Oregon Residential Landlord and Tenant Law


Landlord Tenant – Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act – Oregon

Related Oregon Legal Forms

TITLE 10
PROPERTY RIGHTS AND TRANSACTIONS
Chapter 90
Residential Landlord and Tenant
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Definitions.

Subject to additional definitions contained in this chapter that apply to specific sections or parts thereof, and unless the context otherwise requires, in this chapter:

(1) “Accessory building or structure” means any portable, demountable or permanent structure, including but not limited to cabanas, ramadas, storage sheds, garages, awnings, carports, decks, steps, ramps, piers and pilings, that is:

(a) Owned and used solely by a tenant of a manufactured dwelling or floating home; or
(b) Provided pursuant to a written rental agreement for the sole use of and maintenance by a tenant of a manufactured dwelling or floating home.

(2) “Action” includes recoupment, counterclaim, setoff, suit in equity and any other proceeding in which rights are determined, including an action for possession.
(3) “Applicant screening charge” means any payment of money required by a landlord of an applicant prior to entering into a rental agreement with that applicant for a residential dwelling unit, the purpose of which is to pay the cost of processing an application for a rental agreement for a residential dwelling unit.
(4) “Building and housing codes” include any law, ordinance or governmental regulation concerning fitness for habitation, or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use or appearance of any premises or dwelling unit.
(5) “Dealer” means any person in the business of selling, leasing or distributing new or used manufactured dwellings or floating homes to persons who purchase or lease a manufactured dwelling or floating home for use as a residence.
(6) “Drug and alcohol free housing” means a rental agreement as described in ORS 90.243.
(7) “Dwelling unit” means a structure or the part of a structure that is used as a home, residence or sleeping place by one person who maintains a household or by two or more persons who maintain a common household. “Dwelling unit” regarding a person who rents a space for a manufactured dwelling or recreational vehicle or regarding a person who rents moorage space for a floating home as defined in ORS 830.700, but does not rent the home, means the space rented and not the manufactured dwelling, recreational vehicle or floating home itself.
(8) “Essential service” means:

(a) For a tenancy not consisting of rental space for a manufactured dwelling, floating home or recreational vehicle owned by the tenant and not otherwise subject to ORS 90.505 to 90.840:

(A) Heat, plumbing, hot and cold running water, gas, electricity, light fixtures, locks for exterior doors, latches for windows and any cooking appliance or refrigerator supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord; and
(B) Any other service or habitability obligation imposed by the rental agreement or ORS 90.320, the lack or violation of which creates a serious threat to the tenant’s health, safety or property or makes the dwelling unit unfit for occupancy.

(b) For a tenancy consisting of rental space for a manufactured dwelling, floating home or recreational vehicle owned by the tenant or that is otherwise subject to ORS 90.505 to 90.840:

(A) Sewage disposal, water supply, electrical supply and, if required by applicable law, any drainage system; and
(B) Any other service or habitability obligation imposed by the rental agreement or ORS 90.730, the lack or violation of which creates a serious threat to the tenant’s health, safety or property or makes the rented space unfit for occupancy.

(9) “Facility” means:

(a) A place where four or more manufactured dwellings are located, the primary purpose of which is to rent space or keep space for rent to any person for a fee; or
(b) A moorage of contiguous dwelling units that may be legally transferred as a single unit and are owned by one person where four or more floating homes are secured, the primary purpose of which is to rent space or keep space for rent to any person for a fee.

(10) “Facility purchase association” means a group of three or more tenants who reside in a facility and have organized for the purpose of eventual purchase of the facility.
(11) “Fee” means a nonrefundable payment of money.
(12) “First class mail” does not include certified or registered mail, or any other form of mail that may delay or hinder actual delivery of mail to the recipient.
(13) “Floating home” has the meaning given that term in ORS 830.700. As used in this chapter, “floating home” includes an accessory building or structure.
(14) “Good faith” means honesty in fact in the conduct of the transaction concerned.
(15) “Hotel or motel” means “hotel” as that term is defined in ORS 699.005.
(16) “Informal dispute resolution” means, but is not limited to, consultation between the landlord or landlord’s agent and one or more tenants, or mediation utilizing the services of a third party.
(17) “Landlord” means the owner, lessor or sublessor of the dwelling unit or the building or premises of which it is a part. “Landlord” includes a person who is authorized by the owner, lessor or sublessor to manage the premises or to enter into a rental agreement.
(18) “Landlord’s agent” means a person who has oral or written authority, either express or implied, to act for or on behalf of a landlord.
(19) “Last month’s rent deposit” means a type of security deposit, however designated, the primary function of which is to secure the payment of rent for the last month of the tenancy.
(20) “Manufactured dwelling” means a residential trailer, a mobile home or a manufactured home as those terms are defined in ORS 446.003 (26). “Manufactured dwelling” includes an accessory building or structure. “Manufactured dwelling” does not include a recreational vehicle.
(21) “Manufactured dwelling park” has the meaning given that term in ORS 446.003.
(22) “Organization” includes a corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, and any other legal or commercial entity.
(23) “Owner” includes a mortgagee in possession and means one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested:

(a) All or part of the legal title to property; or
(b) All or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to present use and enjoyment of the premises.

