Tenants Without A Written Contract- Verbal Tenancy Agreement

Signing Contract

Earlier today I received a phonecall from a friend of mine; she explained to me that her landlord has requested for her to vacate his property by Saturday (4 days away). They had a dispute over the payment of rent.

She was in a panic because finding a reasonably priced place to rent in London with in 4 days is a mission impossible. She then explained how she had no written contract with her landlord, just a piece of paper declaring that she has paid a deposit, consequently she assumed she had no rights as a tenant. WRONG!!!

A ‘Verbal Contract’ is binding by law

Simply, a verbal agreement is as legally binding as a written Tenancy Agreement (however, I would never advise you enter into one).

As soon as a landlord agrees to allow someone to rent his or her property and accepts rental payment, a verbal contract is formed. So this whole, “get out of my property with in 3 days” rant won’t fly I’m afraid.

Legal rights without a written Tenancy Agreement

The fact a tenant does not have a written tenancy agreement does not affect a tenant’s statutory legal rights, or the landlords legal rights, for that matter. Both parties are still protected by statutory law.

Without a written contract, a landlord will still need to serve a valid Section 8 to evict a tenant. Even then, the landlord will need legitimate grounds to evict the tenant, and the tenant is entitled 14 days after the form is served, to decide what he/she wants to do. There is actually no difference in procedure for evicting a tenant that hasn’t got a written contract than someone who has.

A tenant is entitled to stay in the property until evicted by a court bailiff (or High Court sheriff) acting under the authority of a court order for possession. If a tenant is evicted any other way, the landlord could be held liable for unlawful eviction.

Additionally, even if a tenant with no written contract is simply unhappy about the condition of the property, they still have rights. They can always speak to the Housing Officer at their Local Authority. They can arrange for the property to be inspected and for an improvement notice to be served on the landlord if the property does not meet the proper standards.

How Is a Verbal Tenancy Agreement Created?

For a verbal tenancy to exist it must have three essential elements:

  • An offer
  • An acceptance of offer
  • Payment- known as the legal term consideration

If these three elements exist, then you’re essentially in a verbal tenancy agreement. This contract is binding on all parties involved.

There are other elements to consider:

  • Both parties must agree to be legally tied to the agreement
  • Both parties are capable of making an agreement i.e. not under the age of 18, drunk or insane.
  • Both parties must be acting freely and not under duress
  • The contract being made cannot be contrary to law

Why Verbal Tenancy Agreements are not advised

Even though “verbal agreements” are legally binding, it is still advised that a written tenancy agreement is always present when creating a tenancy.

Firstly, a landlord or tenant that doesn’t have a written contract is an idiot. Written contracts are there for your utmost protection. I would question any tenant or landlord that doesn’t require a written contract. In my opinion it just triggers off a signal, “DODGY BASTARD”

Secondly, a written tenancy is created to avoid misinterpretation as well as agreeing to the key points in the tenancy. By having a well-constructed tenancy agreement which outlines the tenant and landlords’ responsibilities, any disputes further down the line would be avoided.

How to avoid creating a verbal tenancy agreement

It is very important to document all communication between a landlord and a tenant. The problem may arise in a verbal contract where a tenant may argue that they never accepted the terms of the contract and therefore a contract was never actually created. In this case, it’s very difficult to prove who is actually in the right or wrong, so written proof is vital.

If you are discussing a potential let or renewal of a contract, you should always make sure that that you do not create a verbal tenancy agreement. You can avoid this by using the words ‘Subject to Contract’ on any correspondence relating to potential lets and when leaving messages on answering machines or speaking with prospective tenants.

Creating a Written Tenancy Agreement

Putting a written tenancy agreement in place couldn’t be easier. You don’t have to draft one yourself, there are already plenty of resources available at your disposal. There are hundreds of websites online that offer Tenancy Agreement templates– you just need to download one and fill it in like a regular form.

It is important to ensure you source your Tenancy Agreement from a reputable vendor, as there are plenty out there that have either been butchered with unlawful clauses and/or are simply out-dated.

I have a range of Tenancy Agreements available to purchase from my site for £4.99, which have been created by specialist Solicitors. They can be reused as many times as you wish. For more details, go to the Tenancy Agreement blog post.

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113 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 63 - 113 comments (out of 113)
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hannah 7th September, 2013 @ 12:37

Im currently renting a room within a hotel for the last year and a half. I am using the room for my business which I set up as a beauty salon, I have no written tenancy agreement. The beauty salon is going extremely well and I am very busy. The owner of the hotel is constantly harassing me about my business and treats me as if I am an employee. If I take time off and close my salon the owner takes it apon herself to bring another beautician into my room and use my products and equipment without asking me. I feel if I say anything she will kick me out, do I have any legal rights if I have no tenancy agreement?

