Q: My landlord in Oregon used “landlord retaliation” to make me leave. Can I sue or counter sue them and in what court?
After I pointed out that they hadn’t replaced a broken bathroom fan after a year of asking and they underpaid me for an unrelated job, my landlord sent me a rent increase letter (a month after signing a lease renewal at the same rate) and daily notices with eviction warnings. I had never received a single notice prior and never before had she mentioned a rent increase. They also sent me a notice saying that I could no longer get a roomate which I was seeking to help with rent. And the prior candidate that submitted her application to the landlord was denied because she’s ac bikini barista and my landlord condemned that saying she’s a feminist (all in text message).
Not only that, but even after I put in my 30 day notice because I wanted to remove myself from her harassment, she tried taking me to eviction court to use the power of the state to inflict pain on me. She lost of course.
A: If you already were in court - that was your time to press a retaliation claim. Depending upon the details, you may still be able to file a new lawsuit for damages but do so knowing that retaliation claims are difficult to win and if you lose, you may owe his court costs and attorney's fees. Getting unexpected rent increases is one of the down sides of doing a month to month tenancy; if it had been a fixed term lease, the rent could not be raised until after the lease expired.
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