Are you planning on investing in rental property? Like most investors, you’re probably interested in learning more about landlord-tenant law in Oregon for 2022-2023.
This is understandable because the rental market has changed in the last two years and landlords have fewer rights than before.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled an updated resource on landlord rights in Oregon so that you know what to expect before investing in a rental property here.
Landlord-Tenant Law 2022-2023
Under Oregon law, landlords must disclose specific information to tenants (usually in the lease or rental agreement). The list of required disclosures is long and includes information on topics such as:
- who is the owner and manager of the property, and who is authorized to receive notices such as service of process (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.305)
- pending legal actions (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.310)
- responsibility for paying utility bills (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.315)
- recycling (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.318)
- smoking policies (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.220)
- carbon monoxide alarms (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 90.316, 90.317)
- smoke alarms and detectors (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 479.270)
- flood zones (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.228)
- renters’ insurance (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.367), and
- payments for homeowner assessments (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.302)
Oregon landlords can require tenants to pay a security deposit. Under Oregon law, a last month’s rent deposit is considered to be a security deposit. Landlords must provide tenants with a receipt when they receive the deposit. Written rental agreements must include the amount of the security deposit. A security deposit can’t be increased within the first year of the tenancy. Landlords have 31 days after the tenant delivers possession to return the deposit and provide an accounting of any amount applied towards rent or damages. See Oregon Revised Statute section 90.300 for all the rules regarding security deposits.
Small Claims Lawsuits in Oregon
Tenants can sue landlords in small claims court for the return of their deposit and other damages, up to a dollar amount of $10,000. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 46.405.)
Oregon Tenant Fees
Oregon landlords may not charge nonrefundable fees (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.302). Oregon landlords may only charge fees for specified events as they arise. For example, landlords may charge fees for acts such as:
- paying rent late
- paying utility bills late
- bouncing checks
- failure to clean up garbage and trash, including pet waste
- violating parking and vehicle rules
- violating smoking rules
- damaging property, and
- tampering with smoke detectors.
Complete information about fees Oregon landlords can charge is found in Oregon Revised Statute section 90.302.
Oregon Rent Rules
Oregon has a statewide rent control law that limits the amount of rent increases, bars landlords from raising rent more than once in any 12-month period, and requires landlords to give tenants proper notice before raising rent.
During any 12-month period, landlords cannot raise the rent more than 7% plus the consumer price index above the existing rent—no matter how long the tenancy. Every September 30, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis will publish the maximum annual rent increase percentage for the following year.
For week-to-week tenancies, landlords can raise the rent after giving seven days’ written notice. For all other tenancies, landlords cannot raise rent within the first year of a tenancy. After the first year of a tenancy, landlords must give 90 days’ written notice before raising the rent.
Landlords who illegally increase rent must pay tenants an amount equal to three months’ rent, plus any damages the tenants suffered from the increase (such as interest on money they borrowed to cover rent). (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.323.)
Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent in Oregon
When landlords fail to comply with a term of the lease or rental agreement, or fail to maintain the premises in a habitable condition, tenants may notify their landlord of the breach and give a 30-day notice to terminate if the landlord doesn’t fix the condition within a certain amount of time. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.360.) Tenants also may withhold rent for some minor defects that can be reasonably repaired for not more than $300—but must follow the statute’s rules regarding notice (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.368).
Oregon Termination and Eviction Rules
The rules on how and when landlords can terminate depend on the type of tenancy. Oregon’s laws address week-to-week, month-to-month, and fixed-term tenancies (as well as tenancies located within a landlord’s primary residence). To learn the rules that apply to your tenancy, review the full text of Oregon Revised Statute section 90.427.
Landlords may terminate a tenancy without cause for month-to-month tenants, but only during the first year of occupancy. After that, landlords must have a reason, or “just cause,” as enumerated in the law (such as demolishing the building, moving immediate family members into the unit, or the tenant’s violation of a lease term).
Tenants With Leases
Tenants with a one-year (or shorter) lease may not have their tenancies terminated during the first year of occupancy unless the tenant has failed to pay the rent or violated another material term of the tenancy (such as having a pet in violation of a no-pet rule). Landlords may decide to not renew or extend a one-year tenant’s (or shorter) lease by giving a 30-day “termination” notice prior to the lease’s expiration date. If the landlord does not terminate and the tenant stays, the tenant has become a month-to-month tenant, but one who has the protections of “just cause” eviction rules on account of the tenant’s occupancy for more than one year (see above).
Landlord Access to Rental Property, Tenant Protection Against Retaliation, and Other State Laws in Oregon
Several other landlord-tenant laws in Oregon affect both property owners and renters, including:
- restrictions on landlord’s right to access rental property (Oregon landlords must provide 24 hours’ notice of entry in non-emergency situations) (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.322)
- tenant protections against landlord retaliation for tenant exercising a legal right, such as complaining about an unsafe living condition (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 90.385)
- special protections for tenants who are victims of domestic violence (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 90.449, 90.453, 90.456, and 90.459)
- procedures for how landlords must handle abandoned property left behind by tenants (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 90.425, 105.165) , and
- fair housing rights (discrimination is also prohibited by federal and, often, local law—see the Housing Discrimination section of the Nolo site for details).
Contact Rent Portland Homes – Professionals
At Rent Portland Homes – Professionals, our team specializes in Oregon property management. This means you can count on us to be on top of the latest landlord-tenant laws so you don’t have to.
If you’re ready to invest in a rental property in Beaverton, Portland or the surrounding area, but you don’t want to manage that property yourself, contact us today by calling (503) 447-7735 or click here to connect with us online.