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Cindy 8th September, 2013 @ 04:34

Hi,my tenancy agreement will expire on 19/sept/2013,tenant inform me on 12/08/2013,he do not want to rent,he has not pay from 20/07/2013 till now,his friend stay inside and refuse to move out,what should i do?

Please help..Thanks

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Manuela 10th October, 2013 @ 12:07

I used to share a room with my roommate and our contract expired on 13.07.2013. We were waiting for the landlords to renew it but my roommate left the house suddenly at the end of sept 2013, leaving his deposit (half monthly rent), without speaking to our landlords and leaving me in the room. After talking to my landlords about the problem they allowed me to look for a new roommate. I payed the rent as usual the current month and they agreed to use my roommate deposit to pay the half part. I don't know were to go, I am not able to pay the full rent in this house, but only half. And I cannot afford to move to another house right now. If I don't find a roommate by the end of oct what can I do? I have also asked them to consider to rent me the same room as single room but I am waiting for an answer. I know I am in trouble, can they just tell me to leave? please, help me

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Ayesha Begum 14th October, 2013 @ 06:57

Hi People,

Pls do let me know if you are getting response on your questions.

I do have a query against to our tenant. Dont want to waste my time if there is no response


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jim 14th October, 2013 @ 22:47

I recently rented a property from what i thought was a close friend, the only paperwork i had was that they were rented me said property for x amount and from, i recently found out that while i was out they had a surveyor in the property and re marketed it at a higher rate and available from a date while i was still there, i never received any notification of eviction and one day when i was out returned to find locks had been changed.
I raised the matter with the relevant bodies who found the landlord guilty of illegal eviction and gave them a caution.
Do i have any other recourse on this matter deposits were held back, can i pursue the matter through a civil court.

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated

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Virginia 29th October, 2013 @ 18:08

I have been house sitting since the start of this year we had no written agreement just a verbal one that i did not have to pay rent just maintain there house and property and take care of their animals we agreed at the start that they would come home every now and again and i would ship out for the weekend. i fell pregnant not long after moving in and discussed this with them they were quite happy for me to stay on with the baby. lateley there trips home have become more frequent and they also wanted two weeks over the christmas holidays i was not happy about this but they made it very clear it was non negotible so i agreed. Since then they came home this weekend (labour weekend) and "Informed" me they would be coming home again before there two weeks over the xmas holidays making it clear again it was non negotiable its their way or the highway, I am now 38 and a half weeks pregnant and would have a week old baby by that stage so was feeling pritty stressed about having to leave again for the weekend with a newborn. When this matter was discussed she didnt like it at all and said if it wasnt working for me they would find someone else instead and i was forced to move out the next day (One nights notice) they would not leave the property until my belongings were removed from the house which i did reluctenly. they are now being very petty over everything and i have had enough im about to have a baby and no house to live in anymore its such a akward situation to be in i have no idea were i stand legally or what i can do about this any advice would be much appreciated

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Chris Finch 19th November, 2013 @ 03:20

I entered into a lease agreement with my land lord on feb 1 of 2010 with the lease set to expire in 2012. When our lease agreement expired my land lord never drew up any lease terms or any kind of agreement. We continued to live in the house tell Oct of 2013. Since we have moved out he has called me every day or sent text messages. He is now threatening to take me to court for damages to the property. Witch most of the damage was ether due to a cheap fix that he did that didn’t work or damages that we did not do. I don’t know what rights I have or he has since we didn’t have a lease for 3 years. Please let me know your opinion of this matter.

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Shari Perfetto 24th November, 2013 @ 17:27

My mother rented her 2nd house in 2009 she passed away 2013 I am the next of kin her daughter although I am not on the Property title I still have to go to Probate, I as the landlord so to speak have been collecting the rent, paying the taxes, & abiding with the LAHD and or other needed fixtures due to that property. I find there is no legal rental aggrement between the tenants & my mother, so I want to confront the tenants with a new month to month rental agreement (with changes) & make them pay all their "Utilities"? My mother was paying their water before. Can I do this?

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Lea81 27th November, 2013 @ 20:56

Just some advice for my brother please.
Hes just split with his girlfriend.
They were 'renting' from a friend of theirs.
No written tenancy was ever drawn up.
My brother has left the house and now lives with my Mum.
His ex lives in the house still.
Shes changed all the locks (without permission from their friend/landlord) so my brother cant get back in to get his personal effects, clothes etc.
She was meant to be going to live with her parents again and origianally said my brother could stay in the house but she changed her mind.
With no tenancy agreement, where do they both stand with the house?
Is it at the landlords discretion who stays in the house or does it not matter as long as the rent is getting paid?

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ACH 8th February, 2014 @ 17:48

Does a tenant have to leave if they verbally agreed to do so? I live in a house share and one of my house mates has been harassing my for months and after about 4 final warnings I finally got my landlord to ask him to leave. He agreed to the date my landlord suggested, but that date has passed and he's showing no signs of leaving. Does my landlord have any rights to remove him?

