Oregon Rental Laws

Written on January 17, 2014 by , updated on August 17, 2018

Flag of OregonThis article summarizes the Oregon Landlord Tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

The Official State Statutes and other reputable municipal sources were used to research this information.  All sources are cited appropriately.

With that said, landlord-tenant laws are always changing, and may even vary from county to county.  You have a responsibility to perform your own research and cautiously apply the laws to your unique situation.

If you have a legal question or concern, you should contact a licensed attorney referral service that is operated by the state bar association.

Official Rules, Regulations, and Guide

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Statute. After the first year of tenancy, the landlord is allowed to charge a new or increased security deposit, and the tenant is given at least three months to pay the new or increase deposit.
  • Security Deposit Interest: No Statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No Statute
  • Pet Deposits: Allowed, but not for service animals. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300 (4))
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 31 days (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300 (13))
  • Require Written Description / Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300 (14))
  • Carpet Cleaning: A landlord can only withhold deposit funds for a carpet cleaning if it is specifically mentioned in the lease. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300 (7a)(A))
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No Statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: Yes, The landlord shall provide the tenant with a receipt for any security deposit the tenant pays. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300 (2a))
  • Failure to Comply: If the landlord fails to return all or any portion of any prepaid rent or security deposit due to the tenant within 31 days after the tenancy is terminated, the tenant may recover the money due in an amount equal to twice the amount. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300 (13) and Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300 (16))

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Is Due: Rent is payable at the “time and place agreed upon by the parties” without an additional demand or notice. Rent is paid at the dwelling unit unless an alternative agreement is reached. Periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal monthly or weekly installments at the beginning of each month for a month-to-month tenancy or each week, if the tenancy is week-to-week. Rent is not considered due before the first day of each rental period. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.220(3))
  • Rent Increase Notice: 30-day written notice must be given for rent increases in month-to-month leases, and 7-day written notice must be given for week-to-week leases. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.220(7a))
  • Rent Grace Period: 4 Days (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.260(1))
  • Late Fees: Late fees are allowed only if it it is documented in the lease and tenants are more than five days late paying the rent. n the rent. Landlords can charge 1) a one-time flat fee that is “reasonable” for the area’s rental market; 2) a daily late fee that is no more than 6% of a one-time flat fee, or 3) a late fee that is equivalent to 5% of the monthly rent that is charged once every five days until the rent is paid. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.260(1) and (2))
  • Prepaid Rent: Allowed (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300). If “last month’s rent” is prepaid, it must be used for the last month of the tenancy. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.300(9))
  • Returned Check Fees: The amount of the dishonored check fee may not exceed $35 (ORS 30.701 (5)) plus any amount that a bank has charged the landlord for processing the dishonored check. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.302(2b))
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.365)
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.368)
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.255)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.410)
  • Abandonment Fee: Landlord can charge up to 1.5 times the monthly rent to tenants who abandon the lease. Members of the military and victims of domestic violence are exempt. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.302(2e), Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.453, and Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.457).

