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Old Yesterday, 07:43 PM
 
9 posts, read 268 times
Reputation: 15

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Hi:
I am a landlord in Oregon.
I have a lease of 14 months and it ended last month.
Because I need to deduct the security deposit, the tenant requests me to refund her garbage fee over 14 months, because garbage fee is not included in the written lease.
I checked the Oregon landlord and tenantlaw (38) “Rental agreement” means all agreements, written or
oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under ORS 90.262 or 90.510 (6) embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises. “Rental agreement” includes a lease. A rental agreement shall be either a week-to-week tenancy, month-to-month tenancy or fixed term tenancy.
The rental agreement can be oral or written.
We had oral agreement that tenant pays garbage, and later on when we decided to reduce the oral agreement to written, I missed the garbage fee in the printout. But since we both knew that tenant would pay garbage according to our oral agreement, I didn't take effort to amend the lease, but I simply sent the tenant the garbage bill in email and the tenant has always been replying that she would pay the
garbage bill and sent the check, the tenant even said she would like to pay the rent and the garbage bill in the same check so it is easier. All the previous emails and check images are available.
So since oral agreement and written agreement are both valid by court, though the written agreement missed the garbage part, the oral agreement still stands, and the fact that the tenant has been voluntarily paying the garbage fee in the last 14 months and indicated that she would like to pay the garbage fee in multiple emails implies that our oral agreement are legally binding and I have previous email and pay checks as evidence. In this case, could I refuse to refund her the garbage fee?
Thanks
Wen
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Old Yesterday, 07:52 PM
 
381 posts, read 88,007 times
Reputation: 748
Written agreement post-dates the verbal agreement, and this is slightly more than a scrivener's error.

Is it worth the $700-$1000 to fight this out in small claims?
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Old Yesterday, 07:58 PM
 
9 posts, read 268 times
Reputation: 15
Yes the paper lease post-dates the verbal one, but the tenant's consistent behavior to pay the garbage over the 14 months and consistent replies in her email she would pay the garbage bill constitute the fact that we are in agreements that tenant should pay the garbage bill.
It is $400 dollars and really too frustrating to trust anyone in the future!
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Old Yesterday, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,940 posts, read 11,123,417 times
Reputation: 17403
It seems like the tenant knew about, agreed to pay - and actually paid the garbage fee ... making it a de facto agreement. Now, they are hoping to claim a technicality to secure a refund or avoid a security deposit deduct.

Obviously, the tenant can request a refund, but, I'm not sure why you would now choose to rescind your agreement and return the payments (?) - simply because they requested it (?) -- What am I missing here?
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Old Yesterday, 08:03 PM
 
9 posts, read 268 times
Reputation: 15
Hi jghorton I haven't chosen to rescind the agreement and return the payments, I am still trying to find what I should do.
If I deduct $200 dollars for carpet damage by the tenant's cats, the tenant would request refund of the garbage fee $25/months for 14 months and total is $350.
So I am thinking if I deduct $200 for the carpet damage by cats, then the tenant goes to the court to sue me to refund $350 garbage fee over 14 months, I will loose $150.
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Old Yesterday, 08:07 PM
Status: "Hard Money Lender " (set 12 days ago)
 
279 posts, read 59,774 times
Reputation: 530
My read is that the tenant’s overt actions amount to approval to pay the garbage fee. If I were you, I would stand my ground, not refund the garbage fee and let the tenant take me to Court. While there may be a scriveners error in the written agreement, the actions of the tenant show intent to pay the garbage fee.

Take my comments as a lay person landlord however I am not afraid of going to Court if I am sued or need to sue.
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Old Yesterday, 08:14 PM
 
9 posts, read 268 times
Reputation: 15
Hi Spokaneinvestor, thanks for the encouragement, maybe I should try to defend the landlord's right.
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Old Yesterday, 08:20 PM
 
381 posts, read 88,007 times
Reputation: 748
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinke View Post
Hi Spokaneinvestor, thanks for the encouragement, maybe I should try to defend the landlord's right.
I might pick a bigger hill to stand on than $400, but it's your time and energy. Definitely deduct the pet damage - although I'm curious how you're arriving at the $200 figure? You sure it's not more?
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Old Yesterday, 08:59 PM
 
9 posts, read 268 times
Reputation: 15
Hi Skipito this is the first time I am land lording, I have no idea about how much I should deduct just my feeling.
I wish I could attach some pictures of the yards but it looks like this forum can't upload.
I did my counting and there are 16 holes, two locations where whole rows of threads pulled off, $200 is my simple estimation and I never did any official quote.

I think I would need to deduct yard too, it is in the lease that tenant is responsible for yard management, but over the 14 months the yard was totally neglected.

Spiny plants rise to my shoulder, my feet sink down into the dead leave, it took me 10 hours hard work over the weekend to clean off the yard and move the debris out. Shall I charge 10 hours *$50/hour labor, say $500?
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Old Yesterday, 09:15 PM
 
7,353 posts, read 4,089,010 times
Reputation: 16564
I don't know if she would win in court or not. But as a landlord, I pay for trash & basic yard care. You just can't depend on renters to do the yard or pay for trash.
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