How canI legally evict a tenant for non-payment if there is no written lease?

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2011

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How canI legally evict a tenant for non-payment if there is no written lease?

I’ve been letting my tenant live in one of my houses for almost 10 months now and it seems like she is never going to pay me my rent on time and pay me $360 that she owes me. I now tried to make a contract so she can learn to pay me on time she denies to sign it.

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Oral or verbal leases are also enforceable, so if there was an oral agreement that the tenant pay rent, she needs to pay according to that agreement. If she does not, you may either evict her (for violating the lease) and/or sue her for any money she owes you. Obviously, it is more difficult, as a practical matter, to prove the terms of an oral lease, but legally, it is still  enforceable. Note that if there is an oral lease, then the tenant is a month to month tenant, and if you want to terminate her tenancy, you can do so on 30 days notice. It is actually in her interest to sign a lease, since until she does, you can terminate her tenancy more or less at will, so long as your provide enough notice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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