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CJH 5th March, 2014 @ 20:27

My now ex boyfriend moved in with me six weeks ago on the agreement that he was going to pay 500.00 a month to help me out. He never did. I told him three weeks ago that he had four weeks to find a job or he was out. Last week he decided to make violent threats towards me and I told him he had to be out the following day. He is claiming sqautters rights that he can be here for the next 30 days. However we are not in a lease, he does not pay bills, he does not have a key to the house and he gets no mail at this house. His legal residence is listed as his sisters house in the next county over. He has been out for a week but some of his stuff is still here. Does he have rights. I own my home and I am the only person on the deed to this house.

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Murad 22nd March, 2014 @ 06:14

I have been using a commercial property which was owned by my mother without a contract. My mother died and myself and my brother are the legal owner, however we still after 7 years have not completed probate and the title still remain blank ( my parents never registered it and back in those days properties were without title of ownership. I guess a bit like a bearer bond)
Myself and my brother do not get on. I was running a business at the property quite successfully for 11 years now. My mother died after 4 years.
My brother wants to take over and throw me in the street.
What legal rights do I have? Am I a sitting tenant? Can I be thrown out as long as I pay my rent?
Unfortunately I'm currently going through a divorce and my wife wants to team up with my brother and throw me out. I live in the accommodation above the commercial property.
I want to sublet the downstairs out but still pay fair rent to my soon to be x wife and my brother.
Where do I stand.

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CGH 4th April, 2014 @ 10:36

@CJH. squatting is now a criminal offence as of October last year.
it doesnt seem like any verbal legal agreement has been formed. Yes you both agreed for him to move in (offer and acceptance) but he has not paid you so therefore surely there is no consideration and therefore no binding contract.

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Steve 9th April, 2014 @ 12:34

I know someone who lives in a rented apartment but wants to move in with her boyfriend.They want to keep the apartment on but advertise for someone else to move in & pay the rent to them....they I turn would pay tbe landlord.....is this legal & if not what our the consequences?

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Andy 8th May, 2014 @ 19:16

I moved out of a rented property on Jan 20th after notifying the Landlord on Jan 13th. The reason for leaving the property was because my flatmate had moved in his partner and he offer to take the place on because I had just been made redundant. I accepted the offer, as did our Landlord. I paid for the month of Feb, as I thought it was only fair to give a months notice and help my flatmate out instead of leaving him in the lurch. All parties yet again were satisfied with this. I have email & txts confirming that I would be out of the property prior to March, at this point my flatmate would be responsible for covering the rent/bills etc.

Fast forward into mid March, my old flatmate asks me to contribute towards the rent and bills for March?, excuse me?. It turns out that he had decided to move into a new place with his partner, but when he approached the Landlord on the 26th Feb, the solicitors came back advising that 2 months notice is required. This is now a problem because my old flatmate has signed a lease for another property.

I have contacted the Landlord recently because my old flatmate has not only kept money from February bills, but he has also kept the full deposit. It turns out that the governing body for the safe deposit scheme accepted an agreement between the Landlord and the existing tenant to return the funds directly to him, minus £198, as he moved out and new tenants moved in on the 10/04/13.
Apparently according to the documentation, I should also be named on the safe deposit certificate, which I'm not, but my Landlord has copies of the forms I signed originally to secure the deposit. Secondly, I have not authorised the deposit to be released under the terms set by the Landlord/existing tenant. I wasn't contacted either by the Landlord or the tenant to discuss any disputes. I was never chased for rent or bills for March from either the Landlord or the tenant. I was only contacted at the point where the existing tenant thought he would have to pay for a full month in April, which he didn't have to do. In fact the Landlord allowed him to terminate his lease without the requirement of a 2 month notice.

So where do I stand legally?. I did not provide 2 months notice, correct, but neither did the existing tenant. This was also a confirmed verbal agreement with the Landlord and the tenant. I have an email confirming the dates we both gave notice to the landlord, and an admission that the Landlord was also aware that the existing tenant would be solely renting the property from March onward.

If he keeps that money, it means that I have paid full rent for Feb, March, whilst not living at the property. The existing Tenant has only paid for March and the 1st week of April. He has also not paid for the bills from February. I also have emails from the Landlord with an admission that changing the tenancy agreement etc would have been costly for him, so they'd rather do a verbal agreement, whereby it was agreed the existing tenant would pay me back the deposit directly.

I'm now stuck in a situation where Safe Deposits Scotland can't help because they have already released the deposit. The Landlord also doesn't want to spend money getting solicitors to send me the paperwork that I have requested. My old flatmate won't return my calls or emails, neither will his partner. I do however happen to know where he works.

