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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Landlord is Claiming Late Payments 2 Months After Moving Out

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Oregon

    November 30, 2012 I moved out of an apartment.
    December and January, I call my landlord a few times asking when to expect my security deposit returned. He never gives a concrete answer, but he'll get to it.
    Today is Feb 6, 2013, and I have not received anything in writing, nor has he called. I go see him in person, and he produces a document claiming I was late paying rent several times during my 2 year tenancy. All the late fees conveniently add up to the exact same amount as my security deposit (under $1000).

    I acknowledge the presence of a late fee in my contract, but I did not get receipts each month, and he always cashed the checks after the 5th. Is there anything I can do to show rent was on time?

    What about the fact that he did not notify me of anything within 31 days of moving out? Do I have any recourse to recover my deposit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Claiming Late Payments 2 Months After Moving Out

    If you believe you can convince a court that your rent was not late, then you can attempt to prove that case in small claims court. Also, depending on the facts, you may be able to argue that the late fee was waived by course of dealing or that it was excessive (I can't comment on that as I have no details).

    When a security deposit is returned late you can sue for the return of the entire deposit (and potentially double that amount if the court finds bad faith), but the governing statute, ORS 90.300, appears to allow your landlord to assert a counter-claim for the money he claims he is owed. Still, that puts the landlord on the defensive.

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