(24) “Person” includes an individual or organization.
(25) “Premises” means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part and facilities and appurtenances therein and grounds, areas and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally or whose use is promised to the tenant.
(26) “Prepaid rent” means any payment of money to the landlord for a rent obligation not yet due. In addition, “prepaid rent” means rent paid for a period extending beyond a termination  date.
(27) “Recreational vehicle” has the meaning given that term in ORS 446.003.
(28) “Rent” means any payment to be made to the landlord under the rental agreement, periodic or otherwise, in exchange for the right of a tenant and any permitted pet to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others. “Rent” does not include security deposits, fees or utility or service charges as described in ORS 90.315 (4) and 90.510 (8).
(29) “Rental agreement” means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under ORS 90.262 or 90.510 (6) embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises. “Rental agreement” includes a lease. A rental agreement shall be either a week-to-week tenancy, month-to-month tenancy or fixed term tenancy.
(30) “Roomer” means a person occupying a dwelling unit that does not include a toilet and either a bathtub or a shower and a refrigerator, stove and kitchen, all provided by the landlord, and where one or more of these facilities are used in common by occupants in the structure.
(31) “Screening or admission criteria” means a written statement of any factors a landlord considers in deciding whether to accept or reject an applicant and any qualifications required for acceptance. “Screening or admission criteria” includes, but is not limited to, the rental history, character references, public records, criminal records, credit reports, credit references and incomes or resources of the applicant.
(32) “Security deposit” means any refundable payment or deposit of money, however designated, the primary function of which is to secure the performance of a rental agreement or any part of a rental agreement, but does not mean a fee.
(33) “Squatter” means a person occupying a dwelling unit who is not so entitled under a rental agreement or who is not authorized by the tenant to occupy that dwelling unit. “Squatter” does not include a tenant who holds over as described in ORS 90.427 (4).
(34) “Statement of policy” means the summary explanation of information and facility policies to be provided to prospective and existing tenants under ORS 90.510.
(35) “Surrender” means an agreement, express or implied, as described in ORS 90.148 between a landlord and tenant to terminate a rental agreement that gave the tenant the right to occupy a dwelling unit.
(36) “Tenant” means a person, including a roomer, entitled under a rental agreement to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others, including a dwelling unit owned, operated or controlled by a public housing authority. “Tenant” also includes a minor, as defined and provided for in ORS 109.697. As used in ORS 90.505 to 90.840, “tenant” includes only a person who owns and occupies as a residence a manufactured dwelling or a floating home in a facility and persons residing with that tenant under the terms of the rental agreement.
(37) “Transient lodging” means a room or a suite of rooms.
(38) “Transient occupancy” means occupancy in transient lodging that has all of the following characteristics:

(a) Occupancy is charged on a daily basis and is not collected more than six days in advance;
(b) The lodging operator provides maid and linen service daily or every two days as part of the regularly charged cost of occupancy; and
(c) The period of occupancy does not exceed 30 days.

(39) “Vacation occupancy” means occupancy in a dwelling unit, not including transient occupancy in a hotel or motel, that has all of the following characteristics:

(a) The occupant rents the unit for vacation purposes only, not as a principal residence;
(b) The occupant has a principal residence other than at the unit; and
(c) The period of authorized occupancy does not exceed 45 days.

(40) “Week-to-week tenancy” means a tenancy that has all of the following characteristics:

(a) Occupancy is charged on a weekly basis and is payable no less frequently than every seven days;
(b) There is a written rental agreement that defines the landlord’s and the tenant’s rights and responsibilities under this chapter; and
(c) There are no fees or security deposits, although the landlord may require the payment of an applicant screening charge, as provided in ORS 90.295.  Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.100

Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.”  Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.105

Exclusions from application of this chapter.

Unless created to avoid the application of this chapter, the following arrangements are not governed by this chapter:

(1) Residence at an institution, public or private, if incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious or similar service, but not including residence in off-campus nondormitory housing.
(2) Occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part, if the occupant is the purchaser or a person who succeeds to the interest of the purchaser.
(3) Occupancy by a member of a fraternal or social organization in the portion of a structure operated for the benefit of the organization.
(4) Transient occupancy in a hotel or motel.
(5) Occupancy by a squatter.
(6) Vacation occupancy.
(7) Occupancy by an employee of a landlord whose right to occupancy is conditional upon employment in and about the premises. However, the occupancy by an employee as described in this subsection may be terminated only pursuant to ORS 91.120.
(8) Occupancy by an owner of a condominium unit or a holder of a proprietary lease in a cooperative.
(9) Occupancy under a rental agreement covering premises used by the occupant primarily for agricultural purposes. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.110

Territorial application.

This chapter applies to, regulates and determines rights, obligations and remedies under a rental agreement, wherever made, for a dwelling unit located within this state. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.115

Applicability of other statutory lien, tenancy and rent provisions; applicability of ORS 90.100 to 90.450 and 90.505 to 90.840.

(1) The provisions of ORS 87.152 to 87.212, 91.010 to 91.110, 91.210 and 91.220 do not apply to the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants governed by this chapter.
(2) Any provisions of this chapter which reasonably apply only to the structure that is used as a home, residence or sleeping place shall not apply to a manufactured dwelling, recreational vehicle or floating home where the tenant owns the manufactured dwelling, recreational vehicle or floating home but rents the space on which it is located.
(3) The provisions of ORS 90.505 to 90.840 apply only if:

(a) The tenant owns the manufactured dwelling or floating home;
(b) The tenant rents the space on which the dwelling or home is located; and
(c) The space is in a facility.

(4) Residential tenancies for recreational vehicles and for manufactured dwellings and floating homes that are not subject to ORS 90.505 to 90.840 shall be subject to ORS 90.100 to 90.450. Tenancies described in this subsection include tenancies for:

(a) A recreational vehicle, located inside or outside of a facility, if the tenant owns or rents the vehicle;
(b) A manufactured dwelling or floating home, located inside or outside of a facility, if the tenant rents both the dwelling or home and the space; and
(c) A manufactured dwelling or floating home, located outside a facility, if the tenant owns the dwelling or home and rents the space. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.120

Administration of remedies; enforcement.

