In Oregon, if rent is exchanged for inhabiting a property, then both tenants and landlords have obtained certain responsibilities and rights under law. Tenant rights include the right to a safe and habitable dwelling and landlords have the right for rent to be received in a timely manner.
Note: These rights exist with or without a written lease agreement and regardless of whether an agreement states otherwise.
Landlord Responsibilities in Oregon
In Oregon, all landlords must provide a habitable dwelling and must make requested repairs within seven days for essential services and 30 days to repair all other issues. If they do not, then tenants may make minor repairs themselves and deduct the cost from the following month’s rent payment The total cost of the repair may not exceed $300 and a minor repair does not include mold, asbestos, lead-based paint or radon.
Here is a list of the following amenities that landlords in Oregon are or are not responsible for.
|Sealed windows and doors||Yes|
|Electrical outlets and wiring||Yes|
|Heating and air conditioning||Yes (heat only)|
|Garbage removal||Yes, only in certain municipalities|
|Carbon monoxide detectors||Yes|
Landlords are not permitted to evict tenants in retaliation for exercising their housing rights (i.e. filing a health or safety complaint).
Tenant Responsibilities in Oregon
Aside from paying rent regularly and on time, Oregon tenants must:
- Keep the unit in a safe and habitable condition.
- Keep all plumbing fixtures clean and sanitary.
- Use all facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner.
- Use the living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and dining room in a reasonable manner.
- Dispose of all waste in a legal, clean and safe manner.
- Make small repairs and maintenance.
- Test the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarm every six months (and replace batteries if needed).
- Not remove or tamper the smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm.
- Not destroy or damage any part of the premises.
- Not remove or tamper the sprinkler head for fire suppression.
- Not disturb other tenants or neighbors.
Evictions in Oregon
Oregon landlords are empowered to evict tenants for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of Rent – If an Oregon tenant fails to pay rent, then the landlord may issue a notice to pay. The amount of notice depends on the type of tenancy.
- Week-to-Week Tenancy – 72-Hours Notice to Pay.
- For All Other Tenancies – If notice is given on the 8th day of the rental period and landlords must provide 72-Hours Notice to Pay. If the notice is given on the 5th day of the rental period, the tenant shall be given a 144-Hours Notice to Pay.
- Lease Violation – If a lease violation occurs, then the landlord may issue a 30-Day Notice to Cure or Quit and tenants must correct the issue within 14 days. If it is a week-to-week tenant, the landlord must provide a 7-Day Notice to Comply and tenants must correct the issue with 4 days. If the tenant does not fix their behavior by then, the landlord may pursue legal eviction.
- No Lease/End of Lease – If a tenant stays at the dwelling unit after the lease term has expired, the landlord may issue a notice to quit. The amount of time required in the notice depends on the type of tenancy.
- Week-to-Week – 10-Day Notice to Quit.
- Month-to-Month –If rent is paid on a month-to-month basis, AND it’s the first year the tenant has lived in the rental unit, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 30-Day Notice to Quit.
- Pet Capable of Causing Damage – Tenants can be evicted if they have a pet in the rental unit that could cause property damage or harm to others due to the pet’s size, nature, or behavior characteristics. Tenants must be given a 10-Day Notice to Comply, if the tenant rehomes the pet during the notice period they will not be evicted. If the pet seriously damages the property, inflicts injury or threatens to inflict injury, the landlord may issue the tenant with a 24-Hour Notice to Quit.
- False Information – A landlord may give a tenant a 24-Hour Notice to Quit if they provide false information on their rental application about a criminal conviction.
- Illegal Acts – In Oregon, a tenant may be evicted for illegal activity. For illegal activity including prostitution, controlled substances, manufacturing cannabinoid extract (without a license), bias crimes, burglary, or the tenant threats to inflect injury on the property or others, landlords may issue a 24-Hour Notice to Quit.
It is illegal for landlords to evict as a form of retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.
Security Deposits in Oregon
- Standard Limit/Maximum Amount – None.
- Time Limit for Returns – 31 Days.
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – If an Oregon landlord wrongfully withholds rent then they may be liable to pay a fine equal to twice the value of the deposit.
