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Who really has more power when a lease isn’t signed and there’s no written agreement? I know a lot of cheap rentals off craigslist do this (especially in shared living accommodations). Hypothetically if someone can prove they have been living there, and the landlord wants them out, wouldn’t it be hard for the landlord to evict them since technically it was never agreed on what conditions the agreement could end? Or hypothetically the landlord can’t prove the occupant lives there?

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Wouldn't it be hard to kick someone out who never signed a lease?

wouldn’t it be hard for the landlord to evict them since technically it was never agreed on what conditions the agreement could end?

Section 52 of the Residential Tenancy Act lists the conditions the landlord needs to meet for his notice to end tenancy to be effective, as this is a prerequisite toward obtaining an order of possession. See section 55(2)(b).

  • What if the Act does not apply, for example if the owner lives in premise? – TwoTwins Jan 22 at 17:39
  • @TwoTwins I am not knowledgeable of Canadian legislation but, absent any statutes that encompass that scenario, my conjecture is that the controversy would be decided on the basis of contract law. Since the parties did not sign a lease, an implied contract would be ascertained/inferred from the parties' conduct, actions, and living arrangements. – Iñaki Viggers Jan 22 at 20:45
  • That is my point, it would be left up to the implied contract which doesn't say anything about how it can be terminated (since by definition it would only be terminated once). So basically there is no clear answer which means whoever spends more money in court would win? – TwoTwins Jan 23 at 2:23
  • @TwoTwins "whoever spends more money in court would win?" Yes, in courts where corruption is rampant (example: Michigan courts) and regardless of who is entitled [by law] to relief. In the situation you describe, though, the legal owner (landlord) is most likely to prevail. At most, a well-principled court might temporarily accommodate the tenant's duress (if any) under certain circumstances if justice so requires. But otherwise the court would be infringing the landlord's rights. – Iñaki Viggers Jan 23 at 13:12

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