Oregon HOA Laws

Oregon HOA Laws

Last Updated: June 16, 2023 by Corrin Swintosky

Many planned communities are managed by a homeowners association (HOA) in Oregon. The laws governing HOAs in Oregon are established by various local, state, and federal regulations, in addition to each individual HOA’s governing documents.

Who Regulates HOAs in Oregon?

In Oregon, HOAs are governed by the Oregon Planned Communities Act found in Chapter 94 Section 500 of the Oregon Statutes. This act governs all buildings and improvements where owners are collectively responsible for maintenance, operation, and insurance related to any property within the community.

HOAs traditionally have documents that regulate themselves. Every HOA is different, however, the governing documents typically include: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restriction, and other rules.

HOAs in Oregon may be subject to applicable federal laws such as:

HOAs may be subject to certain state laws such as:

How to Find HOA Regulations in Oregon

HOA governing documents are public records in Oregon. HOAs are required to file the declaration, bylaws, and other required documents with the office of the recording officer in each county where the property is located. To obtain these records, visit the local office of the recording officer.

In some instances, these records can be obtained online using the Oregon Business Search on the Oregon Secretary of State website. On this site, homeowners may be able to access limited information about the HOA and its records.

HOA Powers in Oregon

In Oregon, HOAs have the power to:

  • Collect payments for common assessments
  • Maintain common areas
  • Collect charges to repair common areas
  • Levy reasonable fines
  • Foreclose on a home for unpaid liens

Additionally, HOA governing documents can grant further powers such as restrictions on membership, exterior paint colors, fencing, and parking requirements.

Can an HOA Impose Fines on a Homeowner in Oregon?

In Oregon, HOAs can impose fines on a homeowner for violation of its rules, late payment of assessments, or use of common areas and services. The HOA’s governing documents will specify any notice requirements and the amount of the fines imposed.

An HOA cannot fine a homeowner for (or generally prohibit) any of the following:

  • Installing electric vehicle charging stations
  • Installing solar panels
  • Operating a family child care center
  • Displaying the American flag so long as the flag is displayed in a manner consistent with federal flag display law
  • Installing satellite dishes and antennas

The governing documents of an HOA may include reasonable rules and regulations about the placement, manner, and display of any of the items listed above.

Can an HOA Take a Homeowner’s House in Oregon?

An HOA in Oregon can foreclose on a home within its community. HOAs have the power to place a lien on a property when the owner neglects to pay their dues. If a lien goes unresolved, the HOA can foreclose on the house.

The HOA must record a notice of claim of lien for assessments in the county deeds records where the HOA property is located. Alternative options to foreclosure can include the HOA taking the deed from the homeowner or a court order such as a monetary judgment to satisfy the lien.

There is no state provision on if an HOA can evict a homeowner or tenant. However, if the homeowner is leasing a tenant, the HOA may be able to evict the tenant.

For example, an HOA may be able to evict a tenant if the lease was not properly authorized by the HOA. In addition, the HOA may have other powers or restrictions regarding rental properties in its governing documents.

Can an HOA Enter a Homeowner’s Property in Oregon?

In Oregon, there is no state provision on HOAs being able to enter a homeowner’s property. Clauses regarding an HOA being able to enter a homeowner’s house will be listed in its governing documents.

Typically, an HOA may be able to enter a homeowner’s property in case of emergency, maintenance, or violation of any rules or regulations.

Except in the case of an emergency, reasonable notice should be provided to the homeowner before the HOA is to enter the property. A reasonable timeline can range depending on the reason for entry between three days and a couple of weeks.

Where Do Homeowners File Complaints Against Their HOA in Oregon?

The appropriate agency to file a complaint against an HOA depends on the type of complaint.

If a homeowner feels they are a victim of housing discrimination, they can file a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, the U.S. Department of Urban Housing, or file a private lawsuit in Oregon state or federal court.

For complaints concerning HOA fees, a homeowner can file a complaint with the Oregon Real Estate Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, homeowners may also file in state or federal court within one year of the violation date.

A homeowner can bring all other complaints to state court in the appropriate jurisdiction by filing a claim.

Joining and Leaving an HOA in Oregon

There is no state statute for processes on joining and leaving an HOA. These processes can be found on a city level or in the HOA’s governing documents. Documents explaining the HOA and its membership rules should be presented at the closing for a new owner’s home purchase.

Typically, there are two types of HOAs that regulate joining and leaving clauses:

  • Mandatory HOAs. When a person buys a home, they automatically become a member required to abide by any HOA rules listed in the governing documents. This usually includes that a homeowner is not able to leave the HOA freely.
  • Voluntary HOAs. When a person buys a home, membership is a choice for each homeowner. If they choose to become a member, they may leave at any time by stopping their payments with the HOA.

To leave a mandatory HOA, a homeowner can sell their house or try to petition the court to have their home removed. However, there is no guarantee the petition will be granted.

How to Dissolve an HOA in Oregon

The dissolution process of an HOA in Michigan may be found in the HOA’s governing documents. If it is not, members of the HOA must vote at least ⅔ or majority, whichever is greater, to approve the dissolution.

If dissolution is approved, the HOA must distribute all assets and debts. Once this is completed, the HOA has to send a letter to the Oregon Attorney General listing each person who received an asset.

After delivering the letter, an Articles of Dissolution must be filed with the Oregon Secretary of State. Once filed, the HOA is considered fully dissolved.