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Old 11-30-2009, 02:02 PM
 
5 posts, read 10,589 times
Reputation: 11

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We rented a single wide trailer in desperate need of some TLC, because we fell in love with the location. the landlord bought the paint and we painted througout and cleaned thoroughly. The floor in the bathroom was soft and the roof leaked but the landlord said he would repair these, this was in July when our contracted started. We moved out 4 months later as the bathroom floor completely went through and was growing mushrooms and the roof didnt get repaired. The landlords would never return our calls and lived 2 hours away. the final straw came when we were without water for 24 hours, so we wrote out a 30 day notice of our intent to vacate as of November 1st. They agreed to meet with us the next day but cancelled and kept cancelling our appointments to do a walk through. I wrote them a letter letting them know they had 30 days to return my depost and sent the keys with a delivery confirmation. They finally came up to meet with us but were very hostile and told us we didnt clean, so we are not getting our deposit back, we were mortified as we had cleaned put up new blinds in all rooms and painted throughout, they told us we did all that because we wanted too not because they asked us too, we explained that we did it becasue we planned on staying long term but we had to move because of the repairs. I have picture of the trailer after we moved out showing the cleanliness of it and also the repairs that needed to be done. Do you think we will win in a small claims court we live in Oregon. Oh and another thing, they said we left straw all over the place, we had a pile of straw compost, but we didnt leave it all over the place, and we built a small fence for our two little dogs, but when we left we didnt fill in the post holes. When the landlord mentioned this to my husband, my husband told him we would go and do it, he told us he didnt want us on his property and not to trespass. Anybody gone through this, im thinking of taking them to small claims court
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Sisters, Oregon
351 posts, read 1,210,314 times
Reputation: 208
I hope you took pictures when you moved in.

Sounds like they were slumlords.... and most do not want to go through the hassle and expense of courts...

I hope you get your $$ back.....
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:59 PM
 
5 posts, read 10,589 times
Reputation: 11
the best thing aout this whole thing is his profession is detective, you would think that he would know better uh!, what scare me about this whole thing is they are saying we left garbage, and we know we didnt, but I have a video as well as picture so I hope he doesnt purger himself too much. I have pictures of the mold, and the mushrooms growing up through the bathroom floor. I just checked my mail cause he had 30 days to mail me a check, today is the 30th day so we will see. Does anybody know if I have to send them another letter giving them notice of small claims court???
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:50 PM
 
5 posts, read 10,589 times
Reputation: 11
there has been lots of views but no answers, can anybody give me some advice.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:53 PM
 
Location: In the moment.
206 posts, read 545,606 times
Reputation: 130
Did you take pics when you first moved in?
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:12 AM
 
4,628 posts, read 9,934,576 times
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Which town do you live in ? I think Oregon is known to be very landlord-friendly. I've never lived anywhere where rent can be raised a full 10% every year, as I believe the law allows.

People may be looking at this thread and still not have any definitive answers for you. Sorry, but I don't either. You may have a better chance of getting a knowledgeable answer if you put this thread in the Renting forum.

Just a suggestion here, if you still don't have your money back, I'd continue to send registered/ret.recpt. letters to the landlord at his home and at his work place. Maybe check with the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint?

Good luck ~
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,069 posts, read 37,274,881 times
Reputation: 15842
You aren't getting any advice because you have a "he said, she said" situation. Unless you have documentation of what you agreed to as well as the condition of the property, you have a difficult situation.

I would just file in small claims court and see what happens.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:15 PM
 
758 posts, read 2,239,818 times
Reputation: 344
Nolo Press publishes very good books about small claims court. You should pursue this option; it's inexpensive, no lawyers are allowed - it is truly your day in court. Generally, you need to send the other party a formal demand letter, certified mail, return receipt requested, briefly stating what you are owed and why, and that if you do not receive a response within 30 days, you will file a small claims court case. Often, this is enough to get results, but if not, go file. Do note that winning a judgment is not the same as collecting the judgment; this is where the Nolo book will help - if you file, be sure to specify the amount owed PLUS COSTS (to recoup your filing fee and the cost of mailing your certified letter).
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Coeur d'Alene Idaho
804 posts, read 2,729,209 times
Reputation: 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
You aren't getting any advice because you have a "he said, she said" situation. Unless you have documentation of what you agreed to as well as the condition of the property, you have a difficult situation.

I would just file in small claims court and see what happens.

I would agree with the poster above. Hopefully you have multiple pictures from different angles of the inside and outside of your residence and are able to articulate in court exactly what the problems were and back up your words with pictures, aka proof. If you do not have these pictures then you may get some of your deposit back but I wouldn't plan on getting it all back.