(1) The remedies provided by this chapter shall be so administered that an aggrieved party may recover appropriate damages. The aggrieved party has a duty to mitigate damages.
(2) Any right or obligation declared by this chapter is enforceable by action unless the provision declaring it specifies a different and limited effect. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.125

Obligation of good faith.

Every duty under this chapter and every act which must be performed as a condition precedent to the exercise of a right or remedy under this chapter imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance or enforcement. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.130

Unconscionability.

(1) If the court, as a matter of law, finds:

(a) A rental agreement or any provision thereof was unconscionable when made, the court may refuse to enforce the agreement, enforce the remainder of the agreement without the unconscionable provision, or limit the application of any unconscionable provision to avoid an unconscionable result; or
(b) A settlement in which a party waives or agrees to forego a claim or right under this chapter or under a rental agreement was unconscionable when made, the court may refuse to enforce the settlement, enforce the remainder of the settlement without the unconscionable provision, or limit the application of any unconscionable provision to avoid an unconscionable result.

(2) If unconscionability is put into issue by a party or by the court upon its own motion the parties shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to present evidence as to the setting, purpose and effect of the rental agreement or settlement to aid the court in making the determination.  Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.135

Types of payments landlord may require or accept.

A landlord may require or accept the following types of payments:

(1) Applicant screening charges, pursuant to ORS 90.295;
(2) Deposits to secure the execution of a rental agreement, pursuant to ORS 90.297;
(3) Security deposits, pursuant to ORS 90.300;
(4) Fees, pursuant to ORS 90.302;
(5) Rent, as defined in ORS 90.100;
(6) Prepaid rent, as defined in ORS 90.100;
(7) Utility or service charges, pursuant to ORS 90.315 (4) or 90.510 (8);
(8) Late charges or fees, pursuant to ORS 90.260; and
(9) Damages, for noncompliance with a rental agreement or ORS 90.325, pursuant to ORS 90.400 (11) or as provided elsewhere in this chapter. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.140

Tenant or applicant who conducts repairs, routine maintenance or cleaning services not employee of landlord; restrictions.

(1) A tenant who occupies or an applicant who will occupy a dwelling unit and who conducts repairs, routine maintenance or cleaning services on that dwelling unit in exchange for a reduction in rent pursuant to a written or oral agreement with the landlord shall not be considered to be an employee of the landlord.
(2) A person described in subsection (1) of this section shall not conduct electrical or plumbing installation, maintenance or repair unless properly licensed or certified under ORS chapter 479 or 693.
(3) Nothing in this section diminishes the obligations of a landlord to maintain the dwelling unit in a habitable condition under ORS 90.320 or 90.730.
(4) Any work performed by a tenant or applicant under this section shall be in compliance with ORS chapters 447 and 479. However, a tenant or applicant shall not be required to secure a certificate of registration under ORS 447.010 to 447.160. Title 10, Chap. 90

Delivery of possession.

For the purposes of this chapter, delivery of possession occurs:

(1) From the landlord to the tenant, when the landlord gives actual notice to the tenant that the tenant has the right under a rental agreement to occupy the dwelling unit to the exclusion of others. The right to occupy may be implied by actions such as the landlord’s delivery of the keys to the dwelling unit; and
(2) From the tenant to the landlord at the termination of the tenancy, when:

(a) The tenant gives actual notice to the landlord that the tenant has relinquished any right to occupy the dwelling unit to the exclusion of others. Relinquishment of the right to occupy may be implied by actions such as the tenant’s return of the keys to the dwelling unit;
(b) After the expiration date of an outstanding termination of tenancy notice or the end of a term tenancy, the landlord reasonably believes under all the circumstances that the tenant has relinquished or no longer claims the right to occupy the dwelling unit to the exclusion of others; or
(c) The landlord reasonably knows of the tenant’s abandonment of the dwelling unit. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.147

Landlord acts imply acceptance of tenant abandonment or relinquishment of right to occupy.

The surrender of a dwelling unit may be implied from the landlord’s acceptance of a tenant’s abandonment or relinquishment of the right to occupy. The landlord’s acceptance may be demonstrated by acts of the landlord that are inconsistent with the existence of the tenancy. A landlord’s receipt of the keys to the dwelling unit or a landlord’s reasonable efforts to mitigate the landlord’s damages by attempting to rent the dwelling unit to a new tenant shall not constitute acts inconsistent with the existence of the tenancy. Reasonable efforts to mitigate damages include preparing the unit for rental. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.148

Note: 90.148 was added to and made a part of ORS chapter 90 by legislative action but was not added to any smaller series therein. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

SERVICE OR DELIVERY OF NOTICES

Service or delivery of actual notice.

Where this chapter requires actual notice, service or delivery of that notice shall be executed by one or more of the following methods:

(1) Verbal notice that is given personally to the landlord or tenant or left on the landlord’s or tenant’s telephone answering device;
(2) Written notice that is personally delivered to the landlord or tenant, left at the landlord’s rental office, sent by facsimile to the landlord’s residence or rental office or to the tenant’s dwelling unit, or attached in a secure manner to the main entrance of the landlord’s residence or tenant’s dwelling unit;
(3) Written notice that is delivered by first class mail to the landlord or tenant. If the notice is mailed, the notice shall be considered served three days after the date the notice was mailed; or
(4) Any other method reasonably calculated to achieve actual receipt of notice, as agreed to and described in a written rental agreement. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.150

Service or delivery of written notice.

