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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 29557
Experience:  Attorney
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I am a tenant renting a house that I moved into 1 1/2 months

Customer Question

Hello my name is Theresa. I am a tenant renting a house that I moved into 1 1/2 months ago. I did the walk through checklist and I have requested repairs to be made on several occasions, some repairs that should have been made prior to my moving in. For example, there is a pet urine soaked carpet in the back room, there was a hole in the floor leading to under the house that I imagine was one of the entrances that rodents are getting into, I could stick my whole hand underneath the front door after it was closed and locked, which I again, assume that this is another entrance for the rodents that are in the house. There are outlets that are not working and the outside plumbing is there but not functioning. These are just a few of the important things that I have continuously requested repairs for especially the carpeting in the large back room. Due to the wait on the carpeting we are only living in half of the house and are having to pay extra fees in storage as we wait to move our belongings in. We have my boyfriends choldren coming to stay with us every other weekend and 3 weeks in the summer. They have nowhere to sleep because I do not want them sleeping on the floor with the rodents running around. I feel that this is a health and sanitation issue and I feel that there are no advocates for the renter unless we pay quite a bit of money for a lawyer. unfortunately the children will be coming tomorrow and once more we will have to displace them while waiting for this irresponsible landlord/rental agency we are working with is dragging their feet. What can I do at this point?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Oh I apologize. We are in the State of Oregon
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: I have found a site that is helpful and has the legal letters I need to send. I was going to start that process today. I have documentation of all the times I have requested repairs to the rental company.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just a few more details, this is a small coastal community in Oregon and there are very few homes for rent that would fit my needs. Unfortunately the landlord and owner both know that and take advantage of the situation to not get things done. I feel that I am fighting a losing battle to just make this place livable at this time. My real concern is the children that are to be staying with us and the very short period of time that we have to try to get things settled. I am wondering, in regards ***** ***** carpet and the rodent issue, are we going to have to pay for that out of our own pockets? As I have mentioned earlier, we have been trying to live here for 1 1/2 months and still cannot move our belongings in. Very frustrated and don't know what to do????? Please help! Thank you
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 days ago.

Hi Theresa,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

All rental leases come with an implied warranty that the property is fit for human habitation. Among other things, that includes keeping the plumbing in good working order and keeping the premises free of pests. Ore. Rev. Stat., Section 90.320. You also have a right to floors that are not soaked with urine.

A tenant in your position has a couple of options. One is to serve the landlord with notice that you'll terminate the lease if the problem is not resolved within 30 days. That may not be ideal if there is a general lack of housing in your area. Another option is to file a lawsuit, asking a judge to order the landlord to fix the problems with the premises.

You also have a right to sue in Small Claims Court for a rebate of a portion of the rent, based on the percentage of the property that is currently unliveable. If you decided to replace the carpet and remove the pests yourself, you could do the same - but you'd need documentation that you made reasonable efforts to get the landlord to fix the problem. Keep copies of the letters you plan to send. It's also a good idea to send them via certified mail. Here is more information:

http://www.courts.oregon.gov/Marion/docs/materialsandresources/scinstructionstoplaintiff.pdf

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 days ago.

The other option is to call the local housing authority. They can do an inspection and issue notices requiring the landlord to fix the problems with the premises. The landlord can also be fined until they bring the place in compliance with local standards. That may help you get the repairs you need without having to go to court.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 days ago.

Do you have any questions about this?

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