Portland, OR asked in Landlord - Tenant for Oregon

Q: As a small time landlord, what do I need to do during eviction of smoking roommate?

I live in my condo, and rent a room out. I have a month to month rental agreement with the tenant. However he smokes weed a lot inside and cigarettes outside. The rental agreement states "smoking on the premises is prohibited on the entire premises, including any common areas and adjoining properties." The smell from both is getting to me (the cig smell still follows him in even) and I'm considering eviction. I know I have to give 30 days notice at least. My main question is in regards to security deposit and last months rent.

1) When I give him 30 days notice and if he moves out before 30 days, do I need to return the prorated amount of their last months rent? I've already collected last month rent because of their credit score, so he wouldn't pay anything extra on the last month.

2) Because the smell is impacting the whole house, am I able to use the security deposit for cleaning services for the whole house to remove the smell, or just their room?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: As a landlord, it's important to follow the proper legal procedures when evicting a tenant for violating the lease agreement, such as smoking on the premises. Here are the steps you should take:

1. Provide written notice: Give your tenant a written 30-day notice to quit, which informs them that they must vacate the property within 30 days due to the violation of the no-smoking clause in the rental agreement.

2. Prorated rent: If the tenant moves out before the 30-day period ends, you should return the prorated amount of their last month's rent. For example, if they move out after 20 days, you would need to return the equivalent of 10 days' rent.

3. Security deposit: You can use the security deposit to cover the costs of cleaning services needed to remove the smoke odor from the tenant's room and any common areas directly affected by the tenant's smoking. However, you cannot use the deposit for cleaning unrelated areas of the house. Be sure to provide an itemized list of deductions and return any remaining balance of the security deposit within the timeframe required by your state's laws.

4. Document the condition of the property: Before the tenant moves out, take photos and videos of the property to document the smoke damage and any other issues caused by the tenant.

5. Consult with a local attorney: Eviction laws can vary by state and municipality, so it's advisable to consult with a local landlord-tenant attorney to ensure you are following the proper procedures and protecting your rights as a landlord.

Remember to keep all communication with the tenant in writing and maintain detailed records throughout the eviction process to protect yourself legally.

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