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Code violations / endangered tenants

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Do we have grounds to recoup loss?

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#1
What is the name of your state? Oregon

My husband and I were renting a residence for 7+ years on a month to month basis from LL. The residence became dangerous. Countless severe code violations. Removed front porch without replacing (it's been over a year with an 8 ft drop of out front door), leaks, electrical problems, BATS in the fireplace!!! (I had to have rabies shots!!), constant construction done by landlord (because he has his general contractors licence) that was never finished. We could not get our landlord to finish repairs, just got false promises. I, as well as my husband and our daughters, had no peace or privacy due to the deteriorating state of the house and the constant construction. Construction was not being done in a safe manner. (Removed an old fireplace and renovated another without any asbestos abatement; We did not know he might be exposing us!!). The issues with the house were so severe that we were forced out. Our landlord added insult to injury and kept our security deposit, making false allegations of pet urine odor. (Clever as odor is something video of a clean house can't disprove!!) All rent was paid on time and in full. What can we do. I've been told since we were month to month and didn't get city involved we have no recourse. I know it sound insane to have tolerated conditions this long but we had no money and nowhere to go. Please don't be cruel in responding. We were poor. Not deadbeats.
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#2
If you feel that you are owed your security deposit, then give appropriate notice and pursue it through small claims court. The rest of what you typed is irrelevant at this point (as you have been told).

EDIT: To clarify, by "give appropriate notice", I am talking about sending an appropriate demand to your former landlord prior to pursuing this in small claims court.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
#3
If you had called building inspections when you were still living their then they could have forced him to get permits and if needed the city could have condemned it , at best sue for your deposit to be refunded to you , If your states laws do not require you to send the former LL a demand letter then my thought is why bother to send one , the LL knows what he did , In the mean time go get pictures of the things you can from the outside of the place SO you can show the court if asked to a few examples of incomplete work such as the front porch being torn down and the loss of that route as a fire escape route.
 
#4
Already have plenty of pictures. We incurred extra expenses moving out ( rent overlap of 1 month because we moved out Thanksgiving day which was mid month), and are incurring medical bills having everyone tested for possible lead and asbestos exposure. Can we recoup these costs. Any financial loss hits us hard.
 
#5
Already have plenty of pictures. We incurred extra expenses moving out ( rent overlap of 1 month because we moved out Thanksgiving day which was mid month), and are incurring medical bills having everyone tested for possible lead and asbestos exposure. Can we recoup these costs. Any financial loss hits us hard.
You can, of course, include all that stuff in your lawsuit but I doubt if you'll get the medical bills if you got tested without symptoms nor will you get the rent overlap since you chose to move out mid month.

Best that can happen is you address the security deposit if the LL failed to comply with the security deposit statute:

https://law.justia.com/codes/oregon/2017/volume-03/chapter-090/section-90.300/
 
#6
We had to move out mid month. The code violations were too severe to stay and we got out as soon as we could secure a new place. Moving out on Thanksgiving day would never have been our choice.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#8
We had to move out mid month. The code violations were too severe to stay and we got out as soon as we could secure a new place. Moving out on Thanksgiving day would never have been our choice.
If you moved out without giving proper notice, the the LL may, in fact, be justified in holding on to your deposit to cover your last month's rent.
 
#9
Who determined the "code violations were too severe" for you to stay?

Hopefully your local Code Enforcement (although a previous posting by you implied that the city was not involved in this).

Gail
 
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