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Landlord Termination of Rental Agreement - Fixed Term - Oregon

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If I am in a fixed term lease in Oregon and am evicted prior to the end of the lease due to a violation of the rental agreement (unauthorized pet), can the landlord still charge me rent until the property is re-rented?  The property has been completely vacated and keys returned due to the termination.

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If I am in a fixed term lease in Oregon and am evicted prior to the end of the lease due to a violation of the rental agreement (unauthorized pet), can the landlord still charge me rent until the property is re-rented? 

 

Yes.

 

The property has been completely vacated and keys returned due to the termination.

 

Good. As of that date, the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages under ORS 90.125:

 

90.125 Administration of remedies; enforcement. (1) The remedies provided by this chapter shall be so administered that an aggrieved party may recover appropriate damages. The aggrieved party has a duty to mitigate damages.

 

https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors090.html

 

In your situation the landlord is the aggrieved (wronged) party because you breached the lease by having an unauthorized pet.

 

As such, he is required to re-rent as soon as reasonably possible.

 

You would be wise not to pay him anything until he actually does re-rent and then the rent for the period of unoccupancy can be computed.

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Thanks for the feedback Adjusterjack.  A friend of the family that is an attorney looked at the rental agreement and said the landlord does not have a default clause in the agreement so he feels I am not responsible for the rent.  I do know that the management company is advertising the house and working on re-renting it but they retained my deposit for this month and said I will need to continue to pay rent until it is re-rented.  They did say they would refund any rent paid that overlaps with the new rental agreement.

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Thanks for the feedback Adjusterjack.  A friend of the family that is an attorney looked at the rental agreement and said the landlord does not have a default clause in the agreement so he feels I am not responsible for the rent.

 

Where'd he get is law degree? Whatsamatter U. in Frostbite Falls?

 

You don't need a "default clause" to suffer the consequences of defaulting or breaching a contract.

 

Probably doesn't have a "mitigation" clause either but the landlord is still obligated by statute to mitigate. Even without a statutory requirement, a body of case law would still require it.

 

The point is, not everything has to be written into a contract to be applicable.

 

Can't imagine why Your Cousin Vinny doesn't understand that. ;)

 

I do know that the management company is advertising the house and working on re-renting it

 

Good. Shows that reasonable efforts are being made to re-rent.

 

 

 but they retained my deposit for this month

 

Legal and proper.

 

 

 

and said I will need to continue to pay rent until it is re-rented.  They did say they would refund any rent paid that overlaps with the new rental agreement.

 

To continue paying is, of course, your choice, since you'd be responsible for the number of days between the surrender date and the effective date of the new tenancy.

 

But another option is to send written notice that you understand your obligation to pay for the days until re-rented and as soon as they re-rent they can send you documentation of re-rent and a bill for the vacant days that the deposit didn't cover.

 

They have more of an incentive to re-rent quickly when no money is coming in on a vacant unit.

 

But that's up to you.

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I disagree that you would be required to pay through the end of the lease (and it's worth pointing out that "adjusterjack" isn't in Oregon and doesn't have any law degree -- from Whatsamatter U. or, as it's actually called, Wossamotta U., or anywhere else -- so the criticism of your lawyer friend is more than a little curious).

 

When a landlord evicts a tenant based on a breach of the lease, he/she is terminating the lease, which means neither party has any obligation to the other going forward, unless the lease says otherwise.  This is what your lawyer friend was talking about when he referred to a "default clause."

 

It's worth pointing out that your original post phrased the issue as a hypothetical, but your follow up post suggests that you actually were evicted.  If that's the case, then I suggest you consider asking your lawyer friend to write a letter tot he landlord regarding the failure to return your deposit (or at least account for it) and any alleged obligation to pay future rent.

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Thanks pg1067...  I agree with you but the property manager says that they are allowed to collect the rent until re-rented.  They said violating a clause in the lease and not correcting the violation when given the opportunity to do so forces the termination but I am still responsible.  Maybe this is a loophole to get out of a lease?  Just force them to kick you out?

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I disagree that you would be required to pay through the end of the lease

 

This thread doesn't involve a discussion of paying through the end of the lease.

 

OP's question was:

 

"can the landlord still charge me rent until the property is re-rented?"

 

 

 (and it's worth pointing out that "adjusterjack" isn't in Oregon

 

True.

 

 

Iand doesn't have any law degree --

 

 

I do point that out at the bottom of every one of my posts.

 

 

 

it's actually called, Wossamotta U.,

 

 

Darn, shoulda checked that.

 

 

 so the criticism of your lawyer friend is more than a little curious).

 

 

Was done facetiously but with love for attorneys everywhere.

 

 

 

When a landlord evicts a tenant based on a breach of the lease, he/she is terminating the lease, which means neither party has any obligation to the other going forward, unless the lease says otherwise. 

 

Or a statute says otherwise. Which, in this case, applies to mitigation.

 

While the breaching party has no "obligation" going forward, the aggrieved party may suffer monetary damages for which he may later seek compensation for unpaid rent during the period that the unit is vacant as a result of the tenant's breach. That's what is under discussion here.

 

The landlord can certainly "ask" the former tenant to keep on paying and the former tenant can certainly agree to keep on paying which, as I noted earlier, is up to the former tenant.

 

 I suggest you consider asking your lawyer friend to write a letter to the landlord regarding the failure to return your deposit (or at least account for it) a

 

The landlord has 31 days after the tenancy terminates and the tenant delivers possession the landlord per ORS 90.300 (12):

 

http://law.justia.com/codes/oregon/2013/volume-03/chapter-090/section-90.300/

 

If OP's situation is still within those 31 days, asking about the security deposit is premature.

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Thanks pg1067...  I agree with you but the property manager says that they are allowed to collect the rent until re-rented. 

 

As PG1067 wrote you are free to ask the property manager to cite an authority (statute or case decision) that "allows" that.

 

Keep in mind, of course that there is a difference between continuing to collect rent and seeking monetary damages for unpaid rent after the unit is re-rented.

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. . . but the property manager says that they are allowed to collect the rent until re-rented.  They said violating a clause in the lease and not correcting the violation when given the opportunity to do so forces the termination but I am still responsible.  Maybe this is a loophole to get out of a lease?  Just force them to kick you out?

 

Just because this person said it doesn't make it true.  People often make false assertions about the law -- whether intentional or because they simply don't know what they're talking about.

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