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MDLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 6135
Experience:  10 years in legal practice. Over 5 years in advising clients on landlord/tenant issues, including on a pro bono basis.
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I neep some advice. I had an oral arrangement with this

Customer Question

hello my name is ***** ***** I neep some advice. I had an oral arrangement with this landlord that I would pay $1250 for this three bed 1 bath with 2 car garage as long as it was ready for move in by may 1st. I gave a deposit 5 weeks prior on the terms that the deposit be refundable if house was not ready by then. it is now June 4th and not only is the house not ready but it wont have any carpet for a month. also the place has only been partly cleaned out. I told the landlord back on May 1st that I still wanted the house and she could hang onto the deposit on the terms that I have access to the yard so I could start my garden. this was agreed upon so over the past month I have not just put a my time into the garden but I spent more hours then I could keep track of cleaning trash out of the yard as well as every type of yard maintenance you could imagine. on May 16th I worked late into the night and I had been staying down the road at a friends. I went out to my car to charge phone and I dozed off. The landlord was there painting and found me asllep in my car. She then offers to set down a matress and box spring in a bedroom and gave me a key telling me that If I wanted I could stay in a room while I work in the yard and she finishes preparing the house. I said ok. From that point on she has done no more actual work on the house she just comes by whenever no notice and will be either dropping off or picking up a box worth of stuff. On May 31st she calls me at 6|00 a.m. saying we need to talk about lease so when we meet the next day she informs me that I need to pay her the rent money. I thought she was kidding for a moment but she was not. I then ask her how much she had in mind she told me what we agreed upon was $1250 so that was the rent gor June and that I also owed her $500 for using the yard. I have had no access to the kitchen because she had all this junk piled everywhere, and the bathroom i had access to but there too is a bunch of junk in the way. I stalled her for the moment but I told her what I thought. She perposely waited for me to help her with preparing the yard and used me as free labor and now that my garden is planted she is using my attachment to a month worth of heavy labor to extort money from me. again she is demanding full rent payment on a house that she is using to store random junk, comes and goes as she pleases without any notice, has no carpet over the particle board floor with all the capeting nails sticking up through, is not at all clean, holes in walls, junk keeping me out of kitchen, oven not working, garage door is not secured with any lock nor does the door work, landlords has junk throughout the place, and she is demanding money that we had made no agreement for. Please help! I want to rent the house for the next 6 months but I am not going to be extorted.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I am sorry to hear about your situation. I hope that I can be of assistance to you this evening. Please keep in mind, however, that we can only provide legal information and that we are not permitted to provide legal advice.

Can you clarify what you mean when you say that she she offered to put down a mattress in a bedroom? Was the bedroom in the house that you were planning on renting? What specifically is she referring to when she refers to your using the yard?

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Also, was your lease along with the conditions in writing and signed by all parties?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The previousTenants Left a lot of things behind Including mattresses and box springs So she picked The cleanest looking And dropped it down on the floor Because she had it stacked against the wallThe only Paper work that was done Was a receipt for the deposit For the rental of the property And that stated it was fully refundable If house was not ready by May 1st Which it wasn't. She was referring to me Putting in my garden. Nothing else is in writing no lease has been signed because she is demanding full price when she is still coming over multiple times a day and still has many rooms full of her junk and the place has no carpet with nails from old carpet sticking up through the floor. This place if in perfect condition should not be $1250, I believe her actions to be not just manipulative but also illegal. There is just no way this pplace stands up to the housing habitability standards in Oregon.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have pictures of the entire place in all its trash as well as pictures of all the trash I have personally picked up and hauled to the dump as well as dump receipts and pics of the trash here, then at the dump in my truck.
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

If you have no written lease, then you are not obligated to stay there and you are entitled to your deposit back. She also can't charge you for the garden if there was no agreement that she would let you plant things in exchange for you paying her $500. However, she does have the right to ask you to pay rent if you plan on continuing to stay there. Before she can charge you for rent though, the place does need to be habitable.

If you want to rent the house, the best thing to do is to draw up a lease with the landlord. Again though, she cannot lease it out until it is inhabitable. You cannot continue to live there and not pay rent though. If you are arguing that the place is inhabitable, then you should not be living there.

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Chuck,

Can you let me know if you need any additional information?