How do I know if a housing contract is legitimate?

العقد السكني

Before you sign a housing contract (or agreement) it’s important to make sure that the contract is in fact valid. But, how do you know what is legitimate? In order for a tenant contract to be valid two elements are required,

  • concession of a residence or part thereof; and
  • for consideration (primarily money).

There are no pre-determined formalities for a tenant agreement to enter into force. There is e.g. no rule that the contract must be in writing (but if one party requires it to be written it must be so in accordance with 2§ of Chapter 12 of the Land Code).

Watch out for the crux

The crux of the matter is part of contract law. A contract is formed where there is an agreement between two parties – there must be an offer, acceptance, intention and consideration. If these appears on the agreement, you have a binding contract. However, nothing prevents the parties from negotiating new terms.

Are oral agreements valid?

Yes, an oral agreement is valid. But we advice you to avoid oral agreements as these are hard to prove in case of a dispute. If you have an oral agreement, try to get hold of evidence or witnesses in one form or another, e.g. correspondence, present third-party, etc.

Who is allowed to make a housing agreement?

Just the righteous owner of the property is allowed to make a housing contract. If the landlord is not the righteous owner (or holder) of the property, he or she is unable to agree to it changing hands, and thus the agreement becomes voidable. Therefore, it is important that you do your research as to whether the landlord has a legal right to transfer a title.

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