Shelter Scotland advised that I was legally due to pay that 2nd month notice as per the tenancy agreement, even thought a)all parties agreed to me moving out in Jan, but paying a months notice for Feb b)The existing tenant has not provide 2 months notice and rent, under the same verbal agreement with the Landlord.

So why am I expected to cover 2 months full rent, but the existing tenant got away with a months notice, using my share of the deposit to cover the excess rent he was due to the Landlord for April, and keeping the extra £100 left spare from my half + his full half of his deposit?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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vinny 29th June, 2014 @ 09:54

My partner and i rented a property in feb 2014 on a verbal contract due to the fact the land lords rent collector/ factor saying they didnt do contracts. My partner is going abroad and i am on a low income and now on my own i have been to my local council and they have said my application for help paying my rent is ok but i need a tennancy agreement or lettr to prove iam paying rent. My land lord and factor wont give me any details of their addresses or answer my text or calls to provide me with a letter or agreement. I only have the factors name and mobile number. What can i do iam worried sick and near tears most of the time.please advice.

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clare 30th June, 2014 @ 08:40

My boyfriend allowed his parents to move in with him, the agreement was verbal and they did not adhere to it. They've been living with him for 8 years and are alcoholics. He has asked them repeatedly to move out as they have a flat which is completely paid off and he can no longer afford to take care of them. Last night his mom blatantly told him she refuses to move out so he'll have to get a lawyer if he wants them to move. Any suggestions?

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Ali 6th July, 2014 @ 15:48

My mrs and her mum live in a rented flat since 2006 and signed a tenancy agreement at the time however have not done so since. The landlord came to the property on false pretences saying she was coming to measure the kitchen work tops, however was actually coming to take pictures of the flat to pass on to the estate agents as she now is putting the place up for sale. My partner and mum have now found another place to live and have given one month notice to vacate the property and no rent is due as all paid up till leaving date. The landlord is now saying we must pay her two months rent and I can't see why we should and also has £1000 deposit of ours. She just wants to keep them in the property until she has found a buyer, they have never missed a payment so we just want to know our rights? Thank you

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john reeve 10th July, 2014 @ 18:46

My wife & I have been running a dance shop in a dance complex for the past 6.5 years & have only a verbal contact which lasts until Nov 2015.
The landlord has just told us we need to be out by the end of this month because they want to use the space as another studio as they say that they are losing money by renting to us.
What are our rights as business tenants we have been up to date with our rent for the past 1.5 years.
Whom should I contact for more advice , we don't have much money to pay for solicitors.

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Louise Holloway 16th July, 2014 @ 23:10

I have lived in a property 16 years....I had a tenancy agreement originally but for the last 12 years i've had no tenancy agreement. Now all of a sudden the owner of the property wants to sell at auction..... given that i have paid my rent , never been late with it , and have maintained the house the whole time.... Do i have any rights to stay in the property and prevent the owners from selling the house ....the auctioneer is coming in a couple of days so i need urgent help .... if i end up with an eviction notice is it legally binding due to the fact that there is no tenancy agreement .... the property is on a farm which i have lots of animals that would need to re-home which is one of the most important factors...please help me , any info would be awesome ...thankyou x

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Louise Holloway 16th July, 2014 @ 23:12

If not .....does anyone want to buy the property and rent it to me :) The house is worth £300,000 ish :)

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dinesh 10th August, 2014 @ 16:07

iam a tenant in the land for more than 20 year there is no tenant document we do this at mutual understanding now my landlord filled a case to vacate my from the land i want to know my rights

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Jody 12th September, 2014 @ 15:43

please if anyone can help me, please reply or email me.
my friend has been renting a house for over six years. he has rented it under a verbal agreement from his girlfriends sister who is the landlord. he has paid the rent every month, and on time, never being late on payment. they are excellent tenants, keeping the place clean and they have never caused any trouble for her. As far as i know he has paid her rent every month by direct debit into her account.
yesterday he got a letter (an ordinary word document letter written by her, no court order or solicitor letter) saying they have two months to find somewhere else to live. Because her/landlord boyfriend, not her. Thinks she would be better off selling the house rather than keep tenants. They have three children under the age of eighteen and one how is six.
I just don't feel that this is at all right, or legal and i need to know if this is in fact legal and who they need to speak to next to sort this out.

thank you.

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David Frederick 12th September, 2014 @ 19:00

My council have lost my tenancy agreement and are now trying to prosecute me for unlawful subletting my property. I am not aware of my tenancy conditions and further have not subletted my council property. Do they have to produce the agreement and what evidence do they have to produce to secure this prosecution?

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cardifflandlord 12th September, 2014 @ 19:27

Hey Jo,

Even though the tenancy is verbal it's still legally binding and because the tenancy is 6 years old it would appear to be what's called a periodic tenancy and as long as the dates are correct and the landlord has given the correct notice it's all above board.

