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Landlord lease-break fees

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by FrustratedRenter, Sep 30, 2021.

  1. FrustratedRenter

    FrustratedRenter Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Our landlord informed me & my husband two days ago that he is breaking our lease becuz he wants to put our house (which he owns) up for sale. He's said we need to be out by Dec 31, 2021. - Upon hearing this my husband & i found another house we could rent which will be available mid November/Dec 1st.
    HOWEVER: our current landlord wants to charge us a "break lease fee of $1800.00) since he will no longer receive rent for December?! IS THIS LEGAL?? There's no guarantee that WHATEVER RENTAL WE FIND between now and Dec 31st will ideally match up with his imposed deadline, yet we are forced to pay the penalty for HIS CHOICE TO BREAK OUR LEASE??

    Please help! We have lived here for three years and a month. Always pay him straight from our bank account one week early ea month. We are 60 & 69 yrs old. My husband is retired on fixed income. We simply cannot afford to pay rent for two places in same month. Do we have any rights at all?
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You and your spouse have the same rights as do 350,000,000 other US citizens.

    As far as your rights relative to your current lease, read the lease.

    All of your rights regarding your leasehold are delineated within the four corners of your lease document.

    For example, the landlord is unable to evict you at her/his whim.

    The landlord must honor the terms and time limitations of the existing lease.

    If, however, your once time determinative lease (identified by a start and end date) has become a month to month lease (as defined by Oregon law), such a lease operating under state statute ends with PROPER 30 day notice as defined by Oregon law.

    An Oregon month-to-month rental agreement is a lease that does not end unless termination of at least 30 days is sent by either the landlord or tenant. A month-to-month lease continues in perpetuity unless amended or terminated by the landlord or tenant. Even though there is no end date, both parties must adhere and will b subject to the landlord-tenant laws in Oregon (Title 10, Chapter 90).

    ORS Chapter 90 - Residential Landlord and Tenant

    Rights and Duties of Landlords
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    It's certainly legal for him to "want to" do this, and he can legally "charge" you. The questions is whether, if you don't pay it and he sues, would he win? But let's back up.

    You wrote that he "informed [you] that he is breaking [y]our lease." By what means did he "inform" you? And under what authority is he purporting to "break[] [y]our lease"? When does the current lease expire? Does the lease contain any language that allows him to "break" it (either for the reason mentioned or any other)? If the lease doesn't contain that language, then he has no legal ability to break the lease or kick you out before the end of the lease term.

    Let's assume that there's no applicable provision in the lease. All the landlord can do is ask you to agree to a mutual termination of the lease that would have you out by the end of the year. You are free to say "yes" or "no" or "yes, but subject to some conditions." You could propose to terminate the lease early but do it as of the end of November instead of the end of December, and the landlord would then have the same options.

    If it's simply a matter of "be out at the end of the year but no earlier," then it's up to you to say "yes" or "no." He can't force you out.

    Of course you do.

    Please answer the questions I asked above, and I'll have some further thoughts on the subject.
  4. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Then you can tell your LL that you will be staying in the house until the end of the lease. I'll bet he backs off that $1800.
    army judge likes this.

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