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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Got Roommate from Bait and Switch is Not on Lease and We Are Not Landlords

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

    This is a rather odd problem. I share a townhouse with another person and we decided to get a 3rd person to drop the rent a little bit. We decided on this 1 guy "Jonathan" because he seemed okay. He moved in for a couple of days and then his friend took over his spot in the townhouse without our consent really. He stayed here for a couple of months and then stopped paying rent and has not paid rent since then. The problem is that neither my roommate nor I are landlords. It's an apartment complex and we are just tenants. My roommate is the main leaseholder and I'm on the lease as a roommate. The guy who moved in under false pretenses is not on the lease and since he does not pay rent, we cannot afford to cover him. The property owner is the management company and we are just renters. The squatter "Mike" refuses to pay rent and refuses to leave. I talked to the management company and they said that we could request to change the lock on the front door. Would this be legal? The squatter would not be able to get a new key. We cannot afford to go through any type of eviction process because we just don't have the time or the money and as I said, neither one of us is the official landlord. Is our only option to move out? The squatter is a drug addict and has threatened both of us, we are both afraid of him and he is already stolen a number of things. I'm 62 years old and disabled and the other roommate is 70 and neither one of us can deal with this 34-year-old guy because he's big and mean. If I have to, I'll move but I would be a pain to do so. The squatter will never, ever leave voluntarily and I'm willing to try just about anything at this point. Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,152

    Default Re: Got Roommate from Bait and Switch is Not on Lease and We Are Not Landlords

    My roommate is the main leaseholder and I'm on the lease as a roommate.
    Then your roommate is landlord (lessor) to you and the unwanted occupant (sub-lessees).

    I talked to the management company and they said that we could request to change the lock on the front door. Would this be legal?
    No. It would be an illegal lockout.

    We cannot afford to go through any type of eviction process because we just don't have the time or the money
    Too bad, so sad.

    as I said, neither one of us is the official landlord.
    As I said, your roommate is the landlord (lessor) to you and the unwanted occupant (sub-lessees).

    Is our only option to move out?
    That's certainly one option, but a bad one, as your roommate, the main lessor (and maybe you) would be responsible for the remainder of the lease and any damage the unwanted occupant does to the premises.

    The squatter is a drug addict and has threatened both of us, we are both afraid of him and he is already stolen a number of things.
    Oh, this just gets better and better.

    I'm 62 years old and disabled and the other roommate is 70
    One would think by that age you would have learned a few things.

    neither one of us can deal with this 34-year-old guy because he's big and mean.
    If he has drugs in the house, call the police and get him arrested. If you fear bodily harm, seek a restraining order and have him put out by the police.

    The squatter will never, ever leave voluntarily and I'm willing to try just about anything at this point.
    Then you'll have to use the legal methods to get him out. Proper written notice of termination of tenancy followed by eviction through the courts.

    The following Oregon statute has details:

    https://law.justia.com/codes/oregon/...3/chapter-091/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Got Roommate from Bait and Switch is Not on Lease and We Are Not Landlords

    Is there any documentation of him (or his friend who was originally going to be the roommate) paying you rent, or any documentation of an agreement?

    If I were in your shoes I would get a restraining order, while I believe that is often used abusively, it is the easiest way to handle it.

    If the landlord changes the locks, that's on them. What are the chances this guy would call the PD if he found himself locked out?

    I know how I would handle the situation. While it may not be legal, this guy would find all of his stuff placed outside of the apartment COMPLEX and the lock changed. Good chance he would get the hint and leave. If he DID call the police, I would simply say that this man does NOT live here, and any other questions should be referred to the landlord or to my attorney. The less said at that time the better.

    Good luck. Unfortunately landlord-tenant laws are heavily skewed toward the renter.

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