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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 99982
Experience:  Attorney
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I am a tenant who has a landlord who just alerted us that he

Customer Question

I am a tenant who has a landlord who just alerted us that he does quarterly inspections on the house and cited a lack of trust as the reason. My question is, what Is the legality of this, and we now believe the landlord is harassing us, so what should be our next step
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; (B) If you receive a phone call offer while we chat, know that this is an automated test feature the site is running. Due to possible ethical issues, the site allows experts not participate in phone calls and I normally decline them. Unless the phone call offer you receive literally states "THIS OFFER IS FROM ELY" (which means I personally initiated it), please do not entertain any such offer; and (C) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me what state this is in?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oregon
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has also called a few times to say he's in the neighborhood and wants to come by for a walk through
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
and he stopped by once and even stepped in the hoise
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
First of all, check your contract. Aside from default statutory law, the contract may provide the landlord with MORE rights. If it does, it controls. If it does not, default statutory law controls, which is:
§ 90.322
1) A landlord or, to the extent provided in this section, a landlords agent may enter into the tenants dwelling unit or any portion of the premises under the tenants exclusive control in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, perform agreed yard maintenance or grounds keeping or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers or contractors. The right of access of the landlord or landlords agent is limited as follows:
(a) A landlord or landlords agent may enter upon the premises under the tenants exclusive control not including the dwelling unit without consent of the tenant and without notice to the tenant, for the purpose of serving notices required or permitted under this chapter, the rental agreement or any provision of applicable law.
(b) In case of an emergency, a landlord may enter the dwelling unit or any portion of the premises under a tenants exclusive control without consent of the tenant, without notice to the tenant and at any time. Emergency includes but is not limited to a repair problem that, unless remedied immediately, is likely to cause serious damage to the premises. If a landlord makes an emergency entry in the tenants absence, the landlord shall give the tenant actual notice within 24 hours after the entry, and the notice shall include the fact of the entry, the date and time of the entry, the nature of the emergency and the names of the persons who entered.
(c) If the tenant requests repairs or maintenance in writing, the landlord or landlords agent, without further notice, may enter upon demand, in the tenants absence or without the tenants consent, for the purpose of making the requested repairs until the repairs are completed. The tenants written request may specify allowable times. Otherwise, the entry must be at a reasonable time. The authorization to enter provided by the tenants written request expires after seven days, unless the repairs are in progress and the landlord or landlords agent is making a reasonable effort to complete the repairs in a timely manner. If the person entering to do the repairs is not the landlord, upon request of the tenant, the person must show the tenant written evidence from the landlord authorizing that person to act for the landlord in making the repairs.
(d) A landlord and tenant may agree that the landlord or the landlords agent may enter the dwelling unit and the premises without notice at reasonable times for the purpose of showing the premises to a prospective buyer, provided that the agreement:
(A) Is executed at a time when the landlord is actively engaged in attempts to sell the premises;
(B) Is reflected in a writing separate from the rental agreement and signed by both parties; and
(C) Is supported by separate consideration recited in the agreement.
(e)(A) If a written agreement requires the landlord to perform yard maintenance or grounds keeping for the premises:
(i) A landlord and tenant may agree that the landlord or landlords agent may enter for that purpose upon the premises under the tenants exclusive control not including the dwelling unit, without notice to the tenant, at reasonable times and with reasonable frequency. The terms of the right of entry must be described in the rental agreement or in a separate written agreement.
(ii) A tenant may deny consent for a landlord or landlords agent to enter upon the premises pursuant to this paragraph if the entry is at an unreasonable time or with unreasonable frequency. The tenant must assert the denial by giving actual notice of the denial to the landlord or landlords agent prior to, or at the time of, the attempted entry.
(B) As used in this paragraph:
(i) Yard maintenance or grounds keeping includes, but is not limited to, weeding, mowing grass and pruning trees and shrubs.
(ii) Unreasonable time refers to a time of day, day of the week or particular time that conflicts with the tenants reasonable and specific plans to use the premises.