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Yearly Lease with No End Date: 60 days or more, in writing, from lease expiration. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 91.060)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is needed; the lease simply expires. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 91.080)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30 days or more, in writing, from lease expiration (Or. Rev. Stat. § 91.070). If the tenant has lived in the unit for more than one year, 60 days notice must be given. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.427)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy at Will: 7 days or more (Or. Rev. Stat. § 91.050), or 10 days if the tenant has has lived there for more than one year. There is no provision for week-to-week tenancy. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.427)
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: Landlords are allowed to issue 24-hour evictions if the tenant poses a “substantial” danger to themselves, others, engages in or promotes prostitution, or is guilty of manufacturing, dealing or possessing drugs classified as controlled substances. 24-hour notice of eviction can also be given if a tenant’s pet poses a dangerous threat to others. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.396) Tenants who live in drug and alcohol free housing for less than two years may receive a 24-hour eviction notice if they possess alcohol, illegal drugs, or a controlled substance without a medical prescription. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.398).
  • Notice to Terminate Lease due to Sale of Property: If a landlord sells the rental unit, the landlord must give the tenant 30 days written notice if the tenant has a month-to-month lease or 60 days written notice if the tenant has lived in the unit for more than a year.  (Or. Rev. Stat. § 91.070), or 60 days (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.427(5)). All of the following must be true:
    1. The dwelling unit is purchased separately from any other dwelling unit;
    2. The landlord has accepted a purchase offer from someone who intends to live in the unit as the person’s primary residence, and
    3. The landlord has provided notice, along with written evidence of the purchase offer to the tenant not more than 120 days after accepting the offer to purchase.
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No Statute
  • Notice of Termination of Week-to-Week Leases for Nonpayment: For tenancies that are week-to-week, a landlord must provide written notice of intent to terminate the rental agreement due to nonpayment of the rent and give the tenant 72 hours to remedy the nonpayment (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.394(1))
  • Notice of Termination of All Other Leases for Nonpayment: A landlord must provide written notice of nonpayment and give the tenant 72 hours, given no sooner than the eighth day of the rental period, or 144 hours, given no sooner than the fifth day of the rental period, to remedy nonpayment (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.394(2)).
  • Termination for Lease Violation: A rental agreement is terminated 30 days after written notice is provided to the tenant. If the tenant violated another lease agreement within the last six months, the landlord may give 10 days’ written notice (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.392).
  • Required Notice before Entry: 24 hours. The notice must provide the reason for entry, the date and time of entry, and identify who entered the unit (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.322(b)).
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.322)
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.322)
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes, but landlord must send notice within 24 hours after entry and specify the nature of the emergency. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.322(1b))
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Yes, landlord may reasonably enter if absence is greater than 7 days. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.340)
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.375)
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.375)

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Name and Addresses: Landlord must disclose the name and address of the property owner and anyone authorized to manage the property. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.305)
  • Copy of the Lease: The landlord shall provide the tenant with a copy of any written rental agreement and all amendments and additions. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.220(3))
  • Domestic Violence Situations:
    • Proof of Status: Landlord is entitled to verify a tenant’s claim of Domestic Violence status. The tenant must complete the form found in Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.453.
    • Termination of Lease: If the tenant or a tenant’s immediate family member is a domestic violence victim, the landlord shall release the tenant or family member of the tenant from the rental agreement if the tenant gives a landlord at least 14 days’ written notice making such a request. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.453(2b))
    • Locks: Landlords must change the locks if requested by a domestic violence victim, at the tenant’s expense. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.459)
  • Retaliation: Landlord must not terminate or refuse to renew a lease to a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a government body, or for involvement in a tenant’s organization.  Other actions are prohibited; read Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.385 for more information.
  • 100-Year Floodplain: If a dwelling unit is in a 100-year flood plain, the landlord shall provide notice in the dwelling unit rental agreement that the dwelling unit is located within the floodplain. (Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 90.2280)

Court Related:

 

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  • Business License Required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements.  Check with your local governing authority.
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662 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Tomas

    So, as an owner of a rental property, a negligent tenant causes great damage to my property and my insurance has a $5000 deductible, I should pay for my tenants negligence? It is that attitude that of tenants that frustrates.

  • Diane

    My brother asked me if he could stay in my home for a couple of months until he got on his feet financially. I have asked him to move out several times, but he always has an excuse. He has been in my home now for 15 months. I recently told him he had to be out by June 1st and the locks will be changed. He replied that I better do my homework first before I do anything. What are my legal rights? Do I have to go through the court to legally evict him?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Jim

      Most likely, YES. When you left him stay for such a long period, he most likely acquired ‘tenant rights’. Sad thing is that if you attempt to file the eviction papers on him personally, you stand a chance of having defective filing and or service. If the judge finds that your filings are defective, he’ll throw your case out and you may be responsible for his legal fees and court costs. I would suggest you hire an attorney or perhaps go to legal aid for assistance. The sooner you start the ball rolling, the sooner you’ll be rid of him……. NICE brother !!!

      Good luck

  • Sarah Thurston

    Is it legal in Oregon to require renters to pay rent by direct deposit?

    • Akakai

      I believe that theoretically they would even have to accept cash as legal tender in the US, if they refuse you would supposedly have a case that you didn’t owe them. On the other hand, it depends on what the lease says that you sign; most likely there is no law.

      some tenant lawyers, 503 area code for all

      295 3651
      477 4690
      592 0606

    • Jim

      ORS 90.220
      (7) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter:

      (a) Rent is payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit, periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal monthly or weekly installments at the beginning of each month or week, depending on whether the tenancy is month-to-month or week-to-week. Rent may not be considered to be due prior to the first day of each rental period.

