How can I prove a verbal agreement?

Question from Rita updated on 8th October 2009:

Hi,I'd like to know if I have a legal rights with my concerns. I phoned my landlord a few days ago and we had a chat about my moving out. I asked her for 2 weeks notice period, SHE AGREED, she also phoned back the same day to confirm the date. I faxed her a written notice the next day with my 2 weeks notice. Now,I have received a letter from her saying that if they don't find tenants during that 2 week period we may be liable for the extra week (21days) as stated on our tenancy agreement. We have sorted out our moving-in date with our new landlord, and cannot pay for two rental properties in one week. I just think this is unfair as we have verbally agreed with 2 weeks, any suggestions? Thank you in advance.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Tenants are required to give a minimum of 21 days’ notice in writing to terminate a periodic tenancy, unless both landlord and tenant agree on a different arrangement. A verbal agreement is still an agreement, but it can be difficult to prove.

You could reply to the landlord’s letter with a letter to remind her that you both agreed verbally on two weeks notice, and explaining the other arrangements you’ve made in the meantime based on that agreement. If you and your landlord are unable to reach an agreement over what notice period you are required to give, you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to resolve the matter.

To discuss your situation further, or for advice and information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.



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