Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Oregon

I have a one year lease that ends 11/1/13. I paid first($750), last($750) and deposit($500) upon signing the lease. It is now 9/17/13, this months rent has been paid and next month is my final month. I am moving out on 10/7/13. Am I breaking my lease, even though my last month (October) was paid in full at the time I signed, and can my landlord keep my security deposit because of this fact? If I give him a 30 day written notice now, that date would be after I have moved but still within the time that I have already paid for and could legally stay. Any help would be greatly appreciated.. I was tipped off that he may not be returning my security deposit. Lease says nothing about deposit and nothing about notice. It says "tenant agrees to comply with all obligations imposes upon tenant pursuant to ORS 90.


Asked on 9/17/13, 7:49 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Mauger The Law Office of Robert L. Mauger

Abandoning the property without giving notice is not a particularly good idea. What if your landlord doesn't know about it or isn't prepared and the property gets broken into? You should give your landlord written notice of your intent to vacate early. You will not be entitled to return of your last month's rent, or any portion, unless your landlord happens to rent the property in that time or agrees to terminate your rent. Many leases provide a 1.5 month lease break fee, but if you're not paying until 10/7 that would do you much help.

Regardless of the agreement, you are entitled to an accounting and payment of your security deposit and prepaid rent within 31 days "after the tenancy terminates and the tenant delivers possession." This would likely by 12/1/13, unless your landlord agrees to accept termination sooner (e.g., he rents it out, or just feels like being a nice guy and not charging you for all of November). In order to maximize the return of your deposit, take pictures before you leave and offer to do a move-out walkthrough so that you can address any nagging concerns your landlord may have. Also, if you believe that you're likely to get your security deposit back, you should provide a forwarding address. If you are afraid that you've damaged the property and will receive a bill, you might want to tell your landlord to contact a family member, friend, attorney, PO Box, or something else to reduce your odds of getting taken to court for damages. If you don't get an accounting and payment of the deposit (minus damages), you can claim twice your security deposit in court.

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Answered on 9/25/13, 8:17 am

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