September 2010: Landlord/Tenant Issues

Signing a lease means you have read and understand the requirements of the legal contract. Most leases contain specific clauses limiting your landlord's access to the rental property. However, with proper notice, landlords can inspect the property for maintenance needs and to assure you are in compliance with the lease. Closely inspect this clause of your lease and be ready to comply.

Landlords may only enter your premises without permission in the case of an emergency, unless you run a business that is open to the public. Any attempt by your landlord or maintenance personnel to enter your residence without meeting the terms stated in the lease should be firmly but politely refused. Attempts to exclude any person listed on the lease should be immediately reported to your attorney, as your landlord has no right to exclude you from the premises without going through proper eviction proceedings.

Some leases may include prohibitions on use, cultivation and distribution of controlled substances, which likely includes medical marijuana. Be aware that most leases include a clause that prohibits any activity illegal under state OR federal law. If your lease includes this provision, your landlord has the ability to evict you for cultivating OR even medicating on the premises. To avoid confrontation and hassle, be a good neighbor, and quietly go about meeting your medical marijuana needs.

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