Portland Metro Landlord-Tenant Disputes Turn Violent As Property Values Rise
Portland Metro Landlord/Tenant Disputes Turn Violent As Property Values Rise, and Passion To Turn A Quick Buck Before The Local Market Bubble Bursts Turns Landlords and Property Owners Into Terrorists. Stories and Media Files of Local Tenant Targets of Domestic Dollar Terrorism.
Portland Metro Landlord-Tenant Disputes Turn Violent As Property Values and Passions Turn Landlords Into TerroristsOriginating Site In New Window|
Portland Metro Landlord-Tenant Disputes Turn Violent As Property Values Rise, and Passion To Turn A Quick Buck Before a Local Market Bubble Bursts Turns Landlords and Property Owners Into Terrorists.
The Stories of Tenant Targets of Domestic Dollar Terrorism.
Two Tenants Complain -- Landlord, Owner, and Contracted Work Crew Retaliate.
Chronological Synopsis, Background, General Complaint, Expanded Timeline, Additional AV Evidence, and Legal References.
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May 2005 Local News: Landlord and His Son Shoot Tenant, Kill His Dog, And Assault The Tenant?s Girlfriend In Argument Over Water story below
On April 5, 2005, my girlfriend and I were wakened by an individual stomping around on the roof over our bedroom; he identified himself as a roofer working for our apartment building?s owner. Another trespass occurred April 8th. Over the next two weeks, construction crews conducted an invasive and destructive "improvement program" on this quad-plex apartment building where we rent our unit month-to-month. We were not given notice of this construction project until the property management company posted this notice on our door on April 11th, 2005
. We responded to their notice in writing (pp 1
). We cited legal reasons the property management?s edict to move our property, or have it confiscated, was not lawful. We asked the owners to consider my girlfriend?s night-time work schedule, and the negative effect of sleep deprivation on driving. We tried to be concilliatory; and to let the property managers know we were not interested in legal action, but that we could not abide by the terms of their notice. The April 2005 violation was the fifth 24-hour notice violation
in our three year tenancy that we complained about
We recently retained a local attorney to the help us pursue reimbursement, and to set a positive court precedent for other tenants in similar situations. No case has been filed - our attorney argues we would be better served by "community court"
. Our attorney is a member of the same alliance that operates the community courts
in concert with Multnomah County staff. We can not afford another corrupt legal counsel
, or a case adjudicated in a justice system that clearly serves only the local moneyed interests
.We contacted local media; they did not contact us back.
As documented below, last month KPTV local TV news reported that municipal police who responded to the shooting of a tenant, and the tenant?s dog, by the tenant?s landlord and the landlord?s son failed to arrest the landlord or his son -- not even for questioning. KPTV reported that the dispute was over "water". KPTV reported that the tenant who was shot remains in the hospital, his dog remains dead, and his family remains upset.
I contacted the city clerk?s office in Josh?s city, and asked how we might obtain those police records, so that we can see if our landlord might be the same landlord that shot Josh. Though the odds are slim, the grossly abusive behavior sounds familiar.
The city clerk?s office has not contacted us back yet. KPTV reported that the police records are sealed under some sort of secrecy agreement. We would consider a Freedom-of-Information Act request, but our landlord just notified us in writing that we would be evicted in about two weeks time. Our home and car has been "egged" twice since we sought legal representation a few weeks ago. My girlfriend fears for her safety - and frankly so do I.
Our complex has been on the real estate market for three years without sale. Our unit, and the other three in our quad-plex, were shown to prospective buyers on four or five occasions over the past three years. It is now apparent to us that our landlord insists we move so that he can advertise the building, and find more buyers who might be interested, without fear we will bias the sale by speaking of our dispute to the host of potential new owners.
Following a written complaint we provided our property management company on April 13th, 2005:
My girlfriend and I have lived continuously in this same apartment quad-plex for about three years; first on a lease, then as month-to-month tenants. Last year we moved from the neighboring unit to our present unit. Our unit was first shown to prospective buyers a few weeks after we moved in, August 22nd, 2002. My girlfriend is a night-shift employee for a local financial services center. She sleeps during the day, then she drives an hour to work in traffic. I also try to sleep during the day.We can only assume the motive for our property management?s coercive actions is to force us to leave - retaliation for our present complaint, in addition to previous complaints - after they couldn?t sell us a house to get us to leave. Over our three years here, we have complained numerous times in writing, and orally, to the central management, and their on-site manager, regarding the property management?s previous entries into our unit without notice; general disregard for noise, such as from the next-door neighbor?s dogs; and we?ve argued that the company has an interest in creating an atmosphere of safety from crime, by investing in exterior lights and fences. We invested in the fences when the owner and property management wouldn?t. We have never paid rent late. We have never caused a noise nuisance, or other neighborly problem. We resorted to recording conversations with agents of the landlord when the entry violations continued to occur.
