When you become a landlord the first step is understanding leases. I am often amazed when I am interviewing potential tenants how many do not have a documented lease. How can a tenant be expected to know how much notice to provide.
I agree a verbal lease will work in most places, however, it offers very little protection for the landlord or tenant in the case of a dispute.
The state or provincial rules will be enforced. The problem is, that this will likely work in favor of the tenant.
For example: Joe landlord makes a verbal agreement to lease an apartment for one year to Bob tenant. In my area, if Bob tenant wants to leave at the end of a one year lease, he would have to provide three months notice before the end of the year, or it would automatically renew for another year.
During Bob tenants second month of tenancy, he decides he wants to leave and move in with his girlfriend. He calls Joe landlord and provides a verbal 30 day notice to quit. Joe landlord points out that they agreed to a one year lease.
Bob tenant disagrees, and claims he only agreed to a month to month lease, and all he needs to provide is 30-day notice to quit.
Here is the challenge: They do not have a written agreement. If it goes to a residential tenancy hearing, Joe landlord will likely have trouble with his side of the story.
He will automatically lose some credibility with the tenancy board, due to the fact that he did not have a written lease.
In my opinion landlords and tenants should always have a written lease agreement. It is the responsibility of the landlord to explain the lease to the tenants.
I hope you enjoyed my 30 day notice to landlord post.
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