- Allowable Deductions – Unpaid rent, costs for damages the exceed normal wear and tear.
Lease Termination in Oregon
Notice requirements. If an Oregon tenant wishes to terminate a periodic lease, then they must give the following amounts of notice:
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Needed|
|Month-to-Month||30 Days (<1 year), 60 Days (>1 year)|
Early termination. Oregon tenants may break a lease early for the following reasons:
- Early termination clause.
- Active military duty.
- Uninhabitable unit.
- Landlord harassment.
- Domestic violence.
Oregon landlords are legally obligated to facilitate the re-renting of a unit.
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Oregon
- Rent control. Oregon is one of the few states in the US that has statewide rent control policies. However, this rent control does not necessarily apply to raw rental prices but rental increases.
- Rental increases. Oregon landlords are not allowed to raise rent more than 7% annually, except for units that are less than 15 years old. Landlords must also provide at least 30 days’ notice before raising rent as well.
- Rent-related fees. Landlords may either charge a “reasonable” flat rate or up to 5% the missing rent value each day payment is late. Returned check fees are limited to $35 per check-instance.
Housing Discrimination in Oregon
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against tenants on the basis of race, color, sex, familial status, national origin, religion, or disability. These rules do not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations. Oregon state adds extra protections for tenants on the basis of marital status, income source, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Discriminatory acts & penalties. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Civil Rights Division administers the state’s civil rights laws. They have indicated the following behaviors as potentially discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected group:
- Refusing to rent or sell on a bona fide offer
- Falsely denying the availability of a unit
- Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges
- Steering tenants towards a certain neighborhood
- Advertising that indicates discriminatory preferences for applicants
- Failing to make reasonable accommodations
Tenants who believe that they are the victim of housing discrimination may submit a digital complaint to the state’s Civil Rights Division. If the complaint is found justified, the process may result in a court ruling with case-specific penalties.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Oregon
Landlord Right to Entry in Oregon
Landlords in Oregon must provide at least 24 hours’ notice before entering an inhabited property. They must also indicate the time and who will be entering. Landlords are not required to give permission to enter in case of emergencies.
Small Claims Court in Oregon
Small claims court in Oregon will hear rent-related cases valued up to $10,000. Each court handles eviction cases differently. Different areas also have different limitations on filing as well.
Mandatory Disclosures in Oregon
Oregon landlords must make these mandatory disclosures:
- Lead-Based Paint – Landlords who own homes built before 1978 must provide information about concentrations of lead paint.
- Authorized Agents – Landlords must provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and managing the property.
- 100-Year Flood Plain – Landlords must also disclose if the property lies within a 100-year floodplain.
- Smoking Policy – Landlords must clearly indicate smoking policies in the unit.
- Carbon Monoxide Alarm – Landlords must disclose that the tenant is responsible for the maintenance of the carbon monoxide alarm.
- Pending Suits – If a property has four or fewer units and a known suit is pending, landlords must inform the tenant of the pending suit and any other outstanding notices.
- Common Area Utilities – Properties that share utility meters between multiple units or common areas must disclose this fact in the lease.
- Recycling – This disclosure is applicable to properties in a city or in the county within the urban growth boundary with five or more dwelling units that implement multifamily recycling services.
- Security Deposit Receipt -Applicable to all Portland rental units, the rental agreement shall state the name and address of the financial institution where the security deposit was placed.
Changing the Locks in Oregon
Tenants may request landlords to change the locks if they have been a victim of domestic violence or abuse. Tenants must pay for this change. Landlords are forbidden from changing the locks as a form of eviction (i.e. “lockouts”).
Local Laws in Oregon
Portland Landlord Tenant Rights
The city of Portland has a mandatory Renter Relocation Assistance program which requires landlords to help finance a renter moving out if they are moving because of a rent increase of 10% or higher.
Eugene Landlord Tenant Rights
The city of Eugene has a city-wide housing code that exceeds state standards and puts more obligation on landlords to provide habitable housing. More info can be found on the city’s website.
It is best to check with your local county and municipality laws for additional rules and protections for both landlords and tenants.