The Full Guide on Oregon Landlord Tenant Laws [2023]

Learn the ins and outs of Oregon landlord-tenant laws in this detailed guide covering rental matters like lease agreements, rent payments, evictions, and more.

By
Rachel Robinson
|
Last Updated
November 8, 2023
The Full Guide on Oregon Landlord Tenant Laws [2023]

Landlords and tenants in Oregon must navigate a complex web of local and state rental laws that influence their rights and responsibilities, as well as the dynamics of the landlord-tenant relationship. Understanding and abiding by these intricate laws can be quite a challenge, even for experienced rental property owners and tenants.

To help tackle this challenge, we've put together this comprehensive guide, covering essential rental aspects like tenant screening, eviction procedures, lease agreements, and more. Whether you're a landlord or a tenant, this guide will provide you with a thorough understanding of Oregon's laws, as outlined in the Oregon Revised Statutes Title 10.

Landlords will learn how to protect their rental properties and create positive relationships with tenants, while tenants will acquire the valuable knowledge needed to assert their fundamental rights.

Let's begin!

Oregon landlord tenant law fast facts

  • Is a rental license required to be a residential landlord? Yes
  • Are there any security deposit requirements? Yes
  • Is there rent control? Yes
  • Are there limits on late fees? Yes
  • Are there rent payment grace period laws? Yes
  • Are there notice of entry laws? Yes

Oregon landlord responsibilities and rights

Rights

Residential landlords in the state of Oregon are given rights that allow them to efficiently manage their rental properties protected from legal issues. A few of their main rights include:

  • Charging and collecting on-time rent payments
  • Collecting security deposits to cover potential costs like property damage exceeding normal wear and tear
  • Pursuing a legal eviction if the tenant commits a lease violation

Responsibilities

Oregon landlords also have a set of responsibilities to maintain that ensure a safe and smooth tenancy for renters. Their key obligations include:

  • Providing renters with a safe and habitable rental property free of discrimination
  • Making repairs within 30 days of receiving written notice from a tenant
  • Returning the tenant’s security deposit within 31 days of the end of the lease period

Oregon tenant responsibilities and rights

Rights

Similar to landlords, Oregon tenants are granted fundamental rights that work to protect their safety and well-being while living in a rental unit. Their main rights include:

  • Living in a habitable rental property that meets health and safety codes
  • Having repairs made in 30 days after providing the landlord written notice
  • Taking legal action if the landlord breaches the lease agreement

Responsibilities

Tenants in Oregon also have their own set of duties to uphold while renting. Generally, these obligations ensure the rental unit is maintained and the landlord goes financially unharmed. Tenants must:

  • Pay rent when due
  • Keep the unit in safe and habitable condition
  • Maintain fixtures and appliances in working order
  • Not disturb other renters or neighbors
  • Inform the landlord of any property damage
  • Dispose of all waste in a proper manner
  • Make small repairs and perform maintenance as necessary
  • Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms every six months
  • Not purposefully destroy or damage any part of the property
  • Use the property and its appliances as intended

Oregon landlord tenant laws through the rental cycle

Oregon tenant screening and rental application laws

Oregon state law requires any rental application fees to solely cover the costs of obtaining screening information about the tenant. Additionally, rental application fees shall be made refundable if the landlord fills the vacant unit prior to screening the applicant, or the landlord does not screen the applicant.

Landlords are prohibited from asking questions on the rental application which could lead to housing discrimination. Additionally, before denying applicants on the basis of criminal history, landlords must give the prospective tenant the opportunity to provide evidence explaining, justifying, or negating the relevance of the negative information.

Oregon landlords are allowed to run the following background checks:

  • Criminal history
  • Terrorist check
  • Eviction history
  • Rental history
  • Credit report and history of fraud
  • Sex offender check

Oregon rental agreement and lease termination laws

Both oral and written rental agreements are accepted in Oregon. However, it’s always advised to document a rental agreement in writing as it grants important responsibilities to both parties.

The following information is required in a lease: landlord’s name, address, and phone number; rent amount and due date, length of the lease, and description of the rental unit. Learn what other information you should include in your rental agreement today.

To terminate a lease, a landlord must provide a 60-day notice for year-to-year leases, a 30-day notice for month-to-month, and a 10-day notice is required for weekly leases.

Oregon tenants can terminate a lease agreement early for the following legal reasons:

  • Active military duty
  • Early termination clause
  • Landlord harassment 
  • Uninhabitable unit
  • Domestic violence

Oregon security deposit laws

Landlords in Oregon are allowed to collect a security deposit at the start of the lease term to cover unexpected costs. Unlike most other states, Oregon does not limit how much a landlord can collect for a security deposit.

In regards to the security deposit, Oregon rental owners must:

  • Provide a receipt for security deposits
  • Return the tenant’s security deposit within 31 days after the lease ends

In Oregon, landlords are allowed to make deductions from the security deposit for reasons including property damage beyond normal wear and tear, costs due to the breach of the lease, carpet cleaning, and unpaid rent, late fees, and utilities.

If the landlord fails to comply with the notice period or wrongfully withholds funds, tenants can sue for twice the amount wrongfully withheld plus attorney fees and court costs.

Oregon rent laws

As of 2019, Oregon was the first state in the nation to implement statewide rent control laws. The law currently prohibits landlords from raising rent by more than 7% plus the consumer price index in a 12-month period. This limit applies to both existing tenants and new tenants when a vacant unit is rerented. However, newly constructed properties are exempt from these laws for 15 years. 

