How clean am I required to keep my rental apartment I am living in?

UPDATED: May 19, 2009

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How clean am I required to keep my rental apartment I am living in?

I have a few piles of clothes lying around and some boxes sitting against walls that I use for storage. My landlord says I need to clean up because these things could be possible homes for roaches. He also says he will be calling something in the next month to give me a 24 hour notice that he will be coming to inspect and if it is not clean enough he will give me 30 days to leave. I am on a year long lease. I am concerned because there is a clause that says “the landlord’s definition of clean shall be the final definition”. It was messy, but I NEVER leave food or other unsanitary things out.

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Oregon


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

You should talk to an attorney in your area who is familiar with landlord-tenant law.  There are several ways to find the lawyer you need, including our website,  and you can also call the Oregon State Bar Association.

I'm not an Oregon lawyer, but some quick research suggests to me that, like most other states, there are very strict procedures that a landlord must follow to evict you, and that even a small mistake means he has to start over.  There is no legal way to evict you without going to court!  It also looks like even a 30 day notice has to allow you 14 days to correct the failure to keep the place clean, and that his "final definition" of clean might not give him the godlike powers he seems to think he has.  But please, don't be nonchalant about this, see a lawyer, and learn your rights in detail.

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