Gregory L Abbott

Gregory L Abbott

  • Consumer Law, Landlord Tenant, Collections...
  • Oregon, Washington
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Summary

Protecting Consumers and Small Businesses in Oregon for Over 23 Years. Landlord-Tenant Matters, Debt Collection Issues, Wills/Probates/Estate Administration, Auto Accidents, Car Deals Gone Bad are All Mainstays of My Practice. Other Attorneys in Oregon Hire Me to Help - Shouldn't You Too?

Practice Areas
  • Consumer Law
  • Landlord Tenant
  • Collections
  • Probate
  • Personal Injury
  • Animal & Dog Law
Fees
  • Contingent Fees
    I accept contingent fees in select cases after a thorough review
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Depending upon the case and the situation, I offer flat fees in some matters; contingent fees in some; and hourly rates in others.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Oregon
Washington
9th Circuit
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Education
Lewis & Clark Law School
J.D. (1993)
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Honors: AmJur Award in Alternate Dispute Resolution, Winner of Mock Trial Competition
Knox College
B.A. (1975) | Anthropology
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Activities: On Student Government
Websites & Blogs
Website
Consumer Law Northwest
Legal Answers
466 Questions Answered

Q. My tenant signed an agreement to vacate the premises in 30 days. If she does not move as promised, do I have to evict?
A: You cannot start an eviction until after the deadline passes and the tenant still remains. Then you must file to evict and evict through the court process or be liable to the tenant for a variety of potential damages, none of them cheap. A court eviction is a technical process that must be followed exactly or risk having your case thrown out, with you owing the tenant's court costs and attorney's fees, plus you have to start over from scratch. IF you want to enforce her termination notice, DO NOT accept any rent for past the termination date or you likely will waive your right to enforce the termination notice. All in all, you may want to review everything with a landlord-tenant attorney before proceeding if she does not leave as promised. Even if she does not leave, you still cannot just lock her out, cut off her utilities, etc. She has full tenant rights until she either voluntarily restores possession to you or until the Sheriff removes her and restores possession to you. Good luck.
Q. Moved out in May and got my deposit back in July. I recently received a bill for utilities. Can they bill MONTHS after?
A: Well, yes, a landlord can bring claims against you for up to one year after the claim arose. That said, however, it sounds as if you may have multiple claims against the landlord. First, they were obligated to either refund or provide a written accounting for why they were keeping your security deposit within 31 days of your restoring possession to them. If they were late, you are entitled to recover twice the amount not timely refunded or accounted for, plus your court costs and attorney's fees. Then there is the issue regarding the utilities. There are some rather technical requirements regarding a landlord billing a tenant for utilities - disclosures in the lease; perhaps monthly disclosures with the bills; billing you within 30 days of the landlord getting the bill from the service provider; it certainly is not lawful to tell you that you are being billed based on your own actual usage and then bill you differently, especially if you are being billed for something that may benefit others, etc. Utility billing violations are assessed penalties against the landlord in terms of month's rent, perhaps multiple month's rent. So all in all, it certainly sounds as if the landlord may well owe you much more than anything you might owe him. The only way to know is to take your lease, the utility billings, copies of all communications with the landlord, and any accounting for or refund of your security deposit to a landlord-tenant attorney for a complete review. If after doing a comprehensive review, the attorney believes you have a solid case, it is the sort of case that many attorneys would consider taking on a contingency, meaning you would not owe the attorney anything for his fees beyond the initial evaluation interview. Rather, he would rely upon collecting his fees from the landlord upon settling the case or prevailing at trial. Usually these things are rather cut and dried - either he accounted for or refunded the security deposit within 31 days or he did not. And while the landlord frequently screams and yells and stomps around proclaiming he will never pay, once he figures out that he has to pay your attorney's fees on top of everything else, he normally then is rather anxious to settle and get this over with before he has to keep paying ever escalating fees. It pressures a landlord to pay up and settle rapidly rather than fighting it out in court - which is something he may well do if you simply sue him yourself, without an attorney. Regardless, check it all out with a landlord-tenant attorney to learn your rights and possible claims. Do not let yourself be bullied by the landlord! Good luck.
Q. If i was a resident with someone in their home and they pass away. Am i allowed to stay in the home since the rents paid
