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TenantNet Forum Archives 1996-2002
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Re: verbal 1 year lease

Posted by TenantNet on October 03, 1996 at 23:40:07:

In Reply to: verbal 1 year lease posted by Barbara Murdock on October 03, 1996 at 22:59:51:

: We have been living in house my mother ownes for 15 years.
: all this time we were paying rent. My sister decided to buy
: my mothers second home, when the deal went sour due to our
: third sister and our mothers health worsening. the third sister
: took over the deal and wanted more money for the house. the
: house was appraised at 246,000 and she wanted 300,000.
: I suggested a second appraisel and thats when my sister
: decided to get us out of this house. January 96 my husband
: had been off work for 5 years and had 4 back surgeries and
: had not been released from workers comp. My mother suggested
: we not pay her rent until we were back on our feet. Now we
: are forced to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. And they decide
: to give us a 3 day or quit notice. And threaten eviction.
: The agreement was for as long as needed, and why get it in
: writing is was my mother after all. If we move the house is
: uninhabbitable due to we have lived without heat and insufficiant
: hot water, and leaky windows. Is the verbal agreement binding.

Depends on many things including the state you are in and the local
laws. If your mother still owns the house, only she can file to
evict you (not your sister). But you're getting into issues of
contract law, issues of waiver of all the rent, etc. I suggest you
speak with a local attorney who can give you better advice.
If you are in New York, the Statute of Frauds provides that a oral lease
of a term of less than one year is enforceable where for one year or
more is not. (General Obligation Law section 5-703). Your state may
have something similar. On the other hand, if you improved the property
that may possibly be construed as "substantial part performance" and
possibly remove the one-year limitation of the Statute of Frauds.

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