(1) Except as provided in ORS 90.300, 90.425 and 90.675, where this chapter requires written notice, service or delivery of that written notice shall be executed by one or more of the following methods:

(a) Personal delivery to the landlord or tenant;
(b) First class mail to the landlord or tenant; or
(c) If a written rental agreement so provides, both first class mail and attachment to a designated location. In order for a written rental agreement to provide for mail and attachment service of written notices from the landlord to the tenant, the agreement must also provide for such service of written notices from the tenant to the landlord. Mail and attachment service of written notices shall be executed as follows:

(A) For written notices from the landlord to the tenant, the first class mail notice copy shall be addressed to the tenant at the premises and the second notice copy shall be attached in a secure manner to the main entrance to that portion of the premises of which the tenant has possession; and
(B) For written notices from the tenant to the landlord, the first class mail notice copy shall be addressed to the landlord at an address as designated in the written rental agreement and the second notice copy shall be attached in a secure manner to the landlord’s designated location, which shall be described with particularity in the written rental agreement, reasonably located in relation to the tenant and available at all hours.

(2) If a notice is served by mail, the minimum period for compliance or termination of tenancy, as appropriate, shall be extended by three days, and the notice shall include the extension in the period provided.
(3) A landlord or tenant may utilize alternative methods of notifying the other so long as the alternative method is in addition to one of the service methods described in subsection (1) of this section. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.155

Calculation of notice periods.

(1) Notwithstanding ORCP 10 and not including the seven-day and four-day waiting periods provided in ORS 90.400 (2), where there are references in this chapter to periods and notices based on a number of days, those days shall be calculated by consecutive calendar days, not including the initial day of service, but including the last day until midnight of that last day. Where there are references in this chapter to periods or notices based on a number of hours, those hours shall be calculated in consecutive clock hours, beginning immediately upon service.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, for 72-hour or 144-hour nonpayment notices under ORS 90.400 (2) that are served pursuant to ORS 90.155 (1)(c), the time period described in subsection (1) of this section begins at 11:59 p.m. the day the notice is both mailed and attached to the premises. The time period shall end 72 hours or 144 hours, as the case may be, after the time started to run at 11:59 p.m. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.160

CONTENT OF AGREEMENTS

Terms and conditions of rental agreement; rent obligation and payment.

(1) A landlord and a tenant may include in a rental agreement terms and conditions not prohibited by this chapter or other rule of law including rent, term of the agreement and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.
(2) The landlord shall provide the tenant with a copy of any written rental agreement and all amendments and additions thereto.
(3) Notwithstanding ORS 90.245 (1), the parties to a rental agreement to which ORS 90.100 to 90.450 apply may include in the rental agreement a provision for informal dispute resolution.
(4) In absence of agreement, the tenant shall pay as rent the fair rental value for the use and occupancy of the dwelling unit.
(5) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter:

(a) Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit, periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal monthly or weekly installments at the beginning of each month or week, depending on whether the tenancy is month-to-month or week-to-week. Rent shall not be considered to be due prior to the first day of each rental period. Rent may not be increased without a 30-day written notice thereof in the case of a month-to-month tenancy or a seven-day written notice thereof in the case of a week-to-week tenancy.
(b) If a rental agreement does not create a week-to-week tenancy, as defined in ORS 90.100, or a fixed term tenancy, the tenancy shall be a month-to-month tenancy.

(6) Except as provided by ORS 90.427 (4), a tenant is responsible for payment of rent until the earlier of:

(a) The date that a notice terminating the tenancy expires;
(b) The date that the tenancy terminates by its own terms;
(c) The date that the tenancy terminates by surrender;
(d) The date that the tenancy terminates as a result of the landlord failing to use reasonable efforts to rent the dwelling unit to a new tenant as provided under ORS 90.410 (3);
(e) The date when a new tenancy with a new tenant begins;
(f) Thirty days after delivery of possession without prior notice of termination of a month-to-month tenancy; or
(g) Ten days after delivery of possession without prior notice of termination of a week-to-week tenancy. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.240

“Drug and alcohol free housing” and “program of recovery” defined.

(1) “Drug and alcohol free housing” is a rental agreement for a dwelling in which:

(a) Each of the dwelling units on the premises is occupied or held for occupancy by at least one tenant who is a recovering alcoholic or drug addict and is participating in a program of recovery;
(b) The landlord is a nonprofit corporation incorporated pursuant to ORS chapter 65 or a housing authority created pursuant to ORS 456.055 to 456.235;
(c) The landlord provides:

(A) A drug and alcohol free environment, covering all tenants, employees, staff, agents of the landlord and guests;
(B) An employee who monitors the tenants for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (d) of this subsection;
(C) Individual and group support for recovery; and
(D) Access to a specified program of recovery; and

(d) The rental agreement is in writing and includes the following provisions:

(A) That the tenant shall not use, possess or share alcohol, illegal drugs, controlled substances or prescription drugs without a medical prescription, either on or off the premises;
(B) That the tenant shall not allow the tenant’s guests to use, possess or share alcohol, illegal drugs, controlled substances or prescription drugs without a medical prescription, on the premises;
(C) That the tenant shall participate in a program of recovery, which specific program is described in the rental agreement;
(D) That on at least a quarterly basis the tenant shall provide written verification from the tenant’s program of recovery that the tenant is participating in the program of recovery and that the tenant has not used alcohol or illegal drugs;
(E) That the landlord has the right to require the tenant to take a urine analysis test regarding drug or alcohol usage, at the landlord’s discretion and expense; and
(F) That the landlord has the right to terminate the tenant’s tenancy in the drug and alcohol free housing for noncompliance with the requirements of this paragraph, pursuant to ORS 90.400 (1) and (9) or 90.630.