If your old landlord is a Detective then he knows how to act and what to say in court to sound and look professional. I would highly suggest you do not say 'umm, yaa, uh huh,.. etc. Talking like that will take your credibility away to the judge. Practice for it as you would a big test in college and go through what you want to say in front of mirror and or friends so you are used to saying about what needs to be said. Good luck and make sure your 'ducks are in a row' before going to court.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:44 AM
 
1,312 posts, read 6,160,369 times
Reputation: 2003
The exact wording of the rental agreement will be important. It should spell out how the landlord may use the security deposit. Look for the term "refundable deposit" in the rental agreement or lease. Ordinarily, a security deposit is just what the term implies: an amount to be held as a security against 1.) nonpayment of rent, or 2.) restitution for physical damage to the property that exceeds ordinary wear and tear. The landlord can also charge either a refundable cleaning deposit or a nonrefundable cleaning fee. What they can't do is take a security deposit and repurpose it as a cleaning fee (see ORS citation in red below). A security deposit is for covering nonpayment of rent or damage, a cleaning fee is for covering the expenses involved in cleaning a unit.
Your landlord or property manager also must notify you in writing as to exactly why the full amount of the security deposit is not being returned. If they told you orally that you wouldn't get your security deposit back, but failed to notify you in writing as to why not, they erred grievously and your case might be won on that fact alone.

You'll have to inquire as to the filing fee for a small claims complaint. Unfortunately, you may find that the amount of the filing fee in your jurisdiction exceeds what you're likely to receive in restitution. Good luck. If you paid your rent in good faith, I think you are on strong legal ground.


ORS 90.300 Security deposits; prepaid rent. (1) As used in this section, “security deposit” includes any last month’s rent deposit.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a landlord may require the payment of a security deposit. A security deposit or prepaid rent shall be held by the landlord for the tenant who is a party to the rental agreement. The claim of a tenant to the security deposit or prepaid rent shall be prior to the claim of any creditor of the landlord, including a trustee in bankruptcy. The holder of the landlord’s interest in the premises at the time of termination of the tenancy is responsible to the tenant for any security deposit or prepaid rent and is bound by this section.

(3)(a) A landlord may not change the rental agreement to require the payment of a new or increased security deposit during the first year after the tenancy has begun, except that an additional deposit may be required if the landlord and tenant agree to modify the terms and conditions of the rental agreement to permit a pet or for other cause and the additional deposit relates to that modification. This paragraph does not prevent the collection of a security deposit that was provided for under an initial rental agreement but remained unpaid at the time the tenancy began.

(b) If a landlord requires a new or increased security deposit after the first year of the tenancy, the landlord shall allow the tenant at least three months to pay that deposit.

(4) The landlord may claim all or part of the security deposit only if the security deposit was made for any or all of the purposes provided by subsection (5) of this section.

(5) The landlord may claim from the security deposit only the amount reasonably necessary:

(a) To remedy the tenant’s defaults in the performance of the rental agreement including, but not limited to, unpaid rent; and

(b) To repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant, not including ordinary wear and tear.

(6) A landlord may not require that a security deposit or prepaid rent be required or forfeited to the landlord upon the failure of the tenant to maintain a tenancy for a minimum number of months in a month-to-month tenancy.

(7) Any last month’s rent deposit must be applied to the rent due for the last month of the tenancy:

(a) Upon either the landlord or tenant giving to the other a notice of termination, pursuant to this chapter, other than a notice of termination under ORS 90.394;

(b) Upon agreement by the landlord and tenant to terminate the tenancy; or

(c) Upon termination pursuant to the provisions of a written rental agreement for a term tenancy.

(8) Any portion of a last month’s rent deposit not applied as provided under subsection (7) of this section shall be accounted for and refunded as provided under subsections (10) to (12) of this section. Unless the tenant and landlord agree otherwise, a last month’s rent deposit shall not be applied to rent due for any period other than the last month of the tenancy. A last month’s rent deposit shall not operate to limit the amount of rent charged unless a written rental agreement provides otherwise.

(9) Upon termination of the tenancy, a landlord shall account for and refund to the tenant the unused balance of any prepaid rent not previously refunded to the tenant as required by ORS 90.380 and 105.120 (5)(b) or any other provision of this chapter, in the same manner as required for security deposits by this section. The landlord may claim from the remaining prepaid rent only the amount reasonably necessary to pay the tenant’s unpaid rent.

(10) In order to claim all or part of any prepaid rent or security deposit, within 31 days after the termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession the landlord shall give to the tenant a written accounting that states specifically the basis or bases of the claim. The landlord shall give a separate accounting for security deposits and for prepaid rent.

(11) The security deposit or prepaid rent or portion thereof not claimed in the manner provided by subsections (9) and (10) of this section shall be returned to the tenant not later than 31 days after the termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession to the landlord.

(12) The landlord shall give the written accounting as required by subsection (10) of this section or shall return the security deposit or prepaid rent as required by subsection (11) of this section by personal delivery or by first class mail.
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