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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33757
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I have an apartment and I am under a lease. recently our

Customer Question

i have an apartment and I am under a lease. recently our bathroom was filled with sewage due to failure in the pipes. The will not fix this problem and it has caused the bathroom sink to rot and mold is created My household got sick due to that. can I terminate my lease for unsafe living conditions.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Our kitchen's ceiling light fell randomly while eating dinner, and out backyard's fence has been down for the last 2 months and we have asked for it to get fixed and it has not.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it possible to leave the place without paying the termination fee?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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I need to ask a few questions before I comment...

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Has the sewer backup happened more than once?

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Did the landlord pay for any cleaning and sanitizing of the area?

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Did he reimburse you for any damaged property?

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Is there any mold currently in the apt?

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If so have you notified the landlord about the problem and if so what was the response?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was the first time. They have fixed it, it took them almost 24hrs to get it cleaned up. No, they did not reimburse the damaged to my belongings, they just applied chemicals but the person who did it said the apartment was very poorly kept up with and that it that the apartment was slowly falling apart. , he said that everything that touched the sewage needed to be replaced, but the owner said that they didn't hire the people they normally do, so they were only trying to get a bigger paycheck, and yes, mold is still in the ceiling.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, if this happened and they then cleaned up the problem, and it hasn't happened again, then that wouldn't give you grounds to terminate the lease. A problem has to be recurring or unresolved by the landlord that affects your health and safety so as to violate the implied warranty of habitability and allow you to terminate the lease.

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The fence has nothing to do with the habitability of the property, so that wouldn't give you a legal ground to terminate.

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As for the light, it it fell and there are dangerous wires exposed, and the landlord doesn't fix it after you notify them, then that could give you grounds to terminate as it could be a fire or shock hazard.

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This is what Oregon law states about habitability:

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A dwelling is uninhabitable if it substantially lacks:

· Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including windows and doors

· Plumbing facilities that conform to applicable law in effect at the time of installation, and maintained in good working order

· A water supply approved under applicable law that is:

o Under the control of the tenant or landlord and is capable of producing hot and cold running water

o Furnished to appropriate fixtures

o Connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law

o Maintained so as to provide safe drinking water and to be in good working order to the extent that the system can be controlled by the landlord

· Adequate heating facilities that conform to applicable law at the time of installation and maintained in good working order

· Electrical lighting with wiring and electrical equipment that conform to applicable law at the time of installation and maintained in good working order

· Buildings, grounds and appurtenances at the time of the commencement of the rental agreement in every part safe for normal and reasonably foreseeable uses, clean, sanitary and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents and vermin, and all areas under control of the landlord kept in every part safe for normal and reasonably foreseeable uses, clean, sanitary and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents and vermin

· Except as otherwise provided by local ordinance or by written agreement between the landlord and the tenant, an adequate number of appropriate receptacles for garbage and rubbish in clean condition and good repair at the time of the commencement of the rental agreement, and the landlord shall provide and maintain appropriate serviceable receptacles thereafter and arrange for their removal

· Ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, maintained in good repair if supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

· Safety from fire hazards, including a working smoke alarm or smoke detector

· A carbon monoxide alarm, and the dwelling unit or the structure in which the dwelling unit is a part contains a carbon monoxide source

· Working locks for all dwelling entrance doors, and, unless contrary to applicable law, latches for all windows.

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So if there are any of these problems that are unresolved by the landlord in a reasonable time, the tenant may, on notice, terminate the rental agreement, or do the repair and deduct it from the rent, or sue for damages for breach. See Oregon Statutes §90.360 for details.

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I do think that if you have mold, that could give you grounds to terminate as it is a known safety issue and can cause respiratory problems and flu like symptoms after prolonged exposure. So you could take pictures to document the mold and then notify them in writing that they have 7 days to fix it or you will terminate the lease 30 days from the delivery of the notice. See ORS 90.360 for specific details.

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If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.

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thanks

Barrister

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