Tenant Guide to Residential Oral Rental Agreement Between Tenants and Landlords

by Property Management Software on June 15, 2010

Oral Rental Agreement

Oral Rental Agreement

Landlord and Tenants can decide to choose oral rental agreement when they are engaged in rental unit. Below is general information about oral rental agreement.

In an oral rental agreement, you and the landlord agree orally (not in writing) that you will rent the rental unit. In addition, you agree to pay a specified rent for a specified period of time —for example, a week or a month. This kind of rental agreement is legally binding on both you and the landlord, even though it is not in writing. However, if you have a disagreement with your landlord, you will have no written proof of the terms of your rental agreement. therefore, It’s usually best to have a written rental agreement.

However, even if the agreement is oral, the landlord must give you a written statement regarding the name, street address, and phone number of the landlord or agent for receipt of legal notices; the contact information for the person who is to accept the rent; and how the rent is to be paid (for example by cash, check or money order.)55

It’s especially important to have a written rental agreement if your tenancy involves special circumstances, such as any of the following:

• You plan to live in the unit for a long time (for example, nine months or a year);
• Your landlord has agreed to your having a pet or water-filled furniture (such as a waterbed); or
• the landlord has agreed to pay any expenses (for example, utilities or garbage removal) or to provide any services (for example, a gardener).

Any time that a tenant and a landlord agree to the lease of a rental unit for more than one year, the agreement must be in writing.56 If such an agreement is not in writing, it is not enforceable.

55    Civil Code Section 1962(b).
56    Civil Code Sections 1091, 1624(a)(3).

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ryan Fernandez October 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I really just had a question. I moved into a property 60days ago. I paid the 1st month upfront and for the 1st 30days began painting, cleaning ect. ”the place was a mess” I asked the landlord for my lease many times and was blown off.. I woke up one morning to find my car had been towed. I told my landlord and he then stated I need a parking decal. I got my car and then next morning was towed again. I went to get the parking decal at the Association, and they told me I need my lease, and this is the landlords job. They also stated I wasnt even approved to live in the apt, as they had to do a background check and everything. I informed him of this, and he said well just move out in 30days. He will not give me any of my rent back and wont pay for the towe. This cant be legal?? He collected money and rented me an apt without proper approval… Is there anything I can do? I dont have the money to move out in 30days? Thank you


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