(2) As used in this section, “program of recovery” means a verifiable program of counseling and rehabilitation treatment services, including a written plan, to assist recovering alcoholics or drug addicts to recover from their addiction to alcohol or illegal drugs while living in drug and alcohol free housing. A “program of recovery” includes Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and similar programs. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.243

Prohibited provisions in rental agreements; remedy.

(1) A rental agreement may not provide that the tenant:

(a) Agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies under this chapter;
(b) Authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement; or
(c) Agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability arising as a result of the other party’s willful misconduct or negligence or to indemnify the other party for that liability or costs connected therewith.

(2) A provision prohibited by subsection (1) of this section included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord deliberately uses a rental agreement containing provisions known by the landlord to be prohibited and attempts to enforce such provisions, the tenant may recover in addition to the actual damages of the tenant an amount up to three months’ periodic rent.  Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.245

Receipt of rent without obligation to maintain premises prohibited.

A rental agreement, assignment, conveyance, trust deed or security instrument may not permit the receipt of rent free of the obligation to comply with ORS 90.320 (1) or 90.730. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.250

Attorney fees.

In any action on a rental agreement or arising under this chapter, reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal may be awarded to the prevailing party together with costs and necessary disbursements, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary. As used in this section, “prevailing party” means the party in whose favor final judgment is rendered.  Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.255

Late rent payment charge or fee; restrictions; calculation.

(1) A landlord may impose a late charge or fee, however designated, only if:

(a) The rent payment is not received by the fourth day of the weekly or monthly rental period for which rent is payable; and
(b) There exists a written rental agreement that specifies:

(A) The tenant’s obligation to pay a late charge on delinquent rent payments;
(B) The type and amount of the late charge, as described in subsection (2) of this section; and
(C) The date on which rent payments are due and the date or day on which late charges become due.

(2) The amount of any late charge shall not exceed:

(a) A reasonable flat amount, charged once per rental period. “Reasonable amount” means the customary amount charged by landlords for that rental market;
(b) A reasonable amount, charged on a per-day basis, beginning on the fifth day of the rental period for which rent is delinquent. This daily charge may accrue every day thereafter until the rent, not including any late charge, is paid in full, through that rental period only. The per-day charge may not exceed six percent of the amount described in paragraph (a) of this subsection; or
(c) Five percent of the periodic rent payment amount, charged once for each succeeding five-day period, or portion thereof, for which the rent payment is delinquent, beginning on the fifth day of that rental period and continuing and accumulating until that rent payment, not including any late charge, is paid in full, through that rental period only.

(3) In periodic tenancies, a landlord may change the type or amount of late charge by giving 30 days’ written notice to the tenant.
(4) A landlord shall not deduct a previously imposed late charge from a current or subsequent rental period rent payment, thereby making that rent payment delinquent for imposition of a new or additional late charge or for termination of the tenancy for nonpayment pursuant to ORS 90.400 (2).
(5) A landlord may charge simple interest on an unpaid late charge at the rate allowed for judgments pursuant to ORS 82.010 (2) and accruing from the date the late charge is imposed.
(6) Nonpayment of a late charge alone shall not constitute grounds for termination of a rental agreement for nonpayment of rent pursuant to ORS 90.400 (2), but shall constitute grounds for termination of a rental agreement for cause pursuant to ORS 90.400 (1) or 90.630 (1). A landlord may note the imposition of a late charge on a notice of nonpayment of rent pursuant to ORS 90.400 (2), so long as the notice states or otherwise makes clear that the tenant may cure the nonpayment notice by paying only the delinquent rent, not including any late charge, within the allotted time.
(7) A late charge includes an increase or decrease in the regularly charged periodic rent payment imposed because a tenant does or does not pay that rent by a certain date. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.260

Use and occupancy rules and regulations; adoption; enforceability; restrictions.

(1) A landlord, from time to time, may adopt a rule or regulation, however described, concerning the tenant’s use and occupancy of the premises. It is enforceable against the tenant only if:

(a) Its purpose is to promote the convenience, safety or welfare of the tenants in the premises, preserve the landlord’s property from abusive use, or make a fair distribution of services and facilities held out for the tenants generally;
(b) It is reasonably related to the purpose for which it is adopted;
(c) It applies to all tenants in the premises in a fair manner;
(d) It is sufficiently explicit in its prohibition, direction or limitation of the tenant’s conduct to fairly inform the tenant of what the tenant must or must not do to comply;
(e) It is not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord; and
(f) The tenant has written notice of it at the time the tenant enters into the rental agreement, or when it is adopted.

(2) If a rule or regulation adopted after the tenant enters into the rental agreement works a substantial modification of the bargain, it is not valid unless the tenant consents to it in writing.
(3) If adopted, an occupancy guideline for a dwelling unit shall not be more restrictive than two people per bedroom and shall be reasonable. Reasonableness shall be determined on a case-by-case basis. Factors to be considered in determining reasonableness include, but are not limited to:

(a) The size of the bedrooms;
(b) The overall size of the dwelling unit; and
(c) Any discriminatory impact on those identified in ORS 659.033.

