Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Oregon

Q: Can my roommate just kick me out?

Hello,

I moved in with a friend and signed a lease with a 90 day notice of me choosing to leave or them asking me to leave. The lease is with the landlord who never gave me a copy once I signed it. I've asked for a copy now that my roommate (the daughter of the landlord) asked me to leave for "personal reasons". Now she is saying that because I can't produce a copy of the lease. She can throw me out whenever she wants. She's also saying that she owns my cat and is planning on giving it away. I have no proof that the cat is mine but it is.

I also don't have the lease agreement giving me 90 days. Can she throw me out? I've only lived here for 3 months.

I live in Oregon if that makes a difference.

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

A: No your roommate cannot just "throw" you out. Your landlord only has the authority to give you a notice to vacate the premises and terminate your tenancy. Depending on the type of lease/ tenancy you have, what city you live, and why they are giving you a written notice to terminate your lease or evict you will determine the amount of time you have to vacate, leave, the premises. Additionally, there are other ordinances and other variables that need to be factored in related to the current COVID-19 pandemic and other variables such as whether your roommate is an agent of your landlord. Moreover, you do not say if you have a month to month, week to week, or a fixed term lease (e.g. 1-year lease) with your landlord. You should request a copy of the lease from your landlord. Once you get a copy of the lease and any copies of the written notices to terminate, vacate, or of eviction should be shown to a local landlord-tenant attorney to discuss your options.

Good luck.

Gregory L Abbott agrees with this answer

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

A: I agree with everything Ms. Goodman has said and write only to be clear that your roommate has no authority whatsoever to kick you out, anymore than you have to kick her out, unless she is acting for or on behalf of her father, the landlord. And if she claims that, make her put it in writing (not hard, given she can't do anything against you in her father's name without providing it in writing and the father is required to notify you in writing of anyone who has authority to act on his behalf), keep good records of anytime she enters "your" room or private areas without providing you at least 24 hours advanced notice (each such entry you can prove may be worth a month's rent plus your court costs and attorney's fees), etc. She either is her father's representative or she is not - she cannot go back and forth. And if she IS his representative, then she likely owes you all the same duties any landlord owes their tenant, including not invading their privacy without advanced notice, etc. Even if she is his representative, she has to provide you with a written notice terminating your tenancy and if without legal cause (which it sounds to be) it must provide both at least 30 days prior WRITTEN notice (email, text, verbal, smoke signals, none of these count - written means written - ink or toner, on paper), and it must be lawfully served - either personally handed to you; mailed to you regular first class mail (not Certified) with at least an additional 4 days, including the date of mailing, added; or, if you have a written rental agreement that provides for it, by posting a copy on your main door and mailing you a copy. Those are the only ways it may be lawfully served - not left on a counter top or slipped under your door, etc. You are legally entitled to a copy of your lease. Make a written request (keeping a copy) of your landlord (NOT the daughter - ignore her) for that lease. If you get it, then you arguably become entitled to at least 90 days notice before needing to leave. Consider gathering proof that you own the cat - vet bills in your name, rabies vaccination records, register with the local County Animal Control, etc. as well as statements from witness/friends that you own the cat. Then if she tries to get rid of it, call the police and/or consider suing her - but build your record of ownership first. If things get uglier, consider reviewing everything with a local landlord-tenant attorney. Good luck.

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