Portland Property Management Blog

Changes in Oregon Landlord Tenant Act

There are some important changes to the Oregon Landlord Tenant Law that are effective January 1, 2016.  Some of the changes were simply a clarification of the current law.  Below is a summary of some of the most important changes.  To download a copy of the changes - click here

  •  Clarification regarding mailing notices - To avoid confusion, ORS 90.160 has been updated so that notices expire at 11:59 PM on the last day of the notice period rather than at 12 midnight.
  • Non-compliance Pet Fees - Before, a noncompliance fee for tenants for failure to clean up pet waste was for "pets only" - as a service/companion animal was not considered a "pet".  The law has been changed to include service/companion animal under this provision.
  • Noncompliance fees increase for unauthorized pet - The noncompliance fee for an unauthorized pet capable of causing damage to persons or property was capped at $50.  However, a fee for a second or any subsequent noncompliance relating to an unauthorized pet can increase to a maximum of $250.  Those unauthorized pet fees may not be imposed until 48 hours after the warning notice has been delivered to the tenant.
  • Tenant's Failure to Pay for Damages, Utility Fees, and/or Charges and Deposits:  This law protects you as the Owner in your right to collect charges for damages, utility fees, and/or charges and deposits from the Tenant.  The following section is new:
    • The violation concerns the tenant's failure to pay money owed to the landlord for damage to the premises, damage to any other structure located upon the grounds, utility charges, fees or deposits and, following the violation but prior to the acceptance of rent for three rental period or performance as described in subsection (2) of this section, the landlord gives a written warning notice to the tenant regarding the violation that:
      • (a) Describes specifically the basis of the claim and the amount of money owed that constitutes the violation;
      • (b) States that the tenant is required to correct the violation by paying the money owed; and States that continued nonpayment of the money owed that constitutes a violation may result in termination of the tenancy.
    • This statute is also amended to read that "for violations concerning the tenant's failure to pay money owed to a Landlord, the Landlord's written warning remains effective for 12 months from the date of the tenant's failure to pay the money owed."
  • Application of Payments - Effective January 1, 2016 funds received from tenants must be applied in the following order:
  1. Outstanding rents from prior rental periods
  2. Rent from the current rental period
  3. Utility or service charges
  4. Late rent payment charges
  5. Fees or charges owed by tenants under ORS 90.302 or other fees and charges related to tenant caused damages and other claims.
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