 months, the defendants would make excuses for the delinquency of the account, would make promises and assurances of payment and at times would make some partial payment," the original petition says.

"The plaintiffs relied upon the promises made by the defendants, continued to allow the defendants to remain on the property and continued to expect the account would be current."

According to the suit, the McGowans "did not live up to their promises and continued to be in arrears" and the Lehmans "finally were forced to evict the defendants" in November 2009.

The respondents moved out, but the plaintiffs -- who opted not to sue at the time -- came up with a promissory note which called for their former tenants to pay $368.55 a month for five years.

Any payments on the note were not made, the suit says.

Attorney R. Talmadge Hammock with Slaughter & Hammock in Houston is representing the Lehmans, and Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 Judge John Grady is presiding over the case.

Cause No. 68,183

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