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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 100053
Experience:  Attorney
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I received the following letter from my landlord: Thank you

Customer Question

I received the following letter from my landlord: Thank you for letting us show your apartment on short notice(1). However, upon reviewing your apartment it was disappointing as to the condition you are maintaining it. I realize we have to give you a 24 hour notice for inspection and we did not. However we were not happy with the amount of clutter in the apartment(2). I say this because you have chosen not to use the furnace for heat and use electric heat sources. The possibility of fire hazard is much greater under these conditions(3). We give you 2 weeks to correct these conditions and then will send our property management company to inspect (4). Also we suspect there is more than 3 people living in the apartment and they are not listed in the rental agreement. We prefer not to have to turn this apartment over to the management company since they will raise the rent to the market rate of $950(5). Thank you.
1) My landlords were at the complex (4-plex) Friday, Saturday, and Sunday several weeks ago. At that time they asked to use my apartment as the show apartment as they were preparing to sell, and promised 24 hours notice before showing. Monday morning after I had gone to work they called and asked if they could take their real estate agent through. I said yes as long as they understood that I hadn't expected it and the house wasn't in 'show' condition (Monday morning with 2 teenagers- beds not made, towels on bathroom floor, etc.) They agreed.
2) My apartment is clean. Myself and 2 kids (14 and 11) live in the apartment. My daughter and I share a room and my son has his own. It is not cluttered (there are no piles of things, everything has a place and is usually put away.)
3) My daughter has asthma aggravated by the furnace. We have 2 electric fireplaces that have a full room of clearance in front of the heat fan. I don't see how this could be called a fire hazard.
4) My contract is with the property owners. The other 3 tenants are newer (I've been there three years) and managed by a property management company. This company has contacted me with notices (hours that laundry is permitted, quiet hours, etc that were not part of my original lease) and I have followed them. However I have not been given notice that they mange my unit, nor that they have a key to my unit which they would have to have in order to enter for an inspection and that concerns me greatly as I have no relationship with them, do not know them, and my teenage kids are occasionally home alone.
5)I do not have more than 3 people living there and don't like being accused of that with no basis what so ever. I feel like I am being threatened with a rent hike when I have no way of proving no one else lives there when they have assumed that someone does without any evidence.
Do I have any rights on which to refute these statements? I don't want people I don't know and don't have an agreement with inspecting my house. I don't want to live under a housekeeping microscope when I only let them in without notice to be kind, and I don't appreciate being threatened with a higher rent due to things that I have not done wrong. Any advice would be very appreciated and I thank you for your time.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and 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.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please tell me:

1) What state is this in?

2) Is there anything in the lease that specifically states that the tenant (i.e. you) shall keep the property clean?

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 2 months ago.
This is Oregon. The lease states nothing about cleanliness.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.

Thank you.

Can They Inspect It?
Per Or. Rev. Stats. Sec. 90.332, the landlord can inspect the premises. So they can do that.

Cleanliness

This is none of their business. Oregon does not provide a mandate that the tenant keep the property in a certain state of cleanliness. While they can inspect the apartment, they cannot make demands about how clean it should be. (NOTE that this is assuming that there are no local ordinances to that, either.)

Raise Rent

If you are on a written lease, they cannot raise the rent unless the lease allows it. If you are on a month to month, the landlord may increase the rent by giving you at least 90 days’ written notice of the rent increase. The written notice must specify the amount of the rent increase, the amount of the new rent, and the date it goes into effect. No reason is needed. But again, this only applies if this is month to month.

Someone in your situation may wish to write back stating the above, and saying that while the landlord does have the right to inspect the property, that:

-incessant and pointless inspection can have you ask for a restraining order

-how clean the apartment is kept is out of their control

-no unauthorized parties live there, and

-they cannot raise rent without going through proper procedure to do so.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What about the property management company which I am not under contract with giving me specific terms as to when laundry can be done and potentially having a key to my apartment without my knowledge?
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.
Ah, of course - my apologies.
Unless the landlord/tenant contract specifically states that tenant agrees to follow administrative rules set out by the management company, these administrative rules are not enforceable (however, the Court has enforced some administrative rules if they are reasonable, so there is some subjectivity).
However, the landlord does not have to account for any outstanding keys. They may be held liable if they KNEW or SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that that management company would abuse their privilege and did so, although the primarily liability would be with that management company and any unauthorized entry.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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