(f) In all other cases, unless there is an agreement between the landlord and the tenant to the contrary regarding a specific entry, the landlord shall give the tenant at least 24 hours actual notice of the intent of the landlord to enter and the landlord or landlords agent may enter only at reasonable times. The landlord or landlords agent may not enter if the tenant, after receiving the landlords notice, denies consent to enter. The tenant must assert this denial of consent by giving actual notice of the denial to the landlord or the landlords agent or by attaching a written notice of the denial in a secure manner to the main entrance to that portion of the premises or dwelling unit of which the tenant has exclusive control, prior to or at the time of the attempt by the landlord or landlords agent to enter.
(2) A landlord may not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. A tenant may not unreasonably withhold consent from the landlord to enter.
(3) This section does not apply to tenancies consisting of a rental of space in a facility for a manufactured dwelling or floating home under ORS 90.505 (Definition for ORS 90.505 to 90.840) to 90.840 (Park purchase funds, loans).
(4) If a tenancy consists of rented space for a manufactured dwelling or floating home that is owned by the tenant, but the tenancy is not subject to ORS 90.505 (Definition for ORS 90.505 to 90.840) to 90.840 (Park purchase funds, loans) because the space is not in a facility, this section shall allow access only to the rented space and not to the dwelling or home.
(5) A landlord has no other right of access except:
(a) Pursuant to court order;
(b) As permitted by ORS 90.410 (Effect of tenant failure to give notice of absence) (2); or
(c) When the tenant has abandoned or relinquished the premises.
(6) If a landlord is required by a governmental agency to enter a dwelling unit or any portion of the premises under a tenants exclusive control, but the landlord fails to gain entry after a good faith effort in compliance with this section, the landlord may not be found in violation of any state statute or local ordinance due to the failure.
(7) If the tenant refuses to allow lawful access, the landlord may obtain injunctive relief to compel access or may terminate the rental agreement under ORS 90.392 (Termination of rental agreement by landlord for cause) and take possession as provided in ORS 105.105 (Entry to be lawful and peaceable only) to 105.168 (Minor as party in proceedings pertaining to residential dwellings). In addition, the landlord may recover actual damages.
(8) If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful but that have the effect of unreasonably harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the reoccurrence of the conduct or may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to ORS 90.360 (Effect of landlord noncompliance with rental agreement or obligation to maintain premises) (1). In addition, the tenant may recover actual damages not less than an amount equal to one weeks rent in the case of a week-to-week tenancy or one months rent in all other cases. [Formerly 90.335; 1997 c.577 §18; 1999 c.603 §19; 1999 c.676 §12; 2005 c.391 §20]
§ 90.725
(1) As used in this section:
(a) Emergency includes but is not limited to:
(A) A repair problem that, unless remedied immediately, is likely to cause serious physical harm or damage to individuals or property.
(B) The presence of a hazard tree on a rented space in a manufactured dwelling park.
(b) Unreasonable time refers to a time of day, day of the week or particular time that conflicts with the tenants reasonable and specific plans to use the space.
(c) Yard maintenance, equipment servicing or grounds keeping includes, but is not limited to, servicing individual septic tank systems or water pumps, weeding, mowing grass and pruning trees and shrubs.
(2) A landlord or a landlords agent may enter onto a rented space, not including the tenants manufactured dwelling or floating home or an accessory building or structure, to:
(a) Inspect the space;
(b) Make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements;
(c) Inspect or maintain trees;
(d) Supply necessary or agreed services;
(e) Perform agreed yard maintenance, equipment servicing or grounds keeping; or
(f) Exhibit the space to prospective or actual purchasers of the facility, mortgagees, tenants, workers or contractors.
(3) The right of access of the landlord or landlords agent is limited as follows:
(a) A landlord or landlords agent may enter upon the rented space without consent of the tenant and without notice to the tenant for the purpose of serving notices required or permitted under this chapter, the rental agreement or any provision of applicable law.
(b) In case of an emergency, a landlord or landlords agent may enter the rented space without consent of the tenant, without notice to the tenant and at any time. If a landlord or landlords agent makes an emergency entry in the tenants absence, the landlord shall give the tenant actual notice within 24 hours after the entry, and the notice shall include the fact of the entry, the date and time of the entry, the nature of the emergency and the names of the persons who entered.