Though our property damage was relatively minor (so far), the management-sponsored vandalism, coercive retaliation, never-ending buyer walk-throughs, theft of services and sleep, and racketeering-type business conduct is very disturbing. We felt this was our home and yard - if only for the time we were in possession as renters. My girlfriend and I spent dozens of hours buying and planting plants, and even planted a tree
last year. Because of problems with Peeping-Toms, and two attempted break-ins we reported to local police, we built the two side fences by hand in about 200 hours: 1 2
. We invested approximately $1,500 for the materials, and asked nothing from the owner or property management company. We always intended to leave the fences to the building owner and the next tenant - Reynold Appleton personaly inspected the fences we built, approved of the fences, and advised us we had to leave the fences after we left.When we lived in the unit next door, we also built it?s fences, and beautified that yard
, using our own resources. We started our yard projects at the behest of the apartment complex owner, who asked us, in the weeks after we first moved in, to clean up the yard, and (paraphrasing) "plant some plants or something". When we moved next door, we happily left most of the improvements for the next tenant. The other backyards, in our quad-plex, arguably look less appealing.
Since early April, we have quit tending our yard.
No tenant, whether living in a week-to-week motel, or a leased mansion, should be coerced to drop complaints of habitility and safety violations; retaliated toward for asserting their legal rights, for refusing to follow unlawful edicts, or refusing to buy a product they don?t want. No tenant should be imprisoned in their own home, even if only for a short time, if even by quasi-psychological fear techniques. No tenant should suffer theft of electricity or other services. No tenant should suffer theft of sleep; theft of concentration for driving; theft of potential public highway safety - the public?s potential road safety stolen despite complaint, and without compensatory insurance, or other public recompense. No tenant should have to worry about fire, because a construction crew, intentionally or otherwise, mucked with wiring, or violated building safety codes. No tenant should have common boundaries of respect, codified in law, ignored and belittled, so over-priced property, in this case actively marketed without sale for three years, could be made outwardly more attractive with non-essential cosmetic work.
Apartment owners must realize that they too are only tenants, renting at the grace of the government, and economic fortune. "Private property" real estate is foreclosed and auctioned, even after title reconveyance, if a real estate owner fails to pay property or other taxes.
Expanded Timeline of Recent Incident:
-On or about April 5th and then again on or about April 8th: my girlfriend and I awoke - startled by the sounds of people stomping on the roof above our bedroom. No notice had been given by our property management company, or anybody else. Both times, I went outside and confronted the people on the roof. The sole individual from the first incident claimed he worked for the owner. He refused to answer other questions. The two people on the roof the second time drove in a regular truck, no corporate identification. After I questioned them at length, they told me the name of the construction firm
for whom they said they worked. They told me they were starting a re-roofing project for the owner of the complex. They refused to identify the owner by name. This was the first notice we received.
-April 9th: I asked the onsite, paid representative of the property management company, who is both a licensed real-estate agent, as well as the onsite complex manager, about these people on the roof, and their purported roofing project. The onsite manager said it "was strange," and that she was not aware of any construction plans. She said she would follow up with the owner of the property management company (her boss, Reynold "Ren" Appleton, whom she works with regularly selling property). She said she would report back to me about the people on the roof. As of this writing, April 20th, she has not gotten back to me.
We received this notice
, posted on our door, from the property management company. It said a re-roofing project would begin April 13th. The notice, besides providing less than two days to prepare, threatens confiscation of our outdoor personal property.
-April 12th: We responded to their notice in writing. We cited legal reasons, listed at bottom, that the demands made in the notice are not lawful. We faxed our reply on the night of the 12th, and physically dropped off a copy, at the office of the property management company, on the day of the 13th. Our letter stated that we would not move our vehicles, or our personal property in the enclosed, fenced yard and patio area outside our unit. We noted the incompatibility with state laws, and cited common-sense factors such as: insufficient parking space in the street; the high rate of damaged vehicles parked in the street; the lack of sufficient time to apply for a city parking permit (which is required to park on the street longer than 72 hours, even if the car is moved every day), and lack of time to prepare our yard and patio. We requested that the construction company be mindful of our personal property, and dump the roof debris appropriately.