  • Shari Harper

    what constitutes a legal document for unreceived rent by landlord. Are they bound by Oregon law to accept money order receipts if rent was never received?

  • Jim

    Not sure of exactly what you’re looking for? I would think that Money Order would be a legal tender for rent. Is there a specific Oregon Law you are referring to? A particular ORS???

    “what constitutes a legal document for unreceived rent by landlord” Are you asking what constitutes a legal notice to the tenant that rent has not been received?

  • David

    my landlord left a sticky not on my door saying she has” I have scheduled an inspection for tomorrow” no time or reason just the statement above. the date today 6/2/18 and her first name. Do I need to let her in if I am home and can she enter behind my back?

    I have not talked to her or summited any matainace requests and no emergency have happened. I moved in to a unit built six months ago five months ago, and payed rent today plus saw here and waved high as I went to do laundry. we have been on good terms and I don’t understand this note makes me feel uncomfortable

  • Jim

    Curious as to how the inspection went? To answer your question regarding the right of a LL to inspect the premises. In Oregon, the LL only need to post a minimum 24-hour notice that they intend to inspect. We always state at least a basic reason for our inspection but the law does not require such. So long as the inspections do not become a harassment, the LL can inspect as often as they wish. If we suspect that a tenant is violating our rental agreement we will inspect at various times and as often as we deem necessary to correct the violation. It might be that your LL just wants to make sure you are taking proper care of their property. Once they have determined that you’re a good clean tenant I’m sure they will not be making too many .

  • James

    Family members own the house were in we have been here 14 years. We were behind a few months now they gave us a month to leave , is 30 days by the law.

    • Jim

      With a M/M agreement, the LL only need give a 30 day ‘No Cause’ notice terminating the tenancy, unless you live in Portland. If you are behind on your rent, after 7 days, they can give you a 72-hour notice to Pay or Quit. If you do not pay they can file for an unlawful detainer and if the court finds for the LL, you may also have to pay all court costs as well.

      good luck

  • Lora

    This is my first time living in an apartment in 20 years as well as in Portland. Moved in with my sister, have my name on the lease and we just got a 10 day notice of termination from the property manager for being one month behind on our water bill. Been behind on the water bill a few times, same as the electric in the lean months. We get a water bill straight from the water company with their business name on it, yet the landlord is evicting us for having a late payment. Has anyone else experienced this? I have never in my lifetime of renting. Please and thank you for any comments or past experiences :)

    • Akakai

      You should take a look at the lease and see what it says about it. I live in a complex where people went away for extended periods and paid up their rent but forgot about the utilities and got evicted. I believe our leases say delinquent 30 days, you need to look. The landlord becomes responsible for unpaid utilities. I was once behind 30 days on a cable bill and nothing happened, but I have been here 15 years.

    • Danielle Aparicio

      LL can set up LL agreements with utilities to prevent disconnection for non payment. As an example, if you do not pay you electric for 2 months instead of disconnection it gets transferred to the LL and they become responsible for the bill.

      If it has gone into their name, that is how they know you have gone past due.

  • Shannon

    I have no written rental agreement for my ex son in law who lived with us for two years he only paid rent a couple times, can I get back rent from a verbal agreement in small claims? If so, what do I need to do?

    • Jim

      Perhaps but not likely. The fact that you waited so long to claim unpaid rent the judge might look at it as a ‘gift’ made, especially since he was your son-in-law, at least at one time. Oral rental agreements are legal, in most states, but your situation has strong mitigating circumstances. Now, yes, you can file in SC Court but if you lose you may end up having to pay for the defendants legal costs. My suggestion would be to write it off as ‘tuition’ for a lesson well learned.

      Good luck

  • Justin

    I have lived in an apartment of my friends for about 3 months, that I pay $20 daily to him and made a $500 deposit. He is on the lease but I am not. Everything is verbal between him and I. He has become unstable and almost scary at times. I left the last time this happened for the night in fear of my safety. And now he has changed the entry code. My belongings are still inside. He doesn’t answer and/or return my phone calls/texts. What are my options?

    Thank you for your time!

