Verbal not written agreements

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  • Verbal not written agreements

    Hi all,

    I've been searching all over the internet for some help with a problem me and my boyfriend currently have and the only thing it's telling me is that a verbal agreement is not useful. I really need some advice!

    My boyfriend is currently renting a flat off a mutual friend of ours. He and another guy from his university course had to leave their old flat in January due to an anti social guy from downstairs threatening them and luckily our friend's tenants were moving out a few weeks after. My boyfriend and the other guy moved into my friend's flat. However, neither my boyfriend or the other tenant signed a contract, there was simply a verbal agreement that they would let it at a reduced rate for 6 months (Jan till June) and then leave at the end of their course. The landlord would like me and my boyfriend to move in from june and we are happy to, but the other tenant isn't and doesn't want me living there (it's only a two bed property). The other tenant is now being very unhelpful and stating that as they never paid a deposit and never signed an agreement he has no reason to leave and the landlord has no leg to stand on.

    Obviously we now don't want to move in but we are worried about what we've left our poor friend with, who was just trying to do us a favour and give the boys a place to live while they completed their education.

    Is there anything I can recommend to my friend that he can do?

    Please help me!


  • #2

    The first task, as you have intimated, is to work out the current status of your boyfriend and his friend in the flat. There are perhaps three main possbilities:

    a) they have two, separate, sole tenancies, each occupying one room and sharing the remainder of the flat
    b) they have a joint tenancy of the whole flat
    c) there is no tenancy at all, but rather the arrangement is simply "an act of kindness" on the part of the flat owner with no intention on any part to create legal relations.

    From what you have said so far, (b) seems the most likely, but perhaps you could give a little more information. In particular can you give more detail about the verbal agreement. Was it, for example, that they should pay one rent between them for the whole flat or do they pay separate rents to the landlord? Did they both move into the proeprty at the same time? Do they have exclusive possession of their own rooms? Do they share any facilities? How much is the rent? What are the arrangements with regard to the payment of council tax and utility bills?

    I assume from what you have said that the landlord is not resident and never has been?


    • #3
      JennBram: be aware that a letting for three years or less can be oral (although this is never a good idea) yet still binding at law.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


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