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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10584
Experience:  Commercial and residential leases in NY & NJ & US
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I live in Oregon and own a 5 unit apartment complex. We have

Customer Question

I live in Oregon and own a 5 unit apartment complex. We have had about 3 feet of snow, weather has been below freezing for 2 weeks and the apartment roof has started to leak into one of the units. We have been trying to keep the snow off of the roof and address the issues almost every day. Yesterday the tenant called the power company to come look at the leak as it's going by the ceiling light fixture. She claims a breaker tripped and needed the power company to come out and look. Every time we try to update her on the situation she yells at us and tells us what she thinks we need to do. She says she is going to withhold rent and has gone to the police and everyone else causing problems. Last night we just put her in a hotel, trying to get her off our back.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: oregon
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: month to month. did you read about our leak?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I want to know if we are obligated to pay for a hotel room and how we go about side stepping this tenant
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 5 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for.

Unfortunately, this is a maintenance issue. You are obligated to get the roof repaired as the landlord. If the place is either unsafe or the condition makes it unlivable then you would be obligated to reimburse her or provide alternative accommodations until the situation can be remedied. In the normal situation, if whe had to get her own place that had cooking facilities your reimbursement obligation would generally be the difference between what her normal rent was and the cost of the alternative accommodations.

You will not be able to evict her or terminate the lease because she would argue that it was retaliation for complaining about her situation. A retaliation would preclude termination of even a month to month tenancy.

I am sorry for the bad news but the only solution is to get the leak resolved.

If I have answered all your questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I receive credit. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
We understand that it is our obligation to fix the roof. Because this problem does not have anything to do with her heat, she has power and plumbing are we obligated to provide a hotel? And if we do pay for her hotel does she still have to pay rent in full?
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 5 months ago.

Sorry I was away and did not see a request for the phone call. If the apartment is livable you do not have to provide a hotel but you will be expected to abate the rent. If you provide a hotel it gets a little tricky. If she was in a studio apartment and you got a hotel that cost the same as the apartment she was renting, she would be obligated to pay the rent in full. If she had a three bedroom and you got a hotel, the hotel would not be the equivalent to the apartment so there would need to be an adjustment in the rent she was obligated to pay. Often landlord's will let the tenant deduct from the rent the daily pro rated rent for the apartment to cover the cost of a hotel stay. If there is a difference then there would be a negotiation. So if the tenant could not buy and prepare their own food the additional cost of going out to eat would be a landlord responsibility. These are the considerations that go into determining what is reasonable to both parties.

If I have answered all your questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I receive credit. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.

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