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Need Legal Advice about a chicken coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tripletmumm, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. tripletmumm

    tripletmumm In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2011
    Hood River, Oregon
    We have rented our current house for 4 yrs. We have used the chicken coop on the premesis since we moved in but the owner complained that she wanted to raise chickens herself. This past summer, I was given a small chicken coop approx. 6'x6'. It was brought to me in side-panels and flooring that just needed to be screwed together. Our landlady now wants to have her house back and we need to move out by this Saturday.

    The question is, would the chicken coop be considered a permenant structure that would be along the lines of property improvement? It is not on any sort of foundation. There are two cinder blocks on one end since the coop was placed on a hill to level off the structure. I have informed the manager of the house of my intent to take it with me to house my chickens at our new place, but he is making all kinds of noise that they won't let me because it is now their chicken coop.

    I don't see any difference between this chicken house, and our rabbit hutch that we use to house our rabbit, or a dog kennel/run that we would put up to house our dog.

    Some advice would be most appreciated.

    Thank you

  2. love-my-wolves

    love-my-wolves Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    Front Royal, VA
    So, the 6x6 wasn't there when you moved in? You obtained it yourself? If it is not concreted to the ground then it is a removable storage building that you obtained and therefor yours. Simply unscrew it and take it. They cannot force you to leave it if it is yours. It would be like a landlord saying a playhouse that you bought and your kids used was theirs. NOPE!

    Now if you are talking about the one they had there to begin with, that one is theirs and it should remain.
  3. 4Hchickenproject

    4Hchickenproject Chirping

    Apr 10, 2011
    It may depend on your state's laws, or what's in your rental agreement, but I'm pretty sure that here, anything not permanently attached to the home or property is not automatically part of the property.

    The way we were told in real estate classes was something like, curtains put up in a house are not permanent and are not assumed to remain with the house, because they are easily removeable and "everyone puts up curtains" in their place. The curtain rods, on the other hand, could be considered permanent, because they are more permanently attached, and removal would deface the property. Same with outside items... if a building is attached by what is typically considered a permanent foundation, it's part of the property, but if it is moveable, and moving it will not permanently deface the property (dead grass underneath doesn't count as defaced property), then it can go.

    The first thing I believe in your favor is that the coop was given to YOU. If the owner of the property wanted it to stay, she would have to buy it from you anyway. Second, it is 6' x 6', and I ssume sitting on top of the ground. Seems to me that you can pick it up and move it in the back of a truck, which means it did NOT become part of her property.

    By comparison, if someone had given you a coop that you attached to the side of the house and added an overhang with shingles to match the home, tying it in to the existing roof.... now that would be permanent, and would deface the home if you attempted to remove it.

    Okay, I wrote a lot but really didn't say much... [​IMG]
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Who gave you the coop? If it was the landlord, of course the coop stays.

    If it was given to you by a friend, and if it is not attached to the ground in any way, then you can take it.

    Oregon law: as soon as the tenant attaches anything to the property in any way, it becomes a part of the property and it must be left, unless written permission is obtained to remove it. However, if it is not attached to the property, then it remains the property of the tenant and can be removed.

    If you've put up a wire run, that will probably have to stay, because the fence posts are attached to the ground. Post and wire must be left. Unless you get permission to remove it.

    One thing that you must do, or you can be billed for it and have it deducted from your deposit, is that you must restore the yard to its prior condition.

    The coop has most likely killed the grass underneath. You have to remedy that. Also replace any plantings that your chickens have damaged.

    If the coop is attached to the ground in any way, it must stay. If you've set a post or buried weights to keep it from blowing over, then it is attached to teh ground.

    Oregon Landlord Tenant law is on-line. I suggest that you look it up and print out the relevant clause and send it to your landlord. Otherwise, you might end up in small claims court trying to get your deposit back.
  5. julia39

    julia39 In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2011
    is your car theirs because you park it in your driveway???? how about the doghouse you use for your dog???? it is your personal property that you use to house your pet chickens......you obtained it...unless your landlord is the one who obtained it for you then it is yours....its a grey area if the landlord gave it to you for the chickens...good luck and God Bless!!!
  6. julia39

    julia39 In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2011
    another thought.....if your landlord is housing chickens in the property coop then arent they damaging the property???? TAKE PICTURES and DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT,DOCUMENT!!!!! if they are running chickens then you might not be liable for any damage done to the grass/property from chickens......after all it is used by the landlord for agricultural purposes anyway..............DOCUMENT with PICTURES>>>>make sure you get some with the landlord feeding THEIR chickens too!!!! just in case your landlord decides to take you to small claims court over this.......
  7. goldies99

    goldies99 Songster

    Jul 22, 2011
    if it came in with you....it leaves with you!

  8. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Songster

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Without knowing a lot about your situation, in most states, a landlord must give 30 days written notice of evacuation or to end residency. Even if there is no written lease in place, it is legally a month to month lease which requires a written 30 days notice for you guys to get out.
  9. julia39

    julia39 In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2011
    ^ agree.....we rented a house out to renters for several years...and even going month to month...they have to be give 30 days and if not, then they have to go to court to have papers served on the renter......then the legal battle begins....
  10. tripletmumm

    tripletmumm In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2011
    Hood River, Oregon
    The Chickens in the old coop have not defaced the property in any way. The chicken run had been in disuse for many years and had a lot of garbage thrown in it. When I got the chickens, I had to clear out a lot of the trash (and am still picking stuff out of the dirt.) The only things the chickens removed was a lot of tall weeds. (Along with my chickens, the owner also had 8 of his own.)

    The new, small chicken coop was given to me by a 3rd party this past summer. It was set up next to the existing run on a patch of dirt, so there were no plants that were removed or any lawn that was damaged. It is not attached to the house or made to look like the house. It has very recently been attached to some fencing (which I bought) to keep the chickens in the run area because the original fencing was so old and rusted the chickens were able to create holes in the fence. I am not asking for the fencing to be returned or reimbursed for.

    We were given 60 days notice to move out of the house, however, it was given only a few months after putting up the coop (making me suspicious that she was already in the works to not continue renting the house to us when we were given permission to put up the coop.)

    The coop could probably be rolled up onto the back of a truck pretty easily or even tipped and carried. Saying the floor is 6'x6' is being generous. It has a sloping roof. I am 5'4" and on the small end, I am taller than the coop, on the tall end, it is taller than me. I have to stoop to get in the doorway.

    You have all given me good information. Thank you Oregon Blues for your specifics, it really pertains to me, and 4H hearing about RealEstate law is a big help too. This is some information I can pass on to the rental manager.

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