A: It all depends. First, did the deceased own the home? If so, by himself with no one else on the Deed? If so, the next question is whether his estate has been probated or submitted to administration through the court. If not, no one, including the Brother in Law, has legal authority to do anything with the deceased's property, including the house or to collect rent from you for it. IF brother in law has been appointed Personal Representative of the deceased's estate by the court, then he likely does have the authority to terminate your residency there. It is not clear whether you rented or were a guest or even an employee-caretaker of the deceased. That is important because it helps determine what the Personal Representative has to legally do to get you out of the property. It might take a few weeks or it could take several months or even conceivably could be almost immediately. If they seem to push the issue, review everything with a local landlord-tenant attorney to learn your rights and how to best proceed. It is likely though that in the end, you will have to vacate if you don't own the property at least in part. Most likely it is a question of how long, not if, you get to stay there.
Q. Year contract is up in June and landlord wants us to sign another year lease by Jan. Do we have a month to month option
A: It depends upon the exact wording in your lease. Most leases provide that unless the parties either renew the term lease or one notifies the other that they do not wish to renew, the tenancy then automatically becomes a month to month tenancy. That is NOT an option guaranteeing the tenant the choice to become month to month. So one needs to look at your lease wording critically and carefully. Normally a landlord is not required to offer you a month to month option so any right you might have to insist upon it would have to be expressly provided for in your existing lease.
Q. How do I get a roommate who has a friend sleeping over about most nights to stop?
A: Look at your lease - most leases provide for a limit on how often a guest can stay before it violates the lease and potentially subjects you both to termination. IF it does have such a limitation, and your roommate won't abide by it, then you need to consider the potential impact if you call it to your landlord's attention. He may not care; he may try to force your roommate to comply; or he might simply give notice and if not fixed, proceed to simply evict both of you. And perhaps he would agree to re-rent to you alone or with a new roommate, after removing your existing, non-compliant roommate, or perhaps he would not. His choice. In the end, however, there is little you can legally do directly against your roommate.
Q. Landlord told us she would put in an AC unit if we rented her property. Once we rented it, she refused to put it in.
A: IF adding an air conditioner was part of the rental agreement, it likely is enforceable IF you can prove it (assuming the landlord denies it). Verbal agreements are lawful, enforceable, and binding BUT proving the contents of those agreements is often difficult and/or tricky. See if you can get her to confirm the original agreement in an email, text, etc. to try to strengthen your claim before proceeding.
Q. Landlord said she can take last months rent from the security deposit but is going to charge me 25.00 a day.
A: Sorry but I am not clear what you are saying. Yes, a landlord can take any rent still owed after move out from the security deposit before refunding or accounting for any balance in writing to the tenant within 31 days of move out; and yes, rent is prorated on a daily basis; but I am unclear what you are referring to about a $25 day "fee". If that is your daily pro-rated amount of rent, fine...but if this is some sort of additional fee the landlord is trying to charge, that likely is not lawful and may entitle you to recover damages plus court costs and your attorney's fees. If you are within the city limits of Portland, you may or may not have other potential claims against the landlord. If you really want to know, consider reviewing everything with a local landlord-tenant attorney. Good luck.
Q. I'm a tenant and the only one on my lease. I've rented out a room to someone who has now not paid rent. Can I evict?
A: IF the subtenant pays their rent to you (well, is supposed to anyway) you are likely their landlord - with all the obligations and privileges of being such. If they do not pay their rent by the 8th day of the month (assuming it is due on the 1st), you can/should issue a 72 hour Termination of Tenancy Notice and then, if not paid by the time it expires, no longer accept rent and proceed to file an eviction in the local court. Understand this is a very technical process which must be followed EXACTLY or you risk having your lawsuit tossed out; you owing the tenant's court costs and attorneys fees (which can be in the thousands by then); the tenant still in possession; and you having to start over from scratch. So unless you are VERY familiar with the requirements and process, you may want to review everything with a landlord-tenant attorney before doing anything - it can save you money in the long run and maximize your chances of prevailing on first try. There are rules about what information must be contained in a 72 hour notice (and what cannot be in it) as well as the way it must be served. But as to your last question, you do not have to allow a tenant to stay an additional 30 days without paying rent before you can file a lawsuit to get rid of him.
Q. What is the timeline for police to make an arrest on Domestic Violence allegations?
A: Of course they can arrest him later, at their convenience - even a year or more later if they wish and think they can make a case.
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Consumer Law Northwest
6635 N. Baltimore Ave
Suite 254
Portland, OR 97203
USA
Telephone: (503) 283-4568