Oregon landlords cannot raise rent during the lease period unless the lease specifically allows for it. Additionally, landlords must provide a 90-day notice before increasing rent for all tenancy lengths other than week-to-week leases, which require a 7-day notice.

If Oregon renters fail to pay rent on time, landlords are required to provide a 4-day grace period before charging a late fee. Landlords can charge late fees in several ways:

  • Reasonable flat fee, once per rental period
  • A daily fee that cannot exceed 6% of a one-time flat fee
  • A weekly late fee equal to no more than 5% of the monthly rent charged every 5 days

Oregon repair and maintenance laws

In Oregon, landlords must make repairs within 30 days after receiving written notice from tenants.

If the landlord fails to make repairs within a timely manner, renters can take several legal actions: sue for costs, file a court order to force the landlord to make repairs, or cancel the rental agreement altogether. They can also use the “repair and deduct” remedy in which they make minor repairs and deduct the cost from the rent.

Oregon notice of entry laws

Oregon landlords have the right to enter their rental units for maintenance and property showings. They are required to provide at least 24 hours' notice before entering the property unless there’s an emergency.

Oregon eviction laws

Oregon allows landlords to evict tenants for certain legal reasons. Each of the reasons requires a specific notice period before the eviction process can start. Here are the reasons for eviction and associated notice periods:

  • Unpaid rent: If the tenant fails to pay rent when due, the landlord may issue a notice to pay after the grace period. The amount of notice depends on the type of tenancy.
  • Week-to-week leases: 72-hour notice to pay
  • All other lease periods: 72-hour notice to pay if the notice is given on the 8th day of the rental period, or 144-hour notice to pay if the notice is given on the 5th day of the rental period.
  • Lease violation: If the tenant breaches the lease agreement, the landlord may issue a 30-day notice to cure or quit. Tenants must correct the issue within 14 days. However week-to-week tenants only require a 7-day notice to comply and must correct the issue within 4 days. If the tenant does not correct the issue, the landlord can move forward with the eviction.
  • Illegal acts: Oregon defines illegal activity as prostitution, illegal substances, bias crimes, burglary, manufacturing cannabinoid extract, and threatening to inflict injury on the property or others. If the tenant commits one of these acts, the landlord may issue a 24-hour notice to quit.
  • False information: If a tenant provides false information on their rental application about a criminal conviction, the landlord may provide a 24-hour notice to quit.
  • No lease/end of lease: If the tenant holds over or stays past the end of the tenancy, the landlord can issue a notice to quit. The notice period depends on the type of tenancy. Week-to-week leases require a 10-day notice to quit and month-to-month leases, for tenants who have lived in the lease less than a year, require a 30-day notice to quit.

Additional Oregon landlord tenant laws

In addition to addressing rental topics like repairs and rent payments, Oregon law also addresses landlord retaliation, discrimination, and more. Discover some of these statutes below.

Housing discrimination

Both federal and state laws protect Oregon tenants from housing discrimination. The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against renters based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. State law further protects renters from discrimination based on characteristics including marital status, income source, domestic violence status, stalking, and sexual assault.

If a landlord violates housing discrimination laws, by refusing to rent to a tenant or falsely claiming a rental unit is unavailable, tenants can seek legal help and file a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Civil Rights Division.

Landlord retaliation

It’s illegal for Oregon landlords to retaliate against tenants for taking legal actions like reporting landlords to authorities for health and safety violations. Raised rent, threatened eviction, and reduced services are all considered forms of retaliation.

Mandatory disclosures

Residential landlords in Oregon are required to provide tenants with certain disclosures at the start of a lease period. Those disclosures include:

  • Lead-based paint: Landlords who own rental properties built before 1978 must provide information about lead-based paint concentrations.
  • Authorized agent: Landlords must provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and managing the property. 
  • Flood plain: Landlords must disclose if their rental lies within a 100-year flood plain.
  • Carbon monoxide alarm: Landlords must disclose if the tenant is responsible for the maintenance of the carbon monoxide alarm in the unit.
  • Smoking policy: Landlords must clearly outline the rental smoking policy.
  • Shared common area utilities: Landlords must disclose if a property shares utility meters between multiple units or in common areas.
  • Recycling: This disclosure is required for properties within the urban growth boundary or have five or more units that implement multifamily recycling services, 
  • Pending suits: Landlords must inform tenants of any pending suits or other outstanding notices on properties with four or fewer units.

Bottomline: Why you need to understand Oregon landlord tenant law

Oregon's rental laws have been carefully crafted to establish a clear framework outlining the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. These laws are primarily aimed at promoting a fair rental process, but they also serve to nurture a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

By thoroughly understanding and complying with these laws, landlords can safeguard their property investments and foster positive tenant relationships. Similarly, tenants can confidently assert their legal rights when necessary. Beyond reading this guide, landlords and renters should continue to stay informed about Oregon's evolving rental laws, as the rental landscape is continually changing.

Landlords, do you need help with rent collection or lease agreements? Tenants, are you looking for a credit boost or renter insurance? Whatever you need, Azibo’s got you covered. Learn more about our free rental software today!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials are for general informational purposes only. This content may not constitute the most up-to-date legal information. No reader, user, or browser of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information herein without first seeking the advice of a legal professional.

Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson has 6 years of experience in writing, editing, and SEO, specializing in rental property and real estate. She excels in market trends and landlord-tenant dynamics, producing content that drives traffic and informs. Outside of work, she enjoys climbing Colorado's granite boulders.

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