Is a Verbal Rental Agreement Legally Binding?

Whether an oral rental agreement is legally binding depends on the terms of the agreement. If a tenant is renting property for one year or less, then an oral agreement (and all terms agreed upon) is legally binding. However, if a tenant is renting property for more than one year, the oral agreement is not recognized and must be recorded in writing to be legally binding.

Even for verbal agreements, a landlord still must provide their tenant with a written statement including the following:

  • Name and contact information of the landlord or agent

  • The contact information for the person who is to accept the rent

  • How the rent is to be paid (for example by cash, check, money order, or through an online payment platform.

Tellus TIP:

Not having a written record of your lease or rental agreement can cause extensive problems in the case of a landlord-tenant dispute. When in doubt, it’s always better to put the agreement in writing so that everyone understands the terms and requirements.