How binding is a verbal lease agreement if rent has been pre-paid?

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How binding is a verbal lease agreement if rent has been pre-paid?

My father is my landlord. I pay him rent 6 months in advance and am currently paid for the next 3 months. We have an oral agreement. I have had trouble with getting him to do the necessary repairs around the house for the last 2.5 years. The fridge broke a week ago and still isn’t working. We had a big argument and now he is threatening some sort of eviction. Can he evict me? Can he go up on the rent immediately so that I can’t afford to live here even though he is paid rent for the next 3 months?

Asked on October 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

An oral, also called verbal, lease only creates a month to month tenancy. That means that the landlord can terminate the tenancy on 30 days notice, or else change the terms of the tenancy (e.g. raise the rent) on 30 days notice (the tenant could also terminate on 30 days notice). The fact that rent is prepaid does not change the fact that the tenancy is month to month, though the tenant would receive a refund of any rent unused due to early termination.


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