Portland, OR asked in Landlord - Tenant for Oregon

Q: My landlord took away my ability to shower / bath with hot water, because I smoked near a window.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Katherine Goodman
Katherine Goodman
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Hillsboro, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: It sounds like your landlord has failed to maintain your premises in habitable condition as required under Oregon Law and if your landlord has done this you can give written notice to your landlord specifying the breach and you may seek substitute services, diminution in rent damages or substitute housing. However, you do have to give the Landlord reasonable time and reasonable access under the circumstances to supply your water to you. If the Landlord does not return the water after the reasonable time and access was given you can then either 1) get reasonable amounts of water during this time and deduct actual and reasonable cost from the rent; 2) Recover damages based upon the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit; or 3) if without water your dwelling unit is unsafe or unfit to occupy, you can procure substitute housing during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance, in which case you are excused from paying rent for the period of the landlord’s noncompliance. Additionally you may recover as damages from the landlord the actual and reasonable cost or fair and reasonable value of comparable substitute housing in excess of the rent for the dwelling unit.

It also sounds like your landlord retaliated against you as well which is against Oregon law.

I would recommend speaking with a landlord and tenant attorney about all of your options, about what constitutes as comparable substitute housing, about any damages that you have sustained, and about giving your landlord notice about this issue.

Good luck!

1 user found this answer helpful

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

A: You don't begin to post enough information for anyone to be able to meaningfully advise you beyond the broadest of general landlord-tenant principles. I am guessing that your smoking near a window violated the landlord's smoking policy. If so, you may be subject to getting a For Cause termination of tenancy notice giving you 14 days to stop the offending behavior or 30 days to get out. If you do neither, then the landlord may be able to go to court to evict you. BUT regardless of what you did or did not do, a landlord does NOT have the right to create his own punishment for you and they may NOT suspend your right to hot water and/or bathing. IF they have, you likely have monetary damage claims against the landlord which can include an award of your court costs and attorney's fees, so if you think you have a viable case, it may be worth reviewing it all with a local landlord-tenant attorney. Good luck.

1 user found this answer helpful

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