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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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Oregon Landlord to return Security Deposit: There are five

Customer Question

Oregon Landlord to return Security Deposit: There are five tenants on the lease. Is the landlord legally responsible to write one check with all 5 tenants on the check? Or, can the landlord in Oregon write one check to the one tenant that has lived in house the longest, then just expect that one tenant to decide how much of the deposit each of the other tenants receive?
I moved in and rented from a tenant in the house for almost a year before other new tenants arrived and then we all signed a new lease. Neither landlord ever gave me a receipt for the security deposit I paid.
Now the tenant that has all utilities in her name is ***** ***** with hold from my security deposit all the utilities she says i owe (without showing me the utility bills).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

ORS 90.300 covers Oregon security deposits and does not address the issue you describe. As long as you are all co-tenants and are on the lease as 5 different tenants then your roommate cannot do this to you. The purpose of the deposit is to protect your landlord not your roommate. Normally the landlord would just write a check with all 5 tenants names on the check jointly and all co-tenants must sign off on the check in order to cash it. I would confirm and request for this to happen with the landlord as there is really no guidance either way but the key point is your roommate has no right ty of withhold the deposit from you legally. Your roommate will have to take you to small claims court for any remedies involving unpaid utilities.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site. (There should smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, an excellent or good rating would be fantastic. )

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hello, Thank you for your quick response. I know ORS 90.300 does not cover this issue, and that is why I asked my question. I did find under other state statutes where it is the law that landlords write the deposit check to all tenants jointly. Here is the problem: all tenants are scattering to different parts of the country and under OR law, the landlord has 31 days after the house is vacated to return the deposit money. How are the tenants supposed to sign this one check when we will be in different parts of the country 31 days after we vacate the premises?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 12 months ago.

One option would be to request a separate check divided equally from the landlord although he/she has no obligation to fulfill this request. If this is not possible then in order to cash the check you will all have to sign it and divide the deposit equally. I know this will cause a hardship and maybe you can all sign it and have a person that you all consider trustworthy to distribute equal proceeds.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate if possible.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 12 months ago.

I see you have reviewed my answer, do you have any further questions? If not, please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 12 months ago.

Are you there? Did you have any further questions?