Almost as reliable as death and taxes is the need for housing, and the need to pay for it. If you rent, your landlord won’t appreciate your decision to stop paying your rent and will likely evict you. Both tenants and their landlords must follow the rental agreement. So under Oregon law, what rights do tenants have in rental agreements?
The following table explains some main aspects of residential lease and rental agreement laws in Oregon. If you own a mobile home, but rent space in a mobile home park, different rules apply to your situation.
|Code Sections||Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 90 – Residential Landlord and Tenant
90.240, 300, 427; 659A.421
|Terms of Leases||Rent is due at the beginning of the month (or week if a weekly tenancy), unless otherwise agreed upon. Tenancies can be terminated with at least 10 days notice for week-to-week, 30 day notices for month-to-month, and for leases, not before the lease is up and with 30 days notice. In addition, if a tenant has lived in a rental unit for longer than one year, the landlord must give the tenant 60 days notice to move out.
If a tenant stays in the same rental after the lease is up, which is called becoming a “holdover” tenant, the rental converts to a month-to-month tenancy.
|Security Deposits||If there’s a written rental agreement, the security deposit paid by the tenant must be noted. Security deposits include any last month’s rent deposit. Oregon doesn’t limit the amount of security deposit nor is interest on the deposit required.
The property owner may claim from the security deposit only amounts reasonably needed to cover unpaid rent, repair damages beyond normal wear and tear, carpet cleaning if the lease says the landlord can deduct the cost of carpet cleaning, and the loss of use of the rental unit while cleaning or making repairs in a timely manner. The landlord must account for and refund the security deposit within 31 days after moving out. If a landlord wrongfully keeps all or part of the deposit, you can sue for up to twice the amount the landlord kept.
|Discrimination||Housing providers can’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, marital status, familial status (i.e. having kids), religion, source of income (such as public assistance or child support vs. employment), or national origin. However, housing specifically for older persons can discriminate on the basis of age.
Also, note that charging a pet security deposit on a service or companion animal is not permitted due to reasonable accommodation fair housing laws.
|Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking||The landlord can terminate the rental agreement of an abuser after 24 hours written notice of a domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking crime against a household member, but can’t terminate the rental agreement of the victim(s) and any other tenants in the same unit.
The landlord can’t terminate, fail to renew, or serve notice to move out on a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking (exception: the victim fails to pay rent, then the termination is for non-payment of rent, not retaliation). Conversely, victims can terminate the lease with 14 days written notice, so they can move for their safety. This is only with a valid protection order and abuse within 90 days of the move.
|Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act||Oregon has adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act (URLTA).|
If you’re having difficulty with your landlord, either before, during, or after your tenancy, you may want to speak to an experienced Landlord-Tenant attorney in your area soon. The local legal aid office may be able to help if you can’t afford an attorney.
Note: State laws are changed frequently due to legislation, state court cases, and initiatives and referendums. Therefore, you should verify the state laws you’re reading by conducting your own legal research or contacting a lawyer.
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