Can You Have An Oral Lease Agreement?

Yes, but only for one year. A lease for more than one year must be written and signed by the tenant and landlord. Oral lease agreements can be from month to month or year to year. Oral leases for more than one year are not legal.

What You Must Agree On If You Make An Oral Lease

  • Space you will use as a tenant.
  • How long you will be a tenant.
  • Rent you must pay the landlord.
  • Day of each month you may pay rent.
  • Place where rent must be paid.
  • What will the landlord let you use ­ stove, refrigerator, furniture, basement for storage and washing, parking space for your car?
  • What you can do on the property ­ this is important if you are going to run a business on the property.
  • Lease deposit, if one is to be paid.
  • Who will pay for electricity, gas and water.
  • What repairs and cleaning the landlord will do.
  • Who can live in the space? The landlord may not allow children, dogs, or cats.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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