(4) As used in this section:

(a) “Bedroom” means a habitable room that:

(A) Is intended to be used primarily for sleeping purposes;
(B) Contains at least 70 square feet; and
(C) Is configured so as to take the need for a fire exit into account.

(b) “Habitable room” means a space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, storage or utility space and similar areas are not included. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.262

Vehicle tags.

A landlord may not require that a tenant display a nonremovable tag, sticker or other device on a motor vehicle that might reveal or indicate to the public the premises where the tenant resides. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.263

Note: 90.263 becomes operative September 1, 2000. See section 3, chapter 397, Oregon Laws 1999.

Note: 90.263 was added to and made a part of ORS chapter 90 by legislative action but was not added to any smaller series therein. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

Interest in alternative energy device installed by tenant.

(1) An alternative energy device installed in a dwelling unit by a tenant with the landlord’s written permission is not a fixture in which the landlord has a legal interest, except as otherwise expressly provided in a written agreement between the landlord and tenant.
(2) As a condition to a grant of written permission referred to in subsection (1) of this section, a landlord may require a tenant to do one or more of the following:

(a) Provide a waiver of the landlord’s liability for any injury to the tenant or other installer resulting from the tenant’s or installer’s negligence in the installation of the alternative energy device;
(b) Secure a waiver of the right to a lien against the property of the landlord from each contractor, subcontractor, laborer and material supplier who would obtain the right to a lien when the tenant installs or causes the installation of the alternative energy device; or
(c) Post a bond or pay a deposit in an amount not to exceed the cost of restoring the premises to its condition at the time of installation of the alternative energy device.

(3) Nothing in this section:

(a) Authorizes the installation of an alternative energy device in a dwelling unit without the landlord’s written permission; or
(b) Limits a landlord’s right to recover damages and obtain injunctive relief as provided in ORS 90.400 (11).

(4) As used in this section, “alternative energy device” has the meaning given that term in ORS 469.160. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.265

FEES AND DEPOSITS

Applicant screening charge; limitations; notice upon denial of tenancy; refund; remedies.

(1) A landlord may require payment of an applicant screening charge solely to cover the costs of obtaining information about an applicant as the landlord processes the application for a rental agreement. This activity is known as screening, and includes but is not limited to checking references and obtaining a consumer credit report or tenant screening report. The landlord must provide the applicant with a receipt for any applicant screening charge.
(2) The amount of any applicant screening charge shall not be greater than the landlord’s average actual cost of screening applicants. Actual costs may include the cost of using a tenant screening company or a consumer credit reporting agency, and may include the reasonable value of any time spent by the landlord or the landlord’s agents in otherwise obtaining information on applicants. In any case, the applicant screening charge may not be greater than the customary amount charged by tenant screening companies or consumer credit reporting agencies for a comparable level of screening.
(3) A landlord may not require payment of an applicant screening charge unless prior to accepting the payment the landlord:

(a) Adopts written screening or admission criteria;
(b) Gives written notice to the applicant of:

(A) The amount of the applicant screening charge;
(B) The landlord’s screening or admission criteria;
(C) The process that the landlord typically will follow in screening the applicant, including whether the landlord uses a tenant screening company, credit reports, public records or criminal records or contacts employers, landlords or other references; and
(D) The applicant’s rights to dispute the accuracy of any information provided to the landlord by a screening company or credit reporting agency; and

(c) Gives actual notice to the applicant of an estimate, made to the best of the landlord’s ability at that time, of the approximate number of rental units of the type, and in the area, sought by the applicant that are, or within a reasonable future time will be, available to rent from that landlord.  The estimate shall include the approximate number of applications previously accepted and remaining under consideration for those units. A good faith error by a landlord in making an estimate under this paragraph does not provide grounds for a claim under subsection (8) of this section.

(4) Regardless of whether a landlord requires payment of an applicant screening charge, if a landlord denies an application for a rental agreement by an applicant and that denial is based in whole or in part on a tenant screening company or consumer credit reporting agency report on that applicant, the landlord shall give the applicant actual notice of that fact at the same time that the landlord notifies the applicant of the denial. Unless written notice of the name and address of the screening company or credit reporting agency has previously been given, the landlord shall promptly give written notice to the applicant of the name and address of the company or agency that provided the report upon which the denial is based.
(5) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, a landlord need not disclose the results of an applicant screening or report to an applicant, with respect to information that is not required to be disclosed under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. A landlord may give to an applicant a copy of that applicant’s consumer report, as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
(6) Unless the applicant agrees otherwise in writing, a landlord may not require payment of an applicant screening charge when the landlord knows or should know that no rental units are available at that time or will be available within a reasonable future time.
(7) If a landlord requires payment of an applicant screening charge but fills the vacant rental unit before screening the applicant or does not conduct a screening of the applicant for any reason, the landlord must refund the applicant screening charge to the applicant within a reasonable time.
(8) The applicant may recover from the landlord the amount of any applicant screening charge paid, plus $100, if:

(a) The landlord fails to comply with this section and does not within a reasonable time accept the applicant’s application for a rental agreement; or
(b) The landlord does not conduct a screening of the applicant for any reason and fails to refund an applicant screening charge to the applicant within a reasonable time. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.295

Prohibition on charging deposit or fee to enter rental agreement; exceptions; deposit allowed for securing execution of rental agreement; remedy.

(1) Except as provided in ORS 90.295 and in this section, a landlord shall not charge a deposit or fee, however designated, to an applicant who has applied to a landlord to enter a rental agreement for a dwelling unit.
(2) A landlord may charge a deposit, however designated, to an applicant for the purpose of securing the execution of a rental agreement, after approving the applicant’s application but prior to entering into a rental agreement. The landlord must give the applicant a written statement describing the terms of the agreement to execute a rental agreement and the conditions for refunding or retaining the deposit.

