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Oral Lease (口頭租賃協議)

December 6, 2021 Guides & Reports

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Oral Lease?

An oral lease is where the tenant and landlord both agree to lease or rent a unit but the terms of the lease are not in writing. Therefore, any mutual agreement about the price of the rent, when the rent is due, and other terms become an oral contract. If the landlord lets you move in and accepts your rent payments, you have an oral lease with the landlord.

An oral lease takes place most commonly when the tenancy is at-will and/or periodic (on a rolling basis with no fixed end date). Any lease greater than one year must be in writing. An oral lease is enforceable, just like a written lease.




Do I still have rights as a tenant if I don’t have a Written Lease?

While there are benefits to putting a tenancy in writing, the lack of a written lease does not deprive you of your tenant rights. An oral lease is valid in California. You are thereby subject to all the rights and obligations as a tenant under the law.



What happens if I break the Oral Lease? Can my landlord still evict me?

It may be difficult to evict someone for a breach of an oral lease, but it is possible. The landlord has the right to evict a tenant for any violations of what was discussed as part of the oral lease, such as nonpayment of rent, utilities, damage to the property, or other causes.

如果我違背口頭租賃協議會怎樣? 我的房東還能驅逐我嗎?


What other issues should I be aware of in an Oral Lease?

Within 15 days of an oral lease, the landlord must provide tenants the contact information for any person authorized to accept rent or handle complaints, and the form in which rent is paid.

Your landlord is required by law to issue a written receipt for any payment of rent you made. To create your own payment trail, you can opt to pay by check or money order.




What if my landlord (or a new landlord) asks me to sign a Written Lease after the tenancy has begun?

Make sure that the written lease contains the same terms as your oral lease. If the terms of the written lease are materially different, you have the right to refuse the agreement; you should also consult a lawyer before signing the agreement.



The information contained herein is general and not applicable in all cases. For legal advice, please contact the Asian Law Caucus.

本文包含的一般信息並不適用於所有情況。 尋求法律建議,請聯繫亞洲法律聯會。