In the state of Oregon, a lease or rental agreement is established after a residential landlord accepts a rent payment in exchange for allowing a tenant to inhabit their property under Oregon landlord-tenant law. And once this is done, both landlords and Oregon tenants obtain certain rights and responsibilities under the Residential Oregon landlord-tenant law.
As a landlord in Oregon, it’s important that you familiarize yourself, as well as your tenant, with the state laws and Oregon landlord-tenant laws. It is important you abide by these laws to avoid all aspects of federal housing discrimination and have all possible court papers. This can not only help you perform your residential landlord duties better, but can also help you avoid legal issues with your tenant.
Required Landlord Disclosures
According to Oregon law, landlords must provide their residents with certain legal information. The required disclosures are as follows.
- Disclosure on the use of lead-based paint. This is a federally required disclosure requiring landlords renting out homes built prior to 1978 to inform their residents about lead paint.
- Disclosure on the contact information of the parties responsible for managing the rental.
- Disclosure on flood zones. Landlords must let prospective tenants know in the lease about whether your property lies in a floodplain.
- Disclosure on smoking policy. If you have a smoking policy, you must let prospective tenants know about it before moving in.
- Disclosure on utilities. Landlords must let prospective renters know about how utilities are going to be shared.
- Disclosure regarding pending suits. If your property has four or fewer units and a known suit is pending, you must let prospective residents know about any outstanding notices regarding the suit.
- Disclosure on maintenance of a carbon monoxide alarm. You must let prospective tenants know that they will be responsible for maintaining the carbon monoxide alarm on their rental unit.
- Disclosure on the manner in which you’ll hold their deposit. This is only applicable to landlords in Portland. They must contact prospective residents with the name and address of the financial institution that will hold their deposit.
Tenants’ Rights & Responsibilities in Oregon
A tenant has the following rights under the laws in Oregon. The legal right to:
- Live in a property that abides by Oregon's warranty of habitability.
- Live in peace and quiet in accordance with the Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment.
- Be evicted through a judicious process.
- Have their deposit returned no later than 31 days after moving out.
- Terminate their lease for certain legally justified reasons, such as when beginning active military duty.
- Notified 30 days in advance prior to a rent increase or increase on fixed utility bills.
- Be treated without any form of housing discrimination on the basis of certain protected classes.
- Be notified 24 hours in advance prior to landlord entry.
- Be served the aforementioned disclosures like who has to pay utility bills prior to signing the lease and moving into the property.
Equally, a tenant has their fair share of responsibilities as well. They have a responsibility to:
- Maintain all fixtures and ensure they are clean and sanitary.
- Keep their rented unit in a safe and habitable condition.
- Use all facilities and appliances for their intended purpose.
- Conduct waste disposal in a clean, safe, and legal manner.
- Take care of small repairs and maintenance.
- Change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide twice a year.
- Not to cause negligent or careless damage to the unit.
- Not to cause disturbance to other tenants or neighbors.
- Notify the landlord when looking to move out.
- Pay rent on time in accordance with the lease agreement and submit all unpaid rent before moving out
- Abide by all terms of the rental agreement.
Landlords’ Rights & Responsibilities in Oregon
Oregon's landlord tenant laws maintain that landlords have the following rights. A right to:
- Evict a tenant for failing to comply with the provisions of the lease agreement, including not paying rent in full or on time
- Draft a lease agreement that’s in accordance with all relevant laws.
- Require tenants to pay a security deposit prior to moving in.
- Raise rent by up to 7% annually, except for units that are less than fifteen years old.
- Enter their tenant’s unit to perform important responsibilities.
- When it comes to responsibilities, the following are some of the things that you’re required to do.
- Provide a home that meets all applicable safety, health and structural codes.
- Evict tenants by following the proper Oregon eviction process.
- Respond to maintenance requests within 7 days for essential services and 30 days for all other issues. If a landlord fails to do this, it can cause issues.
- Provide your tenant with the aforementioned disclosures in a written notice prior to allowing them to move in.
- Abide by the Oregon security deposit laws.
- Abide by all terms of the lease agreement.
Overview of the Landlord-Tenant Law in Oregon
1. Landlord Entry
Landlords in Oregon have a responsibility to contact their tenants with a 24 hours’ advance notice prior to entering their rental property. In the notice, you must also let your tenant know about the time and reason for the entry.
2. Housing Discrimination
Tenants in Oregon are protected against all forms of housing discrimination on the basis of certain protected classes. Classes protected under federal housing discrimination include race, color, nationality, religion, marital status, disability, income source, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
The state’s antidiscrimination law is administered by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Civil Rights Division.
3. Rent Control
Oregon is among the few states in the United States that has a statewide rent control law in place. It only applies to rental increases and does not apply to rent price or security deposits.
4. Early Lease Termination
Tenants in the state of Oregon can break their lease early in certain legally justified scenarios. They include: active military duty, domestic violence, landlord harassment, or an uninhabitable unit.
In each case, they must meet certain requirements and produce a lease termination notice in order to move out without any further responsibilities in regards to rent payment. Otherwise, you may need to acquire legal services to help take your tenant to eviction court.
5. Security Deposits
Landlords who require a security deposit have a responsibility to abide by the state’s security deposit rules and landlord tenant laws. Among other things, the rules specify things like:
- The maximum deposit a landlord can charge.
- When you must return it.
- The deductions you can make from the security deposit.
- The penalties you may be liable for if you wrongfully withhold the security deposit.
6. Tenant Evictions
Landlords have a right to evict their tenant for violating the terms of the agreement under Oregon landlord-tenant laws. Common lease violations in the state of Oregon include:
- Nonpayment of rent.
- Excessive property damage.
- Falsified information on the lease agreement.
- Failure to leave after the lease ends after the term.
Landlords must follow the proper eviction procedure when evicting an Oregon tenant for any of these reasons. Consider seeking legal aid services to avoid legal problems and make sure everything in the eviction process is done correctly and in accordance with state and federal laws.
This includes things like a court summons, written notice of eviction, and dealing with organizations like the eviction defense project.
If you have any questions or need additional information regarding any aspect of the federal law or the Oregon landlord-tenant law, Campus Connection Property Management can help. We are a comprehensive property management company serving landlords in Eugene and the surrounding areas. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve stress-free property management!
Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional specific legal advice from a qualified attorney. Also, laws change and this information may not be updated at the time you read it.