    • Jim

      You have tenant rights as a subtenant, without a written agreement. You could file a small claims action and you would probably win a judgment. Then comes the hard part; collecting the judgment. So now you’re not only out what he owes you and the costs the judge may have awarded you but you are out all your costs of filing the small claims action. Trying to collect a judgment from someone like the person you described can be next to impossible. You could try calling the police and see if they would help you retrieve your personal belongings.

      Good luck

  • Beckie

    I have lived in my rental for 7years they said they sold o thought the law was they had to prove it was sold and the person who bought it had to be the tenent

  • Kathleen

    I had a new property management company take over at the apartment I have been living in the last 7 years. It has always had cosmetic flaws, such as small holes/ cracks in the walls, floor damage, and VERY old plumbing that frequently has issues. It was privately owned before and they were very friendly people that fixed things that you requested. I have never had any issues until now. They did inspect my apartment but they didn’t say anything. I have not caused any of the damage in my apartment. It’s always been this way. The carpet is very old so I do not think they could charge me for that when I do move out. I recently had an issue where my hot water was coming out hot in both faucets and they charged me for coming out..cnt’ next

  • Kathleen

    It started working like normal the night before but I did not cancel the request because it could be a serious issue if the water is not working properly. They said they charged me because they didn’t fix anything. I told them they should still look at something like that because it could be a serious issue. I cannot pay my rent without paying the charge to. So they are forcing me to pay the charge. They refuse to do anything about it. Is this legal?

  • A. Noelle

    I rented a room from a couple and as I was moving in I hurt my back climbing the stairs as I had no handrail to hold on to.
    My back is now permanently injured I feel. I have extreme pain. Sometimes I even have to sit down or lay down because the pain is so much. I had to pay hundreds of dollars for massage therapy to no avail. I even missed worked. I can’t take it anymore. I’ve never had a permanent injury. I know for a fact I’ll be dealing with this for forever!

  • Celeste

    My son just rented a room in Portland in a large house. Upon move in he discovered that there are no heating (or cooling) vents in his room. I’m assuming the room was probably meant to be an office as there is no closet or overhead light fixtures. He did not notice it previously. Can they rent a room out with no heat? The other 5 rooms rented out have vents.

  • Kai

    A friend of mine is trying to move into an apartment and she’s already paid for the application and signed the lease but hasn’t moved in yet. She then got a call that she needs a co-signer and if she doesn’t find someone they are going to still make her pay because she signed the lease. This isn’t legal is it?

  • John

    Hi there,

    I rented out my condo and a move-in condition inventory was never completed and returned by the tenants. I have asked them in writing twice to complete it, but they still have not done so. They will be moving out soon and I am wondering what impact the lack of the move-in condition report will have should I find any damages that will need to be repaired.

    • Jim

      Our Move-in gives the tenants 7 days to return the report. Of course we know pretty much the condition from the recent move-out report and any repairs completed. Our report states in bold that the tenant will be responsible for ALL DAMAGE AND REPAIRS if they fail to submit the report. If we see indications of conditions that we were not aware of from the move-out report and any repairs made, we do an immediate walkthrough with the new tenant because they will sometimes report as pre-existing conditions that they caused during their move-in. Also, if there is significant conditions at move-out, we take photo’s of everything and then photo’s again before the new tenant moves in. We also suggest that the new tenant take photo’s upon move-in.

  • David Rossman

    When we were doing our own management, I did the move-in condition inventory (every room, every wall, door, window, outlet, etc.-not just a cursory look) with the new tenant present before they moved in. We both signed and dated the sheets and I sent them a copy soon after. This process always worked well, without arguments at move-out.

  • Katie

    I rent a condo that is owned by one person in a condo complex with numerous owners that rent out their condos. The condo below me is rented by a young man (his dad owns his condo) that smokes marijuana constantly and strong vapor like odors come from his apartment into mine. I have reached out to my owner who has contacted the owner (the father of the young man) of the condo below but it makes matters worse. I have children who are subjected to the strong odors. What are my options as far as moving as I cannot stay there.

