Am I a tenant in an apartment if I have a verbal contract both of us agreeing that I stay for less than 1 year with the landlord or a tenant renting from a landlord?

If not, what am I? What are my legal rights especially regarding eviction?

Asked on September 28, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Are you paying rent? If you are, you are a tenant if paying directly to the landlord or a subtenant of another tenant, if you are paying to the tenant. You would be a tenant or subtenant on a month-to-month basis under an oral that's the better term than "verbal" lease. This means that you could be made to leave on 30 days notice just as you could choose to move out on 30 days notice or if you fail to pay rent or do certain other, fairly obvious, things, like disturb other tenants, damage or destroy the landlord's property, etc.. 
If  you are not paying rent, you are a guest, not  tenant, and the person who gave you permission to stay there can withdraw permission at any time and ask you to leave immediately.

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