Lake Oswego, OR asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Oregon

Q: I lived with a friend for 8+ months rent free with no formal agreement. He gave me 19 days to leave. Is this legal?

My friend let me stay rent-free and off-lease in the second bedroom of his apartment(s) in the city of Portland (we moved to a 2nd apt during 8+ months). On April 11th he text me that I needed to start paying $1,000/month, including the month of April, or leave by May 1st. I left to go out of town soon after and text to say I could only afford $750 for the month of May and then $1,000/month going forward. He told me I had to leave since I could not meet his demands. I asked to stay until May 3rd and he said no. On April 30th when I got back from out of town, he had locked the inside door (which we had never locked). I got in with my 2nd key to find all my belongings moved to the dining room. I left on May 1st without my mattress. Now he says he won't let me have it unless I pay him (he suggested $5,000). I just wanted my mattress but now am considering legal action due to his actions. What are my rights? There was no stated/formal request for rent money prior to April 11th. Thank you!

1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: There is no question that you are entitled to recover your mattress and any other personal property. IF you were a tenant, then you might have claims against him for landlord-tenant violations (or perhaps not since you apparently left "voluntarily" - it depends upon the exact details). But if you were essentially just a guest who failed to leave when requested to, you likely have few rights. The only way to really know is for you to review everything with a local landlord-tenant attorney.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.