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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 13748
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I live in an apartment complex and since the snow/ice, the

Customer Question

I live in an apartment complex and since the snow/ice, the Landlord is refusing to shovel/salt so that the tenants can move about the complex without slipping and falling. Is there something legal about this?
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: There is nothing in the agreement
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The landlord is refusing since he is 65 yrs old and salt will damage the concrete. My 85 yr old father was just here and shoveled the snow/ice from my door to my car and same with my next door neighbor
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

Good evening,

The landlord is actually violating Oregon law, which requires that a landlord maintain the premises for tenants at all times. Here is the statute.
§ 90.320

Landlord to maintain premises in habitable condition

  • • agreement with tenant to maintain premises

(1)A landlord shall at all times during the tenancy maintain the dwelling unit in a habitable condition. For purposes of this section, a dwelling unit shall be considered unhabitable if it substantially lacks:

(a)Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including windows and doors;

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

(c)A water supply approved under applicable law that is:

(A)Under the control of the tenant or landlord and is capable of producing hot and cold running water;

(B)Furnished to appropriate fixtures;

(C)Connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law; and

(D)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;

(d)Adequate heating facilities that conform to applicable law at the time of installation and maintained in good working order;

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

(f)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;

(g)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;

(h)Floors, walls, ceilings, stairways and railings maintained in good repair;

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

(j)Safety from fire hazards, including a working smoke alarm or smoke detector, with working batteries if solely battery-operated, provided only at the beginning of any new tenancy when the tenant first takes possession of the premises, as provided in ORS 479.270 (Owner of rental dwelling unit to supply, install and maintain smoke alarm or smoke detector), but not to include the tenants testing of the smoke alarm or smoke detector as provided in ORS 90.325 (Tenant duties) (1);

(k)A carbon monoxide alarm, and the dwelling unit:

(A)Contains a carbon monoxide source; or

(B)Is located within a structure that contains a carbon monoxide source and the dwelling unit is connected to the room in which the carbon monoxide source is located by a door, ductwork or a ventilation shaft; or

(L)Working locks for all dwelling entrance doors, and, unless contrary to applicable law, latches for all windows, by which access may be had to that portion of the premises that the tenant is entitled under the rental agreement to occupy to the exclusion of others and keys for those locks that require keys.

(2)The landlord and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks and minor remodeling only if:

(a)The agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord;

(b)The agreement does not diminish the obligations of the landlord to other tenants in the premises; and

(c)The terms and conditions of the agreement are clearly and fairly disclosed and adequate consideration for the agreement is specifically stated.

(3)Any provisions of this section that reasonably apply only to a structure that is used as a home, residence or sleeping place shall not apply to a manufactured dwelling, recreational vehicle or floating home where the tenant owns the manufactured dwelling, recreational vehicle or floating home, rents the space and, in the case of a dwelling or home, the space is not in a facility. Manufactured dwelling or floating home tenancies in which the tenant owns the dwelling or home and rents space in a facility shall be governed by ORS 90.730 (Landlord duty to maintain rented space, vacant spaces and common areas in habitable condition), not by this section.

I'd start by making the landlord aware of his legal duty to maintain property under his care and control in a safe and habitable condition (which arguably would include making sure common walkways are free of ice/snow, whether he does it himself or hires a service).

If the landlord won't take the duty seriously, I'd contact your local Code Enforcement, and file a complaint.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

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