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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience:  Attorney 35 years extensive and active real estate practice; represents both landlords and tenants
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Pearl! :) I rent from a private owner in Eugene, Lane

Customer Question

Hi, Pearl! :) I rent from a private owner in Eugene, Lane County, Oregon. I would like to prevent my landlord from spraying the yard with unnecessary pesticides and herbicides. I have offered to do all the weeding by hand in exchange for them holding off on the glyphosate, but they refused. I further requested that I be given at least 24 hours notice before any poisons are used on the premises, so that I may find alternative lodging while the fumes dissipate. (They covered the entire property with snake poison without warning us last time they were in town and the stench was unbearable. The only snakes in our yard had been harmless garden snakes which no tenant had even noticed let alone complained about.) The landlords have responded to my request by saying they will spray whatever they want beginning tomorrow. Ie., no herbicide restraint in exchange for my hand weeding, and far less than 24 hours notice to do... whatever. (Actually, it's no notice at all, as they have thus far failed to inform me exactly what they will be using. It has been my observation in the past that they are very heavy-handed with chemical use, like to use several different kinds simultaneously, and probably do not even follow the safety guidelines properly.) So my questions are: A) Are there any laws protecting me from excessive chemical use in and around my rented living space by the property owner? (I realize there probably aren't.) B) Is there a way for me to legally stall them while we sort out what my rights may or may not be? They live out of state and are only here a few days anyway. I think if I can make it clear that I mean to play hardball with them, I might be able to stop them from spraying this time around. Please note: I am willing to try to set a precedent for such protections, and intend to pursue the issue beyond just the initial stalling technique, but for now, I need a method that can be executed quickly and easily that *should* prevent them from going ahead with the spraying tomorrow. I've probably got about 12 hours to get something scary and official to them in writing before they begin. Any suggestions?
JA: Does this involve a written or oral agreement? Is it a month-to-month lease or fixed term?
Customer: Written, month to month. I doubt there is any mention of chemicals, only that the landlord would be responsible for yard maintenance. That's why I offered my labor as trade. Weeding is not something I was originally obligated to do per our rental agreement.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

I've probably got about 12 hours to get something scary and official to them in writing before they begin. Any suggestions?

You may have enough time to hire an attorney to file for an emergency restraining order without notice. It would based on the principal that a tenant is entitled to "quiet enjoyment" of the property that is leased, plus a threat of possible physical harm to you. One problem is that your lease says " only that the landlord would be responsible for yard maintenance. There is no provision for advance notice to you, but that might be implied. A judge will have to rule on that. This would be a long shot because a judge might feel that you can avoid the problem by moving out for 48 hours. Your lawyer can prepare a letter that can be hand delivered to your landlord when they show up this morning to apply the treatment. If they use a professional lawn service, the letter might cause them not to make the application. I wish you the best of luck.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

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Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Hello again. I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

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