I am worried and paranoid on what to do and can not afford legal help. I am on disability and could never afford an attorney. Does anyone have any adivce or a referal to help me please? I live in a basement apartment the biggest window mesauements are (17x12 1/5) and the only exit is the front door.there are no fire exits or smoke detecors or other kind of alarms I have been told by a licensed contractor/plumber/painter that i was living in a "Very dangerous hazardous unit that is illegal to rent. I have been living here for over a year.
When i rented this place it was very easy and cheap to get in compared to other apartments in my area. I feel i was taken atvantage of because i am on social security disabiilty and didnt have much of a choice to be picky. I moved from Astoria Oregon and i had to find a place fast. Since living here i have been very paranoid what i would do if there was a fire in my aparment. Having my worries confirmed by others who are concerned for my safety has made me want to know my rights as a tennet i have contacted the city of portland just yesterday and the renters rights for tennets hotline. I have not got much information or a reply back yet. If anyone has any legal adive please help me if you can. I really do feel like i have been living in a deathtrap without proper means of evacuation! And my lanlord admitted to the guy who is painting this place that he knew that it was illegal to rent to me and asked the contractor/plumber if he would do work on the basement apartment without a permit.
WHAT I NEED TO KNOW IS
1) Is it true that the department of buildings evict you with no notice if you didn't know your apartment was illegal. I pay my own electric, phone, cable etc... and i have been here for a year but if i report my living situations can the city kick me out?
2) It is also illegal for a landlord to charge rent for an illegal unit? So if i find out this is illegal to be living here and i cant move right away do i have to keep paying this guy rent?