Services by Kevin J. McCarty, Attorney at Law
Having a highly experienced and well-prepared lawyer is a vital part of winning any case and Kevin J. McCarty will work hard to exceed all your expectations. He respects and understands the law and takes every case seriously, no matter what kind of lawsuit you bring to him. Kevin understands that constant communication between you and the other parties is crucial to ensure that your case continues to move forward.
Kevin provides a wide range of legal advice and representation in the following areas:
Drafting and Interpreting Rental Agreements
There are any number of rental agreement forms available on the internet. Some are quite
well drafted; some not. Before choosing a rental agreement, it is important to know that each
state has its own specific rules about what can, and cannot, be in a rental agreement. Also, the
Oregon Legislature meets every two years to address potential statutory changes to the
Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (ORLTA. It is important that rental agreements be
carefully crafted to ensure that they are enforceable. Kevin has drafted countless rental
agreements over the course of his 25 years of representing landlords.INTERPRETING RENTAL AGREEMENTS
Commercial lease agreements are usually lengthy and many provisions can be difficult to
understand. Unlike residential agreements, commercial lease agreements are not governed by
statute, and are typically very one-sided, leaning heavily in the landlord’s favor. Commercial
tenants need to understand what it is they are signing, as well as the potential repercussions of
entering into a long-term commercial lease agreement.
Residential tenants often enter into written rental agreements with without reading or
fully understanding the terms of the agreement. Residential rental agreements in Oregon are
required to comply with the ORLTA. If they do not, the statute will control over any provision of
the agreement that is contrary to the statute.
Kevin can go over your rental agreement with you to ensure that it meets the statutory
criteria, and make sure that you understand how any particular rental agreement provision might
affect your rights and responsibilities, whether you are a landlord or a tenant.
From a tenant’s perspective, the eviction process is a traumatic event, and can be life changing.
Tenants need to know their rights and be well prepared before walking into the
courthouse. Kevin has represented hundreds of tenants in the eviction process. Eviction cases
can sometimes involve tenant counterclaims, and Kevin has years of experience raising and
litigating such claims if appropriate. Many cases can be settled out of court, thereby avoiding the
stress and expense of trial, and ensuring that the tenant and family are not removed from their
From a landlord’s perspective, evictions can be a necessary evil in running a rental
business. Tenants who do not pay their rent, cause damage to the home, or create problems for
other tenants sometimes need to be evicted. Eviction cases are very technical, however, and a
landlord’s failure to follow the procedure in a precise manner can lead to a tenant prevailing in
the action, even if the landlord acted in good faith and did their best to follow the rules.
Kevin has handled countless eviction cases for both landlords and tenants over the years,
and has the skills and knowledge necessary to maximize the chances of success for his clients.
Knowing the law and understanding the process gives Kevin the edge in many cases, often
resulting in settlements or early dismissals of the case. If a trial becomes necessary in an eviction
case, Kevin has the litigation experience and know-how to get the job done.
Getting Repairs Completed
When repairs are needed in a rental home, it can be incredibly frustrating for tenants.
Many rentals are handled by property management companies, who may be too busy or may not
have the authority from their landlord clients to spend the money on repairs. The result can be
that repairs can take forever to get done, be sloppily completed, or may never happen.
Kevin understands the statutory procedure for ensuring that necessary repairs get done in
a timely manner. He works with both private landlords and property managers to keep the
process simple and ensure compliance with the landlord’s duty to make repairs. In many cases,
the tenant is credited a portion of the monthly rent during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance,
and the landlord is responsible for reimbursement of Kevin’s fees.
In extreme cases, a lawsuit maybe necessary to get a non-complying landlord’s attention.
Kevin has filed and prevailed in many such cases, usually resulting in cash awards to his clients
along with attorney fee awards.
A residential landlord is required to return, or account for, a tenant’s security deposit
within 31 days from the date that the tenancy is terminated and possession of the property is
delivered to the landlord. While this might seem like a simple analysis, it is not always clear
when the 31-day period begins. If the landlord retains any of the security deposit, there must be a
clear written accounting of why the amount was retained. If a landlord wrongfully retains any of
the security deposit, retains any of the deposit in “bad faith”, or misses the 31-day deadline, the
tenant has a claim against the landlord for damages.
It is important for both residential landlords and residential tenants to understand the
statutory requirements for what is, and what is not, considered a security deposit; the reasons for
which the landlord may and may not retain any portion of the deposit; and how and where notices
regarding the deposit must be sent. Kevin can assist both landlords and tenants with all issues
related to security deposits to ensure a smooth process.
Tenants are entitled to know that the property they rent is in good condition and is going
to be well maintained during the tenancy. In residential tenancies, the tenant is entitled to
recover damages against the landlord if the rented property is not in “habitable” condition. A
residential landlord is required to maintain the premises in habitable condition at all times during
the tenancy. Typical examples of habitability violations are leaking roofs; lack of weatherstripping
around doors and windows; and various unsafe conditions in or about the property.
While residential tenants can wait until after the termination of the tenancy to make
habitability claims against the landlord, it is often not practical to do so. Habitability problems
can make the dwelling unsafe, expensive, or just plain uncomfortable. While many landlords are
quick to make necessary repairs in order to maintain their investment, getting landlords to
comply can sometimes be difficult, especially if a property management company is involved.
Kevin has assisted tenants in getting repairs completed in a timely manner and in most
cases Kevin’s fees are reimbursed by the landlord.By Landlords.
Ideally, when a tenant vacates rented property, the premises are left in reasonably good
condition. In residential tenancies, the tenant is required to return the rented property premises to
the landlord in the same condition it was in when the tenant took possession, normal wear and
tear excepted. However, “normal wear and tear” is not the same in every case. If children or pets
were a part of the rental agreement, what might be considered normal wear and tear will be a
different standard than if the rental was to a single individual. Likewise, a three-month tenancy
would be expected to have considerably less wear and tear than a three-year tenancy.
Landlords have the ability to collect valid damage claims by retaining all or part of the
tenant’s security deposit. However, the security deposit might not be sufficient in all cases to
cover the loss suffered by the landlord. Small Claims Court is an option, but not all landlords
wish to go that route for a variety of reasons. Kevin can assist landlords in making claims
against former tenants to reimburse the landlord for losses incurred during the tenant’s tenancy.