Lease Review FAQ

Is an oral agreement binding?

  • Yes (even though written contracts are preferable because everything is clearly stated).
  • The law is clear that oral contracts are equally binding and subject to the same rights and responsibilities as written agreements.

Is it all right to assume that everything in a written lease is legal?

  • No tenant should sign a lease or rental agreement without first having read it and understood it.
  • IVTU staff will gladly check leases to answer any questions and to go over the lease with you.
    • If you want legal interpretations, we will refer you to the Legal Resource Center to answer your questions

How does a Month-to-Month Agreement expand the options of owners or managers and tenants?

  • In tenancies under Month-to-Month Agreements, both the owner or manager and the tenant must give the other party at least 30 days notice, in writing, of any change they wish to make in the original terms and conditions.
    • In other words, the owner or manager is entitled to raise the rent, but only after s/he has given the tenant 30 days notice of the increase.
  • A 30-day notice to vacate may be given on any day of the month unless otherwise specified on the rental agreement.
    • 60 days notice must be given to a tenant who has resided in their unit for one year or more.

How does a fixed-term lease protect tenants and owners or managers?

  • When a tenant signs a lease, s/he is signing a legally enforceable contract.
  • All the terms and conditions stated in the lease remain valid throughout the period specified.
  • These constraints also apply to the owner or manager.
  • The rent may not be raised during the specified period of a fixed-term lease, nor may tenants be asked to vacate unless they’ve failed substantially to live up to the commitments they’ve made in signing the lease—if they’re seriously behind with the rent, for example.
  • Even in a situation such as this, however, owners and managers must still follow procedures provided under the law in order to implement an eviction.

Is there any actual requirement under the law for overnight guests or is it simply landlord preference?

  • There is no law regarding how long overnight guests may stay.
  • However, if you agree to the terms under the contract for your lease, 3 nights, for example, you must adhere to those terms or you could be evicted.