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Phil Nelson

Phil Nelson’s Answers

6 total

  • Landlord Claims Front Step and Driveway are Community Areas (Oregon)

    Equity Residential, the landlord of my rental townhouse, recently asserted that the front step/stoop (approximately 6 feets square), which serves my front door exclusively, and my one-car driveway, which serves my unit and its attached garage excl...

    Phil’s Answer

    Start with your rental agreement. Does it define "community area"?

    If there is no definition in the contract, you have to look to the intention of the parties and what a reasonable interpretation of the contract is.

    It seems to me that on these facts (in the absence of a definition in the rental agreement) you have the better of the argument. You might send the landlord a letter asking what provision of the contract they are relying on for their interpretation.

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  • Can a tennant be evicted and held responsible for someone breaking out here apartment windows at night while she is sleeping?

    Does a tennant have to pay for broken windows? Does she have to move out?

    Phil’s Answer

    Unless the breaking of the window can be tied fairly closely to something you had control of, the answer is likely no. In other words, if it was a complete stranger, then no, the landlord cannot evict you. If the window breaker was a friend who you solicited to break the window, then yes, you're in trouble. The various potential fact scenarios can fall anywhere on that spectrum.

    You will also want to closely review your lease agreement and see what bases the landlord can assert for eviction.

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  • Since my home was in forclosure status(now trying to modify with bank) my renter has decided not to pay...what can I do legally?

    My renter thinks he can now squat as if the modification doesnt work the home will be sold in July and he will have 3 months after that date per federal law. He is breaking all pet policies discussed and has 3 dogs and 3 cats in the home. This pr...

    Phil’s Answer

    The answer to this question varies on the precise circumstances of the case. There are a few important considerations though. If the bank knows this is an investment property (and it sounds like they do), you will be placed in a different modification bucket. The upshot is it will be more difficult -- but not impossible -- to get your modification.

    Regarding your renter, there are protections in place for the renter after foreclosure, but there is nothing to prevent you from attempting to evict the tenant for cause during the modification process. In other words, as a general proposition, it's no more difficult to evict them now than it would be if you were current on your mortgage, etc.

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  • I had a verbal agreement to lease building and equipment for the minumum of 6 months, however the leasee broke the agreement

    The leasee broke the agreement and took over.

    Phil’s Answer

    Your rights here vary from state to state. Many states require such agreements to be in writing to be enforceable. Even if the agreement is not enforceable, you may nevertheless have claims that could result in compensation. To the extent that you conferred a benefit on the lessee, or the lessee has gained the benefit of something he is not entitled to, you may have a claim. These, however, are trickier claims that those based on a straight written agreement. You're going to need to consult a lawyer in your area.

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  • My lender says I haven't made payment for 20 months. I have the cks. Now my house is in foreclosure,can I sue 4 breach contract?

    My April payment was returned to me.When I called to ask why ?I was told I haven't made a payment for 20 months.and my house is in foreclosure since Feb.17. Thats curious since they cashed the March check. I am current,have all my records of cashe...

    Phil’s Answer

    There are a number of things going on here. Sadly, you are not alone in being victimized the unpredictable, unsupported and sometimes unethical behavior of banks and loan servicers in the current environment.

    Yes, you likely have a claim for breach of contract for the bank having placed you in foreclosure without the prerequisites existing for instituting that action (namely, you being late). With the assistance of counsel, you should be able to relatively quickly resolve the issue short of formal litigation. You also might be able to do it on your own, but expect hours of run-around.

    The other issue you will want to consider is whether the alleged failure to pay has been hitting your credit report. If it has, you'll want to deal with that issue and you'll have other claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and possibly some state law claims.

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  • I bought a used car and have written agreements for repairs to be made.What is the legal amount of time for repairs to be done?

    I bought the vehicle on a credit card and have now paid that amount off. I have no clear dates of when it will be repaired. It has been ten business days since they began.

    Phil’s Answer

    The answer is governed by the terms of the contract. The terms of the contract can be either written or, depending on whether the written contract allows it, the terms of the contract can include oral promises. If neither the written contract or supplementary oral statements addressed the issues of when the repairs would be completed, then the law would most likely hold that the repairs must be done within a "reasonable time." What constitutes a reasonable time varies from case to case and, quite frankly, doesn't provide you much guidance under the circumstances. Your best play may be to call the shop and ask them for a date certain. You could later take the position that that statement became part of the contract, or set the "reasonable time" period.

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