Sometimes the old adage “the devil is in the details” is true when it comes to the business of property management. A landlord has many responsibilities, and staying on top of a variety of required notices is part of the necessary detail work of being a landlord. Failure to supply a required notice within the legally established time-frame could cost you as a landlord, so make sure to review all of the notice requirements. Oregon has quite a few required notices, as outlined here.
Notices to quit
During the agreement term the landlord or tenant may terminate the tenancy without cause by giving 30 days’ written notice prior to the end of the agreement term, or not less than 30 days prior to the date in the notice for the termination of the tenancy, whichever is later.
After the agreement term, and if the tenancy has converted to month-to-month, the landlord can terminate the tenancy without cause only by giving the tenant at least 30 days’ written notice within the first year of tenancy, and 60 days’ notice after the first year. Likewise, under the same month-to-month conditions a tenant can terminate the tenancy with at least 30 days’ written notice to the landlord.
In addition, if the landlord sells the occupied dwelling unit to a purchaser who intends to occupy said unit as his or her primary residence, the landlord may terminate a month-to-month tenancy by giving the tenant 30 days’ notice prior to the date designated for the termination of the tenancy. The landlord must give the notice and written evidence of the purchase offer to the tenant within 120 days after having accepted the offer.
The city of Bend, Oregon has additional protections for the tenant regarding notice to quit periods. These provisions only apply to residential dwelling units within the city limits of Bend that are subject to month-to-month tenancies where the tenant has lived on the premises for longer than a year. The landlord must give 90 days’ notice to quit without cause as specified in the Oregon Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. If the landlord fails to provide such notice period or to comply with any other requirement in Chapter 5.60 of the Bend City Code, the landlord is liable to the tenant for an amount up to three months’ rent as well as actual damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, and costs. These provisions do not override the notice period for the landlord selling the dwelling unit to a new primary resident as stated above, nor do they apply to week-to-week tenancies or to tenants who occupy the same dwelling unit as the landlord.
Portland also has additional tenant protections which may be viewed on the Portland City Code, Chapter 30.01.085. The protections cover an extended notice to quit period of up to 90 days for terminations without cause, and restrictions regarding rent increases in which the landlord may not increase rent by 5 percent or more over a 12 month period without special notice to the affected tenant(s). More detail may be seen in the code.
While it’s true that you can’t change the rent amount during the tenancy, the landlord can change the rental amount or other terms of the agreement for a renewed term or a month-to-month tenancy. Proper written notice is required of 30 days prior to the end of the agreement term. If a tenant is required to pay a public service charge that was adopted by a utility or service provider or a local government within the previous six months, then the landlord must provide 60 days’ written notice to the tenant if that tenant is on a month-to-month tenancy.
Nonpayment of rent
When rent is due and remains unpaid the landlord has two options for notices, which can be found in O.R.S. § 90.394:
- At least 2 hours’ written notice of nonpayment and the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within that period. The landlord must provide this notice no earlier than on the eighth day of the rental period, including the first day the rent is due; or
- At least 144 hours’ written notice of nonpayment and the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within that period. The landlord must provide the notice no earlier than on the fifth day of the rental period, including the first day the rent is due.
Notice to terminate due to lease violation
The landlord’s notice must give the tenant at least 30 days before the lease agreement terminates due to the tenant’s violation of the lease agreement. During this time the tenant has the opportunity to cure the violation and have the lease agreement continue. Only 10 days notice is required to terminate a lease agreement where the violation is substantially the same as a separate violation occurring within the past six months.
Landlord’s need to access
For a variety of reasons the landlord will need to access the rental unit during a tenancy. Oregon law addresses the most common reasons for need to enter by the landlord and applies the “at reasonable times” condition for most of those situations.
- Emergency: No notice required to enter, but landlord must provide written notice within 24 hours after the emergency entry of the time and date of entry, the nature of the emergency, and the names of the persons who entered the unit.
- Repair requests: If tenant requests repairs or maintenance in writing, landlord can enter at any time unless the tenant specifically requested allowable times in their written request. Entry must be at reasonable times.
- Showing the premises: Landlord may show the premises without notice to the tenant and at reasonable times, as long as the landlord is actively trying to sell the property. A separate written showing agreement must be signed by both landlord and tenant to support the landlord’s entries to show the property.
- Yard maintenance: If there is a written agreement that the landlord will perform yard maintenance, the landlord may enter the premises, not including the dwelling unit, without notice and at reasonable times and with reasonable frequency. A separate written agreement describing the terms of the right to enter must be executed by both parties. The tenant may deny access to landlord if entry is at an unreasonable time or unreasonable frequency by providing notice of denial to the landlord or their agent either prior to or at the time of the attempted entry.
- Other: For any other reasons to enter the notice period is 24 hours minimum, unless the landlord and tenant have agreed otherwise.
100-Year flood plain
If the premises are located in a 100-year flood plain, the landlord is required to give notice within the lease. If the landlord fails to give notice and the tenant suffers from uninsured loss due to flooding, the tenant may recover from the landlord either the actual damages for the uninsured loss or two months’ rent, whichever is less. The phrase “100-year flood plain” indicates the level that flood waters may be expected to equal or exceed once every 100 years, as determined by the National Flood Insurance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.