(a) If a rental agreement is executed, the landlord shall either apply the deposit toward the moneys due the landlord under the rental agreement or refund it immediately to the tenant.
(b) If a rental agreement is not executed due to a failure by the applicant to comply with the agreement to execute, the landlord may retain the deposit.
(c) If a rental agreement is not executed due to a failure by the landlord to comply with the agreement to execute, within four days the landlord shall return the deposit to the applicant either by making the deposit available to the applicant at the landlord’s customary place of business or by mailing the deposit by first class mail to the applicant. Proof of timely compliance with this requirement shall include a postmark.

(3) If a landlord fails to comply with this section, the applicant or tenant, as the case may be, may recover from the landlord the amount of any fee or deposit charged, plus $100. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.297

Security deposits; deposit changes; last month’s rent; prepaid rent; accounting.

(1) As used in this section, “security deposit” includes any last month’s rent deposit.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a landlord may require the payment of a security deposit. A security deposit or prepaid rent shall be held by the landlord for the tenant who is a party to the rental agreement. The claim of a tenant to the security deposit or prepaid rent shall be prior to the claim of any creditor of the landlord, including a trustee in bankruptcy. The holder of the landlord’s interest in the premises at the time of termination of the tenancy is responsible to the tenant for any security deposit or prepaid rent and is bound by this section.
(3)

(a) A landlord may not change the rental agreement to require the payment of a new or increased security deposit during the first year after the tenancy has begun, except that an additional deposit may be required if the landlord and tenant agree to modify the terms and conditions of the rental agreement to permit a pet or for other cause and the additional deposit relates to that modification. This paragraph does not prevent the collection of a security deposit that was provided for under an initial rental agreement but remained unpaid at the time the tenancy began.
(b) 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 three months to pay that deposit.

(4) The landlord may claim all or part of the security deposit only if the security deposit was made for any or all of the purposes provided by subsection (5) of this section.
(5) The landlord may claim from the security deposit only the amount reasonably necessary:

(a) To remedy the tenant’s defaults in the performance of the rental agreement including, but not limited to, unpaid rent; and
(b) To repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant, not including ordinary wear and tear.

(6) A security deposit or prepaid rent shall not be required or forfeited to the landlord upon the failure of the tenant to maintain a tenancy for a minimum number of months in a month-to-month tenancy.
(7) Any last month’s rent deposit shall be applied to the rent due for the last month of the tenancy:

(a) Upon either the landlord or tenant giving to the other a notice of termination, pursuant to this chapter, other than a notice of termination under ORS 90.400 (2);
(b) Upon agreement by the landlord and tenant to terminate the tenancy; or
(c) Upon termination pursuant to the provisions of a written rental agreement for a term tenancy.

(8) Any portion of a last month’s rent deposit not applied as provided under subsection (7) of this section shall be accounted for and refunded as provided under subsections (10) to (12) of this section. Unless the tenant and landlord agree otherwise, a last month’s rent deposit shall not be applied to rent due for any period other than the last month of the tenancy. A last month’s rent deposit shall not operate to limit the amount of rent charged unless a written rental agreement provides otherwise.
(9) Upon termination of the tenancy, a landlord shall account for and refund to the tenant the unused balance of any prepaid rent not previously refunded to the tenant as required by ORS 90.380 and 105.120 (4)(b) or any other provision of this chapter, in the same manner as required for security deposits by this section. The landlord may claim from the remaining prepaid rent only the amount reasonably necessary to pay the tenant’s unpaid rent.
(10) In order to claim all or part of any prepaid rent or security deposit, within 31 days after the termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession the landlord shall give to the tenant a written accounting that states specifically the basis or bases of the claim. The landlord shall give a separate accounting for security deposits and for prepaid rent.
(11) The security deposit or prepaid rent or portion thereof not claimed in the manner provided by subsections (9) and (10) of this section shall be returned to the tenant not later than 31 days after the termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession to the landlord.
(12) The landlord shall give the written accounting as required by subsection (10) of this section or shall return the security deposit or prepaid rent as required by subsection (11) of this section by personal delivery or by first class mail. Proof of timely compliance with this requirement shall include a postmark.
(13) If the landlord fails to comply with subsection (11) of this section or if the landlord in bad faith fails to return all or any portion of any prepaid rent or security deposit due to the tenant under this chapter or the rental agreement, the tenant may recover the money due in an amount equal to twice the amount:

(a) Withheld without a written accounting under subsection (10) of this section; or
(b) Withheld in bad faith.

(14) This section does not preclude the landlord or tenant from recovering other damages under this chapter. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.300

Fees allowed for certain landlord expenses; accounting not required.

(1) Except as specifically provided otherwise in this chapter, a landlord may require the payment of a fee, if the fee is related to and designated as being charged for a specific reasonably anticipated landlord expense. A landlord shall provide a receipt for the fee, and the receipt or a written rental agreement shall describe the anticipated landlord expense to be covered by the fee and describe the landlord’s duties under subsection (4) of this section.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, a landlord shall not charge a fee more than once, at the beginning of or during the tenancy.
(3) A landlord may charge a fee more than once, at the beginning of or during the tenancy, for:

(a) A late rent payment, pursuant to ORS 90.260;
(b) A dishonored check, pursuant to ORS 30.701 (5);
(c) Removal or tampering with a properly functioning smoke alarm or smoke detector, as provided in ORS 90.325 (7), if a written rental agreement provides for a fee for that removal or tampering; and
(d) Any other noncompliance by the tenant with a written rental agreement that provides for a fee for that noncompliance, provided that the fee shall not be excessive.