-April 13th: Roofing project begins over units west of ours. The project began over ours days before.
Earlier today, an unfamiliar car blocked our car?s path out of the driveway,
and the path of our second car into the driveway.Then, our blocked car was battered
by falling construction materials. We did not consent to have our car covered with a tarp. We were not asked or advised of their intention to cover the car, or block our ingress and egress. We wrote down the license number of the blocking vehicle, but have not tried to find the owner - the construction workers, do not willingly answer questions. Management refuses to answer our questions entirely, or provides misinformation, such as the onsite manager?s oral assurance, on April 9th, that she was not aware of any upcoming roofing project. The construction company has had one
or two large debris receptacles onsite,
but chose not to use them,
instead dumping much of the debris in our backyard, our front garage entrance, and on our car nearest the garage.
-April 14th, 2005
: I went outside and found that the construction company has been stealing our electricity
, from an outdoor socket we pay for, to power their construction tools during this re-roofing project. Additional pictures in the A/V section
confirm the path of their power cords into our exterior socket. Most of the workers must be tenants too, so they must have known the electricity they were using was being paid for by a tenant.
-April 14th, 2005
: Heard a huge crash and looked out the window...the roofers dumped roof debris on top of our heat pump
- debris fell through the pump?s grate, into it?s mechanism. Spent two hours this evening clearing the debris from inside the pump.
-April 14th, 2005: The construction crew somehow disconnected the electricity to our attached garage?s interior overhead lighting! We tested bulbs, the circuit breaker box, everything otherwise appears normal. Is this just an innocent construction effect, perhaps from all the vibration, or is this a pretext for entering our apartment? Or is it just more "retaliation of convenience," since the construction crew was working right overhead in the area above the light. We don?t even want to mention the problem to management - what kind of people will be sent into our apartment to fix it?
-April 15th, 2005
: A roofer threw two, large rubber buckets
down on top of our outdoor chairs and plants. Already, our plants, potted and planted in the ground, have been accosted for days by falling debris, including the plants on our attached patio
. I walk around the building every morning, before the crews arrive, I?ve never seen debris on our neighbor?s heat pumps, today I got a picture of two of the three other heat pumps.
Can?t get a good view of 19509s heat pump.
-April 15th, 2005
: 7mb camcorder videotape
(mostly audio, some video from my knit pocket) of the following discussion with the construction crew and their boss. 2.8 mb compressed audio only
of same incident (this is the same 12-minute audio file as above). In the beginning of the conversation, the crew admits to using our electricity.
Synopsis of Recording:
At the direction of their foreman, the roofing workers entered our fenced, backyard and attached patio area. I went outside, video recorder in front pocket, and asked them to identify for whom they worked. They refused to answer. I ask them to leave my yard area. They refused. I ask them why they damaged my personal property, as well as the building owner?s heat pump, as well as using our electricity to power their equipment. They apologized, called for their foreman, and unplugged the line from our outdoor socket to their equipment. To talk with their boss, I walked from the backyard, back inside, then out the front door. He was coming from the same logo-ed van
), that I photographed on the 13th. He was speaking by cell-phone, to the owner of the property management company (the identification of the property management owner can be heard, and inferred, in the tape). The construction foreman refused to identify himself; he became irate; he seemed to claim we have no property rights because the unit is a rental; he asked the property company owner, who was on the phone, if he could have me arrested for bothering his workers. After receiving the OK from the property manager, the construction boss ended the cell-phone conversation, and told his workers to go back into our enclosed yard area, and attached patio, to finish clean-up, and also to start the next phase of the project - the "re-siding" of the building (that 24-hour notice of April 11th said we would be advised in advanced of this next painting and siding phase)
. I took this picture
of a worker back in the yard area, after our conversation took place.
-April 16th, 2005: It is Saturday morning, and the construction crew is here banging around our front door. Saturday night our front patio light, a fluorescent light we paid for, is gone along with the fixture. In this high-crime neighborhood, we kept that light on 24/7.
-April 17, 2005: Finally, they take a day off. My girlfriend and I can get some sleep.
-April 18, 2005
: Re-siding project back in full swing. Noisy as the roofing was, with the tearing off of shingles on the sides of the building. This second debris receptacle been parked here off and on, got a picture of the second debris receptacle
-April 19, 2005: Painting begins. All our windows, and our back door, have been wrapped in cellophane. Our door was painted, including the locks we bought ourselves. My girlfriend called me from her car, after leaving for work tonight, to complain that she couldn?t lock our top door lock, because it was gunked up with paint. I locked the lock from the inside - it is a double-sided double-bolt.
