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Is oral contract binding in rental issues?

Boise, ID |

We have rented a house for 3 1/2 years. It was recently bought by a couple out of state. The property manager told us 2 weeks ago they MAY want us to move out at the end of April. Last weekend he confirmed over the phone that they definitely wanted us to be out by April 30th so that they can renovate. This weekend he asked if we could be a week earlier than that. Yesterday he asked if we could be out by the 15th.
He sent a letter, without mentioning it on the phone, to give us 30 days notice. This would have us leaving on April 23rd.
Going by his initial 'They need you out by April 30th', we signed a lease elsewhere starting April 30th. Does the phone conversation count as a binding contract pre-dating the 30 day notice letter? We have nowhere to go for the 1 1/2 weeks they want us out!

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Attorney answers 2


The 30 days notice in writing was effective notice. Commonly when a landlord want someone out early they offer money. The cost of your hotel stay and restaurant bills for the interim time would be an appropriate sum.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


With an oral lease, you are a periodic or month to month tenant. This means, the tenancy is terminable upon 30 days written notice by either the tenant or the landlord. Thus, the 30 days notice given by the landlord is appropriate. The written notice would supersede the phone conversation.

DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.

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