Portland, OR asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Oregon

Q: Do I have to pay back relocation fees in Oregon if I don't move on time?

My landlord gave me a no-cause eviction because he plans to sell the house. He paid the relocation fees as well. I have found a new house, but it is not available until 1 week after the termination date. He is pretty insistent that I need to be on the specified date. It would not be easy for me to do and I really don't have anywhere to go between places. All I can find on-line is that if I don't move out, I will have to pay back the funds. I can not find anything that states what happens if I do move out, just not on the specified date. I am not so worried he will try to evict me- by the time he serves me a notice, I will probably already be gone. What I am concerned about is a) having to pay back the relocation fund if I stay an additional week and b) can he keep my security deposit? I will, of course, pay for the additional days I would be there.

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

A: In the end, as always, it would be up to the Judge. I know of no prior court decisions to guide, let alone control, a Judge's decision on this matter. That said, if I represented a tenant, I would argue that the payment was mandated to help provide funds for a tenant to move and they did. The landlord's notice terminated the tenancy and provided him a means of enforcing it - all as contemplated by the Ordinance. Further the Ordinance provides for a non-vacating tenant paying back the relocation assistance under specific circumstances but not under these. It could have, but does not so they must not have intended it to be recoverable by the landlord and finally, there is no legal basis provided for the landlord to recover it. All this said, yes, a landlord may try to withhold it from a deposit refund but you can challenge that in court and if successful, collect twice the amount withheld, plus your costs and attorney's fees. Good luck.

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.