-April 20, 2005
: A quiet morning - finally. Crew didn?t show up until 10:00 AM. Windows and back door still wrapped in cellophane. I broke through the patio cellophane. Took pictures of the cellophane
, and the mess of paint in our yard, and the paint on our door lock
- noticed that each of our neighbor?s door locks were taped with masking tape before painting
our lock obviously wasn?t. I cleaned the external side of our lock with rubbing alcohol, it seems to work fine again. Now they are using some kind of vacuum thing on the roof as they stomp around - loud as heck.
-April 21, 2005 The pounding and construction noise continued 8am-6pm six days per week, until the project ended (we hope) Thursday, April 21, 2005. The external front door light was re-installed. Most of the nails and the painter?s tools were cleaned from our yard, but damage to our plants, wood trim remains, as does much of the mess of roof debris, spilled paint and carelessly treated yard tools. Paint and paint supplies still litter the common areas.
-April 24, 2005
(from Chronological Synopsis
above): after the construction project apparently ended, I spoke to the on-site manager,
as she was off-loading groceries from her car. She told me that a landscaping project was to begin yesterday, but the landscapers did not show up (perhaps the landscapers are a clean-up team for the paint supplies still littering the common areas ?)
She said she was unhappy with the noise too, but couldn?t do anything about it. She said she already complained to the Property Management Company, and the Owner of the apartment building. She said the Owner of the apartment building, and the Owner of VT Construction are friends, but as far as she knows, not relatives. She said she knows, as a licensed reality agent, that the notice of April 11th,
threatening confiscation of personal property, was illegal. I complained about the paint in our lock. I complained about the damage to the heat pump. I complained about the continued 24-hour notice violations. I complained about the coercive threat to have me arrested. She said she was upset by VT Construction and Appleton too, and was considering moving - the implication I got, was that our only recourse was also to move. As a licensed reality agent, and an agent of our Property Management Company, she could have enlightened me about our legal rights, or provided some remedy.
When I asked how she is compensated by Appleton Properties, for her services as a reality agent, and for her work fielding apartment complaints, and tending the common areas of our apartment complex, she was evasive, but said her rent was "decreased" for apartment-related work, and soon said she had to go back inside and put away groceries. She would not answer if she was paid commission for selling properties for Appleton, including this Apartment complex.
-Car (second red car is not ours, blocks our closest car from pulling out, and our furthest white car from pulling in): 1 2 3 4
-Power Cord and Path to Our Outlet: 1 2 3 4 5
- Very Little Debris; No Damage To Other Tenant?s Homes: 1 2 3 4 56 7
-Interior Noise from Exterior Work (downstairs, as far away as possible): 1.1mb MP3
Image of story:June 3, 2005
http://home.comcast.net/~xysterxxavier/Web/media/pics/kptv_josh_mccaleb.gif "Verbal dispute in The Dalles ends in shooting"
Victim?s family reacts to shooting in The Dalles
THE DALLES [OREGON MAY 31, 2005]-- One man remains in critical conditionafter a verbal dispute ended in a shooting Sunday near The Dalles. Thirty-year old Josh Mc_Caleb?sfamily says its all over a disagreement about water between a landlord and his tenant. The Wasco County Sheriff?s Office is releasing frew details,saying only thatthe shootingon Five Mile Road south oftown was a landlord/tenant dispute over water. But Josh Mc_Caleb?s friends and family say the landlord had come over Saturday night and reported Mc_Caleb to the police for growing marijuana. But apparently Mc_Caleb has a medical marijuana card and authorities did not arrest him.LateSunday morning the landlordreportedlyreturned to the house on Five Mile Roadwith his son,who carried a gun. Mc_Caleb?s girlfriend was there and says the landlord tried to rough her up after she started videotaping the confrontation. That?s when shots were fired. Mc_Caleb was shot once in the chest;his dog, a rottweiler, wasshot to death. Mc_Caleb remains on life support, and despite an eyewitness account,no one has been arrested or charged in the shooting of Josh Mc_Caleb,leaving his Wasco County family sad and angry." Video Capture Of TV Story
http://home.comcast.net/~xysterxxavier/Web/media/pics/McCaleb_story.jpgSOURCES FOR LAWS CITED IN CORRESPONDENCE WITH PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CORPORATION: ORS Title 10 chapter 90:local copy original source ORS Title 10 chapter 105: local copy original source Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment: local copy original source Tualatin Municipal Code Restricting Unlicensed Street Parking:
local copy original source General Legal Information: Antitrust Update NOLO
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