Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Oregon

Q: Can I charge tenant now for damages but finish the work at a later time?

We had a tenant who broke the lease and left the floors in bad shape. More damage here than what is left of the deposit and so we will be looking for them to pay. This is definitely more than normal wear and tear but we have new tenants ready to move in and they are fine if we put off some of the work until a later time. Can we charge the tenants the full amount needed to fix the damages even if the work isn't complete before we close up the accounting?

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

A: Yes, a landlord is entitled to recover damages even if they elect to not repair the property (the dwelling without the damages is worth $XXX. If tenant puts 6 foot hole in wall, dwelling worth $XXX minus cost of repair ($YY). So landlord can fix and return dwelling's value to $XXX or not repair it and have dwelling only worth $XXX - $YY. Either way, landlord sustains a loss and is entitled to recover that loss from the offending tenant). If you do not immediately repair, be sure to fully document the damage and the amount of the repairs - estimates from professional firms best.

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