What is the name of your state? North Carolina.
I rented a house I own in a town 300 miles from where I live. The tenant and I agreed upon the terms over the phone, since I knew him and thought I could trust him. He moved in with only an oral agreement last August.
To this date he has not paid a dime for rent, deposit, utilities, or anything else. He refused to transfer the utilities to his name and I finally stopped paying the bill in October. Since the gas, water and power are shut off he is no longer sleeping there, but using the property as storage for his belongings. I know it's past time to start eviction proceedings.
My question, however, is whether or not a valid lease exists? I know most contracts require consideration from both parties to be valid. In this case, I give him access to the property and he (theoretically) gives me rent. If he had paid me anything at all it would certainly be a valid lease, but without that does a true landlord/tenant relationship exist?