Notice to quit does not need to be from a solicitor nor a court.

They can't really talk to anyone because the Landlord wants the property back and your friends really need to look for somewhere else. They can probably only delay the inevitable. Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear....


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lisa 27th September, 2014 @ 12:28

Hi I've just bought a house the old owner had tenent in the property what he said would be gone when completed now completed a week ago tenent r still there as them to move as we r paying a mortgage and we r not aloud to rent out as it's first property we have not tuck any rent or agreed for them to stay what can I do the tenant is coming a cross as very aggressive and saying they need more time help pleaae

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LUZ 3rd October, 2014 @ 12:37

I need advice. I have been renting an apartment in a private house that has an additional illegal apartment. The landlord has not made any repairs to the apartment i am in that I have reported to him, (no heat, leaks, gutters, etc) He has sent a family member to the home to start repairs here and there but nothing gets completed and yet it is worse than it was. Recently in March the house has gone into pre-foreclosure which he claims is due to a loan modification and yet the landlord still is demanding rent.
This is a month to month rental and he claims I owe him much more than what I do. I usually paid cash for the rent as well. What should I do?

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Val 8th November, 2014 @ 20:42

We have lived in a rented cottage for twelve years now the landlord wants us out we are up to date with rent ect can he do this

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anna 24th November, 2014 @ 20:50

I agreed to move in with my boyfriend, he had his house purchased by mortgage. I used my all eanings on utility bills and decoration of the house as he said we will share the ownership. Now after 3 years he is saying that the house has been sold. And I need to vacate the house by the end of the month.
Can I bring up any claim against my boyfriend if yes what claims can I do?
Waiting desperately for any ones advice.

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Steph 28th November, 2014 @ 21:56


I'm a private tenant who sublet spare rooms in my house with the knowledge of my landlord. We only have a verbal agreement, 2 weeks deposit and a week rent in advance.
I gave notice to one of the tenants (a couple) 2 weeks ago and they refuse to leave. They stopped paying rent when I gave the notice, without my consent. They say that they have failed to find another accommodation,
I tried to negotiate for them, they now are threatening to take me to court.
Where do I stand, legally and what's my best course of action?

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Kieron 12th January, 2015 @ 09:57

hi, i rent a room i a house my LL also lives in the house but i have a separate kitchen and bathroom from him.

i do not have a propper tenany agreement just a bit of paper stating the amount of deposit paid and that rent is due a the start of each week on a monday by 6pm. i have been here nearly one year and have always paid on time. my problem is he has now change the dat to the friday before each week but did not tell me, he said he put a notice on the front door but i did not see it. i have no problem with paying the rent before its due on the friday but will need a few weeks to catch up as this will mean i have to pay two weeks rent in one week and i can not afford that atm. could you let me know where i stand.

thank you so much for taking the time to read ,

kind regards

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jcb 16th January, 2015 @ 21:37

I have business and its a rent free agreement (no rent paid and its verbal agreement nothing in writing). Can the landlord evict me without warning. If yes then equipments still belong to me cause I paid for it? Will the landlord compensate me for the the money I invested in the business? Can the landlord transfer the business to a new owner?

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robert 21st January, 2015 @ 15:25

i have a person who i was living with and she mobed across the country. three months before she moved she told me about it. she asked me if id be staying or what, my awnser was that id like to move. she told me she had no one to stay here for winter to make sure the pipes dont freeze, and to make sure theres oil. i asked if she had an add up and stuff and she sqid yes but everyone who responded never came, i told her i wouldnt be able to afford the place in winter cause my pays wouod be going down, so if i could find a roomate or two id stay. as time passed i wasnt doing well at finding a roomate and she seeemed to be failing as well. i kept telling her i have no idea how to pay water or propane, or how to bleed the oil tank, or restart it. anyways. i told her multiple times somone needs to show me, and she never showed me how, she moved and now i didnt even know how to send rent until just this month, ive been living here since october, and she never showed in the three month prior to, never prepared me for these things. so the "agreement" was that i pay propane, water, and oil and 100 to her, but i had nothing to live with, no cutlery, pots pans, dishes, furniture, so i had to get all theese things on my small pays after she moved so i couldnt really afford to pay thewe things. i needed the nesscesities to live and support myself. but we also agreed 100 rent per month. yea, it was so i cant afford oil, but with my pays, even paying her 100 rent and buyung groceries and othher things that i need like a brrom, and bucket and mop one pay and whatnot the next. but heres the thing. i told her before she moved that i have no idea how to send the money to her. she told me etransfer, she wanted to show me, but i dont have a computer so i didnt wanna do that way. i kept saying i dont know hownim gonna pay rent, and she moved with me not knowing how to pay the rent! now im here and i owe her elevnhundred dollars... am i wrong, even if the water and rent and propane are my responsibility, isnt it her job as the landord, to provide the nescesarry information for me to be able to do these things when i need to? she deals with it when it happens. propaane she waited till it happened to tell me. niw she s telling me i have to go to city hall and find out why the bill isnt coming, i cant phine them, she never gave me a number, though she told me shed look it up. so basically what im asking is it isbher responsibility as the landlord, even if those bills are my reaponsibility, to give me the information i need so i can do it when i need to? if id of known the number id of called the company by now. i am a firstime reter and billpayer, living on my own. idk why she moved when i told her i wouldnt be able to afford it and i didntt find a roommate. is this my faukt? i stayed to help. i wasnt able to buy oil and she wound up buying it in january, i kept the pipes from freezing till then though by keeping water running and using space heaters. i thought she understood i wouldnt be able to afford this on my own and now shes texting me all mad all the time and im still being respectful. her sister said she wished id of been more hinest when her sister asked if id be able to afford the place, i told her, that i told her sister my pays would be going down in winter which is why id be looking fkr a roomate. so somehow she moved away with the idea i could afford this things and honestly i told her i dont know what my pay will be like in winter, my first year working and i heard pays go down in winter. is this my fault i owe her eleven hundred dollars? am i still legally binded even though this agreement has been extremly skewed?

