Do You Have to Have a Written Tenancy Agreement

As a tenant, one of the most important things you need to nail down before moving into a new place is the tenancy agreement. This is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of your lease, including the rent, security deposit, length of stay, and any other important details.

But do you actually need to have a written tenancy agreement? The short answer is no. In fact, tenants and landlords can agree to a verbal tenancy agreement and it would still be valid.

However, having a written tenancy agreement is strongly recommended. Here are a few reasons why:

Legal protection

A written tenancy agreement provides legal protection to both the tenant and the landlord. If there are any disputes or misunderstandings that arise during the tenancy, a written agreement can help resolve them more easily. It can also be used as evidence in court if needed.


A written agreement ensures clarity between the tenant and landlord. It lays out clear expectations and obligations for both parties, avoiding confusion and conflict. This includes details such as the amount of rent, when it is due, and any penalties for late payment.

Record keeping

A written agreement provides a record of the terms and conditions of the tenancy. This is useful for both the tenant and landlord, as it can be easily referred to at any time during the tenancy and serves as proof of the agreement.


Having a written agreement shows professionalism and can lead to a more positive landlord-tenant relationship. It demonstrates that both parties take the tenancy seriously and are committed to following through on the agreed terms.

In conclusion, while a written tenancy agreement is not required by law, it is highly recommended. It provides legal protection, clarity, record keeping, and demonstrates professionalism. As a tenant, it’s important to ensure that you have a written agreement in place before moving in to avoid any potential issues down the line.