Can I be evicted if there was no lease agreement signed?

By Tenant

Renting without a lease agreement is a big risk to both the landlord and the tenant. But without any signed lease agreement, your tenant rights will still hold. A verbal agreement is already enough to hold you and your landlord accountable for the rental property. Usually, a verbal agreement is a month-to-month agreement and to be evicted, your landlord will need will need to give you a 30-day notice.

What if you haven’t been receiving mail in the apartment?

Mails are important because they are proofs that you reside in a particular apartment. But there are other ways to prove that you are a tenant in an apartment complex. For instance, receipts for the rent payments you have made are strong proofs. Also the fact that you have all your things in the property would make another strong set of proofs to your residence.

So even if you haven’t been receiving mail there, your landlord still cannot just change the locks and throw you out.

What if my check payment for the first month bounced?

If this happens, your landlord still cannot kick you out and change the locks. There is still a process. First, your landlord must write you a certified letter telling you that the check bounced. Then you should be given x number of days to correct it and make your rent payment. If you cannot correct the problem within the specified number of days, then your landlord will serve you a 30-day notice to vacate.

What can you do if landlord violates your rights?

  • Inform the HUD about it. Violations will be against the Fair Housing Administration and your landlord could be penalized.
  • Bring your case to a lawyer.

Remember that both these options may be too hard for your landlord and he may not like it if you get the government or any legal representative involved.

So your other “safer” option would be to file a complaint with a mediation company like the RPA. This is the link to their mediation center:

Edited on: Monday, July 15th, 2013 10:58 am

16 Responses to “Can I be evicted if there was no lease agreement signed?”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


February 27th, 2013 11:40 pm

Right. Even without a lease agreement, your tenant rights shall still prevail. Your landlord must still accept and respect those rights.


February 28th, 2013 12:40 pm

Check your state tenant laws. In the absence of any lease agreement, your state tenant laws will prevail.


February 28th, 2013 10:14 pm

yes, even though you did not sign a lease agreement your landlord can still evict you. But that doesn’t mean that he can evict you immediately without giving a 30-day prior notice first. If he do that without any prior notice then that is a different case. You can file a complaint against your landlord if that case happen. you have 2 choices either you hire a lawyer to represent you in court or you can ask assistance and help from a mediating company like the RPA.


March 1st, 2013 1:40 am

A landlord cannot resort to self-help like changing the locks or holding your things at hostage. There are legal processes that still need to be followed.


March 1st, 2013 2:40 pm

If you can’t reason out with your landlord, file a formal complaint against him. A formal complaint might make him change his mind about how you should be treated.


March 2nd, 2013 3:40 am

What did you do for your landlord to suddenly evict you? There must be a reason, unless your landlord is an evil person that does not respect the law.


March 2nd, 2013 4:40 pm

As a landlord, I would never rent without a lease agreement. It’s just too risky. What was your landlord thinking when he rented to you without a written lease agreement?


March 3rd, 2013 5:40 am

I’ve had a similar situation. My landlord and I don’t have a signed lease agreement so when I missed a rent payment, she changed the locks and held my things on ransom. I called the police but they said that I should go to someone who does housing disputes. So I went online and stumbled upon the RPA site. I filed a complaint through them and my issue got resolved.


March 3rd, 2013 6:40 pm

We rent a house and my wife just gave birth to a baby through C-Section. We initially agreed to pay $300 a month plus the utilities but for the past month, we were not able to pay the utilities because we were just coming back from the cost of the delivery. Now the landlord says we only have until March 5 to pack our things and go. No 3-day quit or pay notice was ever given. Is this legal?


March 4th, 2013 7:40 am

Even if there isn?t any lease agreement signed, you verbally agreed. So since it’s a month-to-month agreement, your landlord will need to provide you with a 30 day notice.


March 4th, 2013 8:40 pm

There are states wherein if a tenant lives for 30 days, he would legally be considered a tenant as long as rent was paid. So a landlod must follow the right notices and procedures in your immediate jurisdiction.


March 5th, 2013 9:40 am

If you did not pay then your landlord can evict you but of course, a 30-day notice must be in place.


March 5th, 2013 10:40 pm

I used to have the same problem but as a landlord, I decided to just compromise. I had a tenant who had a stroke and then died a few weeks after. During that period, her family came and went and basically moved in to take care of their sick mother. No rent was paid. So after the funeral, I told them that the rent will be forgiven as long as they vacate. Yeah, I didn’t collect anything but I would have spent more if I sued them. Besides, they don’t have a lot of money following the funeral so it will be impractical for me to try to squeeze the last cents from them.


March 6th, 2013 11:40 am

In some states, a 7-day notice is required so a landlord can evict you after 7 days.


March 7th, 2013 12:40 am

Right, as long as the right notices were sent and within the right timeframe, your landlord is acting legally.


March 7th, 2013 1:40 pm

The only advice I can give is that you must be aware of your state tenant laws to know your legal options.


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