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Darran 4th February, 2015 @ 11:54

sometime back I rented my property to my niece and her boyfriend,they split a month ago and he is still living there. he owes three thousand pounds in back rent and I have told him I have had enough of this! there is damage to one room where he was growing cannabis, i.e drill holes, floorboards ripped up, carpeting destroyed,big holes in walls created to make air vents! when I found out I told him to get it all out! which he did but the damage is still there! when they took on the property it was unfurnished, he then furnished it to his taste and has said he will only leave if I give him £20,000! even tho the furniture is only worth about £2,000! he has no tenancy agreement! what is my best way out of this nightmare? Darran.

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Rachel 8th February, 2015 @ 19:35

My partner has been living as a " guardian"/ sitting unpaying tenant for 25 years without a written agreement, just a verbal trust...
My concern is where do we stand and what are our rights, I feel as I have been livimg with my oar tuner now for two years and we also have a daughter together, where do we stand, and is our future secure,,
I would like some legal advice and maybe looking into a written agreement...
I am 42 my partner 58 so our daughter is now 7 months.. So we can all feel rested as we really don't want to leave and ideally would like some land if and when we have to move, basically the landlord is waiting for planning on this 46 acre plot we live on, if he gets the go ahead we leave with some cash, but I would like to stay as I say with some land.. Can you advise please
Thank you kindly

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nicola 11th February, 2015 @ 19:42

I started renting a property in Sep 14 off a friend who owns the property an once lived here with his wife an children before they both parted. He no longer wants anything to do with the house I rent, so the wife has just took over an immediately had it valued an told me it's going up for sale. I have no written contract and she says she will give me two months notice when needed. How do I stand.

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Paul 11th May, 2015 @ 20:59

Hi Ive got a 12 month rolling contract which is over 2 years now. I have a partner who will potentially be moving in sometime, but how long can she stay for without having to notify the landlord? Or how many days in a row could she stay before having to stay somewhere else for example could she stays 5/6 days a week to get round any limitations until we are both happy the she is to be added to the tenancy agreement?

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lico 28th May, 2015 @ 09:13


I am renting a room in a house with other roommates. When I came to the house the landlord didn't give me a formal contract but just a simple paper that says that I am renting the room, how much do I have to pay per month and that we have to give one month notice to each other. After one month my landlord left from the house and it gave it for rent to an other family. When they came in, they accepted me with exactly the same conditions as the original landlord had agreed with me.After 3 months, this family that is renting the whole house, is asking me to move from the house and is giving me one month notice. The thing is that I don't want to move from the house because I am here just 4 months and it is very inconvenient for me to move every now and then. Since we haven't specify the amount of time I have to stay in the house do they have the right by the law to kick me out of the house just because they are giving me one month notice as I had agreed with the original landlord? Since the contract was verbal can I claim that I have agreed with the original landlord to stay at the house at least one year and then give him one month notice before I go?

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Nesta 29th May, 2015 @ 20:04

Hi Im renting double room for me, my partner and my son, at the moment we dont have enough money to rent our own place. before when i was living just with my son i was paying rent once a month , but now i decided to pay every week. i dont have any contract. If my land lady decide that we must move. how much time she must give to us? how i know she dont have a contract as well.



