Oregon Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations
What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?
There is no limit to the maximum amount a landlord may collect for the security deposit.
A landlord must supply a receipt for any security deposit paid by the tenant.
Before the landlord enters into a new rental agreement with an applicant or accepts any payment from an applicant, the landlord shall provide the applicant with a written list of all deposits, fees and rent that are required by the landlord. The landlord and applicant may agree to amend the written list before entering into the rental agreement. The list may be included in the written rental agreement. The written rental agreement must, at a minimum, include a description of the fees that the landlord may charge.
Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
Landlords must disclose in writing a smoking policy for the rental unit. The disclosure must state whether smoking is prohibited on the premises, allowed on the entire premises or allowed in limited areas on the premises. If the smoking policy allows smoking in limited areas on the premises, the disclosure must identify the areas on the premises where smoking is allowed.
Non Compliance Fees for written rules or policies are allowed but may not exceed $50. ORS 90.302(2)(f).
May I charge late payment fees?
The rental agreement must state the type and amount of late fee and when it can be charged. There are 3 different kinds of late fees:
- Per Rental Period Late Fee: a reasonable flat amount charged one time for the month once the rent is late by 4 days.
- Per Day Late Fee: a daily fee that cannot be more that 6% of the reasonable flat monthly late fee described above .
- A 5-Day Period Late Fee: a fee that is 5% of the rent, charged once for each 5-day period the rent is late.
Please Note: The landlord can change the type of late fee that is charged by sending the tenant a 30-day notice in advance.
May I charge a Non-Compliance fee?
Non Compliance Fees for written rules or policies are allowed – not to exceed $50, for only the following circumstances ORS 90.302(2)(f):
- Late payment of utility or service charge.
- Failure to clean up pet waste from premises (other than dwelling unit).
- Failure to clean up garbage, rubbish, or other waste from premises (other than dwelling unit).
- Parking violations & improper use of vehicles within the premises.
May I charge a returned payment fee?
Assessed fees must be reasonably related to the expenses the landlord incurs as a result of a returned payment. The NSF Check Fee plus any bank charges must be included within the written rental agreement for the authority to charge.
What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
At times landlords may try claiming deductions for items that are often characterized by the court as normal wear and tear. This situation may be prevented by realistically evaluating each deduction, providing proof of damage, as well as including repair receipts and pictures.
How can I end a lease agreement?
If the tenancy is:
- Month-to-Month: A 30-day advance written notice is required.
- Week-to-Week: A 10-day advance written notice is required.
- Fixed Term Lease: At any time during the fixed term tenancy the landlord or the tenant may terminate the tenancy without cause by giving the other 30 days written notice prior to the specified ending date or no less than 30 days prior to the date designated in the notice for the termination of the tenancy, whichever is later. ORS 90.427(5)-In the event of a property sale, a 30 day notice may still be given within certain limits.
Additionally, a 60 day notice period is needed for a no cause eviction for all tenancies of more than one year and the 30 day no cause eviction period remains for tenancies where any tenant has lived in the rental unit for less than one year. Tenants may still give the landlord a 30 day notice.
My tenant has moved out, what shall I do with their security deposit?
Within 31 Days of tenancy termination, the landlord must return the entire security deposit, or written account that states specifically why a portion or all of the deposit , if any, was withheld.
Please Note: If a landlord requires a new or increased security deposit after the first year of the tenancy, the landlord shall allow the tenant at least 3 months to pay the deposit.
Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?
A landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable. Additionally, a tenant may seek release from a rental agreement with the court when a landlord does not abide by the state's landlord obligations.
If a tenant is a victim of domestic violence and gives the landlord at least 14 days' written notice, and the notice so requests, the landlord shall release the tenant and any immediate family member of the tenant from the rental agreement.
How long does the eviction process take?
As with any legal matter, exact timing is almost impossible as it depends on many factors. Overall, with no complications, the eviction process usually takes approximately 4-5 weeks.
How do I tell if my tenant has "skipped" out of the apartment?
Often times it's best to look for the obvious, such as removal of personal goods, whether or not the tenant has come back to the premises at any time during a one week period, and simply no food in the refrigerator. It's extremely important to document all of the "proof" gathered in order to determine abandonment. When in doubt, if payment of rent has not been made, the landlord may always file for eviction.
Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?
The landlord shall have the right to enter the leased premises at reasonable times and hours, after reasonable notice has been given to the tenant(24 hrs), unless in cases of emergency.
Aside from the lease agreement, are there any additional documents necessary?
If the leased premises was constructed prior to 1978, the landlord must provide all tenants with the Lead-Based Paint EPA Disclosure and the Lead-Based Paint EPA Pamphlet.
If a rental unit is located within a 100 year flood plain, the Landlord must disclose that fact in the rental agreement. 100 year flood plain status is determined by the National Flood Insurance Program of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
If the landlord fails to provide this disclosure notice, and the tenant suffers an uninsured loss, the tenant may recover from the landlords two months' rent or the lesser of the actual damages for the uninsured loss.
Oregon Landlord Tenant Law may be found at: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/lawsstatutes/2013ors090.html
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.