There is always a lease in place!

It is quite a regular occurrence in the TPN legal office to have a tenant confidently state over the phone that they have never had a lease in place and that as a result, they don’t need to provide notice to their landlord to vacate.

This is a myth.

An implied lease is as binding

With some exceptions, the rule is that there is always a lease in place. There may not necessarily be a written lease, but if a tenant has taken occupation of a property and has made a rental payment that the landlord has subsequently accepted, then you have an implied month to month lease in place.

This implied lease is as legally binding as a written lease and is completely governed by the provisions of the Rental Housing Act and other relevant legislation. An implied month to month lease can be cancelled by either party giving the other party a months’ notice.

Verbal leases

In addition to implied leases, a lease may be verbal. Verbal leases are the hardest to prove unless the conversation between the parties has been recorded in audio. Verbal leases are also governed by the Rental Housing Act and may be cancelled by either party giving a months’ notice.

While some landlords may be happy to hear that their lease is not required to be in writing, at present, the Rental Housing Act states that in the event that a tenant requests that their verbal or implied lease be reduced to writing, then the landlord is obligated under the law to do so.

This is a situation that will change in the future when the Rental Housing Amendment Act comes into force. The new Amendment Act brings in a new regulation that all lease agreements must be in writing.

Protect yourself! Sign a written lease

Despite the fact that it is currently not a legal requirement, we cannot emphasise enough how important it is to enter into a written, legally compliant lease with your tenant. A written lease ensures that both parties receive the greatest legal protection available to them.

Need a Lease Agreement? You can download the LeasePack here.

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