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Land lord charging us for "firewood"


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#1 tdhoff1234

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:30 PM

I have lived in the house the past 11 month, but 2 roommates for the past 5 years.

Last summer the land lord had a neighbors fig tree that was hanging over the drive way trimmed. He had the worker cut the wood up and leave it in the back yard. He left a note saying "don't burn wet wood" but never mentioned anything about using the wood. We figured he ment that burning wet wood was bad.

The pile of fig branches was about 4 feet in diameter.

Last weekend he came over to clean the gutters and was irriated with us that we handed raked the backyard. There were also a couple couches that had gotten wet through the rain (we live in portland) and we have been planning to get rid of them on a dryer day.

He became very irate with us and told us that we were disrespecting his house. He sent us a bill for $275 for "use of firewood."

We can't find the lease at the moment, but are confident there is nothing about the landlord using any of our leased space for personal use. I would consider using our backyard to store is firewood use of leased space.

There is no possible way that that small ammount of branches was worth that kind of money.

We want to just move out in a month and a half but after our initial rejection of paying for the wood, we fear on saturday when he is coming over to fix the drain, he is going to attempt to evict us.

He is very difficult to talk with and easily becomes angry.

What should i do?!

In addition, in the past he has charged us very high ammounts for simple repairs; 150 for fixing a door lock, 100 for garbage removal (from prior room mates), 375 for fixing small holes in walls and light paint work.

We fear he will not give any deposit back.

#2 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:48 AM

To learn more about your rights as a tenant, you may wish to visit the Real Estate Law Center and read Landlord-Tenant Law as a good resource. You may also wish to read the Oregon State Bar: Landlord and Tenant Law.

#3 Fallen

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:46 PM

I'm trying hard to figure out why if you're renting this house the landlord is cleaning gutters (or that you're letting him decide to do so even if your lease is silent on basic things such as maintaining the property, moving ... or raking).

As for wet couches, I presume you're talking about your own furniture (while a landlord might care if someone uses indoor furniture as outdoor furniture if all and sundry can see the yard looking like a dumping ground, I can't imagine why he'd care).

"He sent us a bill for $275 for 'use of firewood.' "

And you're free to ignore it, or write/tell him that it's nonsense and sorry, you aren't paying.

"I would consider using our backyard to store is firewood use of leased space."

I'm not sure why on Earth you're even entertaining the argument that it was "property" he was "storing" there.

"... we fear on saturday when he is coming over to fix the drain, he is going to attempt to evict us."

Have no idea what you mean by "attempt to evict." If he comes over unannounced, you ask him to leave. If he won't, you call the police. He's not free to unilaterally show up whenever he pleases for whatever purpose.

And as suggested read up on Oregon landlord-tenant info.

"In addition, in the past he has charged us very high ammounts for simple repairs; 150 for fixing a door lock, 100 for garbage removal (from prior room mates), 375 for fixing small holes in walls and light paint work."

And you were free to refuse to pay.

"We fear he will not give any deposit back."

If he wrongfully withholds a deposit, you'll be free to sue him for it plus any civil penalty.

Please google "landlord tenant Oregon" and start reading (you'll presumably wind up with link to Oregon bar's publication, among other items).

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)





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