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kate 2nd June, 2015 @ 12:50

hi I could really do with some advice I hope you can help :( . I moved into a 2 and a half bed (Isay this becoulse the box room is5/5ft) so my children have to share the rent was ooriginally £400witch I no is cheep but the house was in a state and had been left for months is:stained mattresses alcohol bottles every were an full of old furniture, so the deal was we got 2 months rent free and spend the deposit on new carpets an paint etc witch I had to do all myself.I received the keys in the July but did not get to move in till the mid September still paying rent on previous property until September. the tenancy is dated the 1st of step but be could I never moved in till the 21st we played the rent on the 27the and have done since. A year after renting this property my landlord sadly died in a tragic accident and was un sure of what was going to happen next. after a few weeks I got a knock on the door from his sister and recived a letter off a solicitor to concern this but becoulse im on a 6month contract that just rolls over she put the rent up £500 pcm I now have to pay cash in hand every month wich is inconviniant for me and constantly receiving txtes and phone calls about her family members comment round tto do repairs, then the other day I received a text off her sayin MY husband will collect the rent and will now be taking over , so her husband knocked my door introduced him self and said the reason for this is becoulse I stress her out ?? he then goes on raising his voice saying give him respect and I receive respect back etc etc then he goes on saying he want more rent for the property, its only just gone up I said,he said he's only giving me a 3 month contract to give me time to decide what I want to do :( in other words then rent goes up or get out but he left without me signing any think and said he'll b back since then if received a voice mail asking if if made a decision on what we talked about. I'm just totally lost I hate this house as it is its far to small for me and my family.what would happen if I refused to signed a contract and did not pay rent for 2months and just moved out? becoulse their also saying I'm owed no deposit back as I got 2moths rent free
I just feel stuck an feel I'm being harrasted please try help :)

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Swathy 23rd June, 2015 @ 17:03


I am a GDL student (recently graduated) who has recently moved out of my flat due to end of tenancy (complying with 30 day notice etc). This was based on a verbal periodic tenancy, complying with the factors mentioned above in your article (offer, acceptance and consideration by payment of monthly rent). We are currently in dispute (not by court, but just in disagreement) over the fact he now refuses to pay back the £250 deposit owed to my parents, which was agreed upon when I moved in in September last year (2014).

Let me explain the whole circumstances for the issue at present:

The house was advertised as being pet friendly and accepting dogs. In my viewing I actually asked if it was ok to bring my dog to live with me for the 10 month duration of my course, explaining he was slightly older and that he was a Labrador (i.e. explained his nature and personality). This was agreed to.

After about a month or two, my dog was evicted on the basis that he had vomited on the carpet. At the time this accident occurred I informed my landlord/flatmate (as he was both) of what happened and I had gone and purchased cleaning materials and cleaned the carpet myself, and took photos which showed no visible impairment after the shampoo had dried.

At the time, he even gave repeated assurances that "oh it's fine, don't worry about it", etc following the weeks after as well. He could see I was very upset but also that I had literally scrubbed the carpet clean. The colour of the carpet was a neutral beige, so the initial stain was similar to that of water spilling on the carpet, as I had removed any physical remnants with paper towels and disposed of appropriately. He even told me how he himself had spilled drinks or water on the carpet many times before so it was no big deal.

He had never brought up the issue of the carpet before. In actual fact, he got a new tenant to move in on the day of my moving out, so it is not as though he had struggled to find a replacement tenant due to the carpet (which as I said, has no visible stains, as the incident occurred last year).

Yet now, just days after I have moved out, my parents tried to chase him to pay back the deposit and he is refusing to pay it back, on the grounds that the £250 ought to cover the "damage" to his carpet.
However, as I have said, there was never any written agreement but, even if it was implied by verbal agreement, he had never once told me to pay for costs of cleaning (again, by the way, he had ample opportunity to call a cleaning service if he had wanted to and I would have paid for it, but it was so obviously insignificant that one cannot even see a visible stain, that too on a couple of small patches of the carpet).

I believe, although I am not qualified as a solicitor, that he is not entitled to keep this money for the reasons mentioned above. It appears to me that he believes the basis for keeping the deposit is on his own subjective belief, despite there being no objective evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, the fact he had never once mentioned, verbally or otherwise, that I would have to pay for any cleaning costs (or in fact that he had not since September taken any steps to call upon such service himself), suggests to me he simply wants to keep the money for other reasons (perhaps to pay for advertising costs to have found a new tenant - a totally unrelated matter).

Even if I was required to pay for any cleaning, the damage is so insignificant that a simple carpet cleaner would clean it out - I mean to say, he surely cannot go searching now for the most sought after cleaning service charging £££ or to go and replace the carpet (which runs all through the house I may add) just so that he can demand more money. This would surely be highly unreasonable and unjust (and I would think, based on case law, that courts would not favour such a greedy or unreasonable approach).

Please could you help and tell me if I am right, or if he is entitled to keep the deposit.

Thank you (and sorry for the long explanation).

Kind regards,

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Swathy 23rd June, 2015 @ 17:19

Re: comment 102.