(4) A landlord shall not be required to account for or return to the tenant any fee. Upon termination of a tenancy and delivery of possession, a landlord shall first apply any fee to the related landlord expense as reasonably assessed against the tenant, before applying the tenant’s security deposit, if any, to that expense.
(5) Nonpayment of a fee shall not constitute grounds for termination of a rental agreement for nonpayment of rent pursuant to ORS 90.400 (2), but shall constitute grounds for termination of a rental agreement for cause pursuant to ORS 90.400 (1) or 90.630 (1).
(6) This section shall not apply to attorney fees awarded pursuant to ORS 90.255 or to applicant screening charges paid pursuant to ORS 90.295. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.302

Note: Section 15, chapter 577, Oregon Laws 1997, provides:
Sec. 15. The amendments to ORS 90.302, 90.315 (4) and 90.510 (8) by sections 14, 16 and 26 of this Act apply only to tenancies, whether periodic or fixed term, that are entered into on or after October 1, 1997, or are extended or renewed after that date.

LANDLORD RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS

Disclosure of certain matters; retention of rental agreement; inspection of agreement.

(1) The landlord shall disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name and address of:

(a) The person authorized to manage the premises; and
(b) An owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and receiving and receipting for notices and demands.

(2) The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current and this section extends to and is enforceable against any successor landlord, owner or manager.
(3) A person who is authorized to manage the premises, or to enter into a rental agreement, and fails to comply with subsection (1) of this section becomes an agent of each person who is a landlord for service of process and receiving and receipting for notices and demands.
(4)

(a) A landlord shall retain a copy of each rental agreement at the resident manager’s office or at the address provided to the tenant under subsection (1)(a) of this section.
(b) A tenant may request to see the rental agreement and, within a reasonable time, the landlord shall make the agreement available for inspection. At the request of the tenant and upon payment of a reasonable charge, not to exceed the lesser of 25 cents per page or the actual copying costs, the landlord shall provide the tenant with a copy of the rental agreement. This subsection shall not diminish the landlord’s obligation to furnish the tenant an initial copy of the rental agreement and any amendments under ORS 90.240 (2).   Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.305

Disclosure of legal proceedings; tenant remedies for failure to disclose; liability of manager.

(1) If at the time of the execution of a rental agreement for a dwelling unit in premises containing no more than four dwelling units the premises are subject to any of the following circumstances, the landlord shall disclose that circumstance to the tenant in writing before the execution of the rental agreement:

(a) Any outstanding notice of default under a trust deed, mortgage or contract of sale, or notice of trustee’s sale under a trust deed;
(b) Any pending suit to foreclose a mortgage, trust deed or vendor’s lien under a contract of sale;
(c) Any pending declaration of forfeiture or suit for specific performance of a contract of sale; or
(d) Any pending proceeding to foreclose a tax lien.

(2) If the tenant moves as a result of a circumstance that the landlord failed to disclose as required by subsection (1) of this section, the tenant may recover twice the actual damages or twice the monthly rent, whichever is greater, and all prepaid rent, in addition to any other remedy that the law may provide.
(3) This section shall not apply to premises managed by a court appointed receiver.
(4) A manager who has complied with ORS 90.305 shall not be liable for damages under this section if the manager had no knowledge of the circumstances that gave rise to a duty of disclosure under subsection (1) of this section. Title 10, Chap. 90, §90.310

Utility or service payments; additional charges; responsibility for utility or service; remedies.

(1) As used in this section, “utility or service” includes but is not limited to electricity, natural or liquid propane gas, oil, water, hot water, heat, air conditioning, cable television, direct satellite or other video subscription service, Internet access or usage, sewer service and garbage collection and disposal.
(2) The landlord shall disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy any utility or service that the tenant pays directly to a utility or service provider that benefits, directly, the landlord or other tenants. A tenant’s payment for a given utility or service benefits the landlord or other tenants if the utility or service is delivered to any area other than the tenant’s dwelling unit.
(3) If the landlord knowingly fails to disclose those matters required under subsection (2) of this section, the tenant may recover twice the actual damages sustained or one month’s rent, whichever is greater.
(4)

(a) Except for tenancies covered by ORS 90.505 to 90.840, if a written rental agreement so provides, a landlord may require a tenant to pay to the landlord a utility or service charge that has been billed by a utility or service provider to the landlord for utility or service provided directly to the tenant’s dwelling unit or to a common area available to the tenant as part of the tenancy. A utility or service charge that shall be assessed to a tenant for a common area must be described in the written rental agreement separately and distinctly from such a charge for the tenant’s dwelling unit. Unless the method of allocating the charges to the tenant is described in the tenant’s written rental agreement, the tenant may require that the landlord give the tenant a copy of the provider’s bill as a condition of paying the charges.
(b) A utility or service charge shall include only the value or cost of the utility or service as billed to the landlord by the provider as described in this subsection, except that a landlord may add an additional amount to that value or cost if:

(A) The utility or service charge to which the additional amount is added is for cable television, direct satellite or other video subscription service or for Internet access or usage;
(B) The additional amount added to the utility or service charge of each tenant is not more than 10 percent of the charge to that tenant for cable television, direct satellite or other video subscription service or Internet access or usage;
(C) The total of the utility or service charge plus the additional amount is less than the typical periodic cost that the tenant would incur if the tenant contracted for the cable television, direct satellite or other video subscription service

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