Rental agreements for residential units in California can normally be written or oral. However, I always recommend to my clients to put the agreement in writing. There are several reasons for preferring a written agreement over an oral agreement including, but not limited to, the following:
- As the owner of the house, do you really want to allow someone into one of your most valuable possessions with just a “handshake?”;
- When a problem arises (and disagreements DO happen, even among “friends”), it is must easier to prove the terms of a written agreement as opposed to word-of-mouth;
- Oral rental agreements are unenforceable if the rental term exceeds one year.