I forgot to add, that with pets there is surely some foreseeable risk of minor damage occurring. Even with the most well behaved of pets, they are notoriously known for being unpredictable. For instance, a bear attacking an actor on set of a film screening, despite the presence and control of its trainer, would not be remote because there is always some risk associated with animals.

I would argue that, given that the nature and details of my pet were given to my landlord, he knew or ought to have known, the risks associated when he agreed to let him live with us. Furthermore, I have been a meticulous tenant, always kept the house clean, never disturbed anybody as I focused on my education, and the fact my landlord had knowledge that my dog was a bit older, although good-natured, he may have required deworming at the time he had vomited.

I honestly cannot see any court of law accepting that him wanting to keep all of the £250 deposit for, frankly, no sign of any visible damage (for which I had already accepted fault and had cleaned myself at my own expense) would be a reasonable step to take.

I just want confirmation as to whether I am right or if there is anything else I should be concerned about, as I wish to draft an email explaining all the points from the circumstances and facts of this case.

Many thanks.


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Garry 3rd July, 2015 @ 23:20

I lived in a house for a year with no hot water,no heating,no double glazing window in my bedroom,my light switch is outside my door,a cooker without no lighter on it ..... I told my Landlord that i am tired of living in a s...hole and he told me that he don't care one bit and i told him that i don't have any rent and he told me that he gonna give me a notice ab=nd i should get out the next day.I didn't get a Tenancy agreement from him when i moved in

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wayne 24th July, 2015 @ 00:58

i look after someones place.he was never there.i was looking for over 14 years after is place.he cames back and sudenly wants me out for no reasons.he gives my 1 month then i must be out.what must i do...please help me.i got 2 kids and a wife.he never care about his property.

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Dave 30th September, 2015 @ 21:46


In 2005 my mother and father were both in dad health and in some debt, so my sister approached them and got my mum and dad to sign over there house in trust saying they could loose there property! My sister had a solicitor do all the paper work saying that my mum and dad received £150.000 for there house witch they never received, ( I have all the paper work to show this ) my parents have tryed to get there house back with no success, my sister has now put the house in her husbands name, sadly my mum and dad have had to keep paying the mortgage into there account to still live there, I have all records of payments on paper, sadly my mum passed away just over a year ago and my dad is very ill and still pays for the upkeep of the house and mortgage every month! He has no rental contract etc and my sister is just waiting for him to die! To do what ever with the property! I have nursed my parents for all these years and can't sit back an watch this happen. The doctor has backed the story and will say my mother was in no fit state to have signed anything at the time of illness etc! I am wondering if there would be anything at all we could do to put things right as this to me is so wrong.
Should my dad stop paying the mortgage? My sister and husband haven't been to the house for over ten years!

My parents have lived there for 50 years or more.
Any help would be so grateful.



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amanda 28th October, 2015 @ 21:15

Hi, a friend of mine has just been told she has to leave her privately rented house in two days, she has had no hot water for over 6 months and the property is quite damp, she has asked her landlord to fix boiler and damp problems and he never did, she called the council for advice and they are sending someone to inspect the property in 2 days, her landlord found out and told her he wants her out in 2 days, she doesn't have a tenancy agreement and no actual proof of any rent payments, does she have any rights?? She has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and has two youngish children but her landlord is adamant she needs to leave

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martin 5th November, 2015 @ 12:36

is it legal for a lanlord to change a sigend receit. well i payed my lanlord two months rent he signed it then he changeed it by takeing and aplying it to other issues and sending it back saying i still owe for this months rent what can i do about this

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Grace 2nd December, 2015 @ 10:12

Have rented a house for the last half a month but I now want to vacate since the landlord doesn't provide water as promisedpromised which I can't continue the tenancy since I can't survive without. the landlord says she can't return the deposit since I haven't given a notice of 1month of which she didnt inform me about and we didn't have any written agreement. Am I entitled to my deposit which according to me she is the one who has breached the conditions of the contract?

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Francesca Cioce 25th December, 2015 @ 22:15

I live with my landlady, she has decided to let her boyfriend moving in to the flat and she has given me only two weeks notice . Is that correct or she should have notified this with at least one month notice??

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Oli 26th March, 2016 @ 22:49

This is urgent, my mum just made a verbal agreement with her landlord but the next day, he said the agreement is off and that she has five days to. Leave, now 3 days (Tuesday) she doesn't know what to do and we need help. She wasn't able to have 14 days because on the contract for the lease, a clause was she would have 5 days to vacate the premises. She made a verbal agreement and that ass told her off. Are there any legal actions we could use against him? Please help

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Nicole 16th April, 2016 @ 07:47

so i moved into someones flat to rent a room no tenacy agreement stayedsince december so 4 months paid rent every month found out its a council property and making me homeless just chucking me out on a date i need to no if i stand anywhere for anything


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