(c) If the tenant requests repairs or maintenance in writing, the landlord or landlords agent, without further notice, may enter upon demand, in the tenants absence or without consent of the tenant, for the purpose of making the requested repairs until the repairs are completed. The tenants written request may specify allowable times. Otherwise, the entry must be at a reasonable time. The authorization to enter provided by the tenants written request expires after seven days, unless the repairs are in progress and the landlord or landlords agent is making a reasonable effort to complete the repairs in a timely manner. If the person entering to do the repairs is not the landlord, upon request of the tenant, the person must show the tenant written evidence from the landlord authorizing that person to act for the landlord in making the repairs.
(d) If a written agreement requires the landlord to perform yard maintenance, equipment servicing or grounds keeping for the space:
(A) A landlord and tenant may agree that the landlord or landlords agent may enter for that purpose upon the space, without notice to the tenant, at reasonable times and with reasonable frequency. The terms of the right of entry must be described in the rental agreement or in a separate written agreement.
(B) A tenant may deny consent for a landlord or landlords agent to enter upon the space pursuant to this paragraph if the entry is at an unreasonable time or with unreasonable frequency. The tenant must assert the denial by giving actual notice of the denial to the landlord or landlords agent prior to, or at the time of, the attempted entry.
(e) In all other cases, unless there is an agreement between the landlord and the tenant to the contrary regarding a specific entry, the landlord shall give the tenant at least 24 hours actual notice of the intent of the landlord to enter and the landlord or landlords agent may enter only at reasonable times. The landlord or landlords agent may not enter if the tenant, after receiving the landlords notice, denies consent to enter. The tenant must assert this denial of consent by giving actual notice of the denial to the landlord or the landlords agent prior to, or at the time of, the attempt by the landlord or landlords agent to enter.
(f) Notwithstanding paragraph (e) of this subsection, a landlord or the landlords agent may enter a rented space solely to inspect a tree despite a denial of consent by the tenant if the landlord or the landlords agent has given at least 24 hours actual notice of the intent to enter to inspect the tree and the entry occurs at a reasonable time.
(4) A landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. A tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent from the landlord to enter.
(5) A landlord has no other right of access except:
(a) Pursuant to court order;
(b) As permitted by ORS 90.410 (Effect of tenant failure to give notice of absence) (2);
(c) As permitted under ORS 90.539 (Entry to read submeter); or
(d) When the tenant has abandoned or relinquished the premises.
(6) If a landlord is required by a governmental agency to enter a rented space, but the landlord fails to gain entry after a good faith effort in compliance with this section, the landlord shall not be found in violation of any state statute or local ordinance due to the failure.
(7) If a landlord has a report from an arborist licensed as a landscape construction professional pursuant to ORS 671.560 (Issuance of license) and certified by the International Society of Arboriculture that a tree on the rented space is a hazard tree that must be maintained by the landlord as described in ORS 90.727 (Maintenance of trees in rented spaces), the landlord is not liable for any damage or injury as a result of the hazard tree if the landlord is unable to gain entry after a good faith effort in compliance with this section.
(8) If the tenant refuses to allow lawful access, the landlord may obtain injunctive relief to compel access or may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to ORS 90.630 (Termination by landlord) (1) and take possession in the manner provided in ORS 105.105 (Entry to be lawful and peaceable only) to 105.168 (Minor as party in proceedings pertaining to residential dwellings). In addition, the landlord may recover actual damages.
(9) If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful but that have the effect of unreasonably harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the reoccurrence of the conduct or may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to ORS 90.620 (Termination by tenant) (1). In addition, the tenant may recover actual damages not less than an amount equal to one months rent. [1999 c.676 §2; 2005 c.619 §23; 2013 c.443 §6]
So the landlord DOES have the right to enter for inspection, but it has to be in REASONABLE hours, and within REASONABLE intervals. If the tenant feels that the landlord is doing this specifically to harass or is otherwise being unreasonable, then:
If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful but that have the effect of unreasonably harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the reoccurrence of the conduct or may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to ORS 90.620 (Termination by tenant) (1). In addition, the tenant may recover actual damages not less than an amount equal to one months rent in the case of a week-to-week tenancy or one months rent in all other cases.
Injunctive relief means filing for a stalking restraining order - see here. Alternatively or jointly, the tenant may simply terminate the tenancy but it would be a good idea to have the retraining order in place then, because that way if the landlord attempts to keep the deposit, one can use the restraining order as proof that the termination was lawful and demand the deposit back in small claims court.
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