    • Akakai

      This is potentially a life safety issue, but due to the circumstances a lot of rental laws may not apply. You might check to see if there is an association agreement for the condo complex and whether it says anything about such a situation, though I don’t know how you as a renter would get a copy, you might ask your owner if you think it is advisable to do that. I don’t know if a copy of it has to be filed publicly. You might also see if there is a way to create negative pressure to pull air out of your unit if you can’t block the entry.
      I am supplying the following resources:
      Community Alliance of Tenants 503 280 5401

      Tenant lawyers, all 503 – 295-3651, 477-4690, 592-0606

      Also try the police to see if some law applies.

  • Jessica

    At 11:00 pm and then 11:20 pm last night the owner of my current duplex called me because she “heard a noise.” I didn’t answer either time, because I was asleep. She left a message after the 2nd phone call saying she was going to “use her key” and figure out what was wrong. She entered my home, investigated and discovered the toilet was running. She “fixed it” and left. I slept through the incident, but woke up to all my lights on and her messages informing me of what she had done. My lease is through a property management company, not the owner. I have called the property management company and still haven’t heard back. Any advice on next steps? This has got to be illegal.

    • Akakai

      Correct. It is illegal. 24 hours notice has to be given for entry, unless I believe in case of “emergency”, however that is legally defined. In any case she has handed the management over to the leasing company so she is not the entity who was legally authorized to get in anyway, regardless of what she thinks. Following entities and numbers might be of assistance:

      Community Alliance of Tenants 503 280 5401

      Tenant lawyers, all 503 – 295-3651, 477-4690, 592-0606

      Also try the police to see if this was some kind of criminal violation. She had no authority to enter than any member of the public so technically it should be trespassing.

      • Jim

        I take exception to Mr Akakai’s position. First, giving the management company an ‘Agency’ license does NOT remove any legal rights of the owner retains, it only confers a right to the agency to act in behalf of the owner in the conferred powers. Second, an owner/agent has the legal right to enter immediately if they suspect an emergency situation may exist. This owner made two attempts to find out what emergency might exist and the tenant failed to answer the phone. Upon entering, the owner found a water situation which should be more than adequate cause to substantiate the emergency entrance. The owner/agent only needs to have a reasonable belief that an emergency exists to exercise their right under the emergency entrance law.

        • Akakai

          Sorry, several problems. It is extremely doubtful this would qualify as an emergency. According to the post, the owner claims to have “heard a noise”, not running water or a running toilet. Which is not an emergency anyway. If they heard the television at that time should the person assume tenant is passed out from an overdose and there is therefore an emergency? Runs into the same ground as police claiming unfounded reasonable search. Second calling after 5 pm is after business hours and no one can be expected to answer. And especially stupid on LL part since they can now be accused of theft of whatever might be found “missing.” Also not clear LL retains any rights if management is assigned. For courts to decide.

    • Jim

      Jessica, go to the below-linked web page. Scroll all the way to the bottom where you can ask your question directly to an attorney that will answer your question FREE.
      https://www.justia.com/real-estate/landlord-tenant/

  • Joy

    Hello, our tenants lived in our unit for 4 months before moving out. We had brand new bamboo floors placed in the kitchen in 2015. 1 mo prior to their move out date, they told us about a water stain that appeared to be getting worse. The damage has extended beyond what was initially reported and there are now loose boards. After assessment by 2 professionals, it was determined there was no water leak and that damage was likely due to a water spill, standing water. We will have to get the whole floor in kitchen replaced. Everything I’ve read seems like we would be able to withhold a portion of their deposit, but I would like another opinion. We have photo documentation that there was no damage prior to their move in date.

  • Rabah Khamis

    I am a tenant who has been renting the house on month to month lease (been there for around 5 years). Kitchen became unusable due to fire two months ago and no work to fix has been done yet. I paid full rent for the landlord.. am I entitled to some of my rent back for the period after the kitchen became unusable. Can the landlord request a full payment though the dwelling is not completely functional.

  • Chris Landis

    Chris
    Im the LL of a 3 bedroom unit within the city limits of Portland OR, the current 3 tenants in the unit are not on the lease. They where sublet to by previous tenants who were on the lease, now as time has passed none of the existing tenants have a lease with me. They have been paying rent on time, but I have no documentation of who the tenants are at present and they have brought pets in without permission. At this point I would prefer to evict them and find new tenants, that will make sure that all room mates are required to be on the lease. Given the new rules regarding evictions in PDX and the relocation fee for no fault evictions, would this be a possible cause for eviction that would not be subject to the relocation fee? Thx.

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