LandlordStation.com hopes that as an Oregon landlord, you are familiar at least with your rights and responsibilities under Oregon landlord tenant law. However, did you know that also knowing the responsibilities and Oregon renters rights of your tenant before entering into any rental agreement is a good way to potentially prevent landlord-tenant conflict?
Being familiar with your Oregon tenant rights and responsibilities means you can proactively sort through and manage issues that arise before they become major legal problems, which will save you a lot of time and effort in the end. What follows is a generic summary of a tenant’s rights and responsibilities under Oregon landlord tenant law and is not meant to be legal advice. For legal advice regarding Oregon rental laws, consult an experienced attorney.
The law that governs Oregon landlord tenant relationships is known as the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and falls under Title 10, Chapter 90 of the Oregon Revised Statutes. This section of Oregon law covers every aspect of Oregon rental agreements, Oregon tenant rights and responsibilities, and Oregon landlord rights and responsibilities. It is important, though not required under this law, to have a written rental agreement between landlord and tenant before any rental period commences.
This rental agreement should cover all terms of the tenancy, including rent amount, length of tenancy, smoking policy, pet policy, and any other terms the landlord and tenant wish to have specified in a written rental agreement. Note that there are certain circumstances where Oregon landlord tenant law will precede any terms in a rental agreement, whether it is written or oral. For instance, a tenant’s rights will always include the following, and may not be superseded by any rental agreement:
•The right to a habitable home, which means the property must be safe and sanitary
•The right to correct a problem for which the tenant is not at fault and that the landlord has refused to correct in a reasonable time and manner after receiving written notification, and then, in some circumstances, the right to deduct the cost of those repairs from rent
•The right to view a complete account for any deposit money the tenant does not receive back after vacating the unit due to repairs to the rental unit
Additionally, a tenant's responsibilities under Oregon rental laws may generally not be superseded by terms in any rental agreement, though there are many specific exceptions. An Oregon tenant’s responsibilities under O.R.S. § 90.325 of the Oregon Residential Landlord and Tenant Act include the responsibility to:
•Keep areas of the rental premises that are under the tenant’s control as clean, sanitary, and free from accumulations of debris, garbage, and filth as the condition of the premises permits
•Cooperate assisting the landlord to a reasonable extent in reasonable efforts to remedy problems like accumulation of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin
•Dispose waste from the rental unit in a safe and legal manner
•Keep all rental unit plumbing fixtures as clean as the condition of such fixtures permits
•Use the rental premises’ electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and other included facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner
•Test and maintain any and all landlord-provided smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms and provided written notification to the landlord of any operating issues with these devices
•Respect, and require guests to respect, the peaceful enjoyment of the premises by any and all neighbors
•Refrain from removing or tampering with any smoke alarm, smoke detector, or carbon monoxide alarm
•Refrain from deliberately and/or negligently destroying, defacing, or damaging any part of the rental premises, or otherwise knowingly permitting any other person to do the same
If the tenant fails to fulfill his or her responsibilities, you as a landlord have certain remedies under the law. Similarly, the Oregon renters rights under this act also include the right to certain remedies should you as a landlord fail to fulfill your responsibilities. In some cases, knowing these remedies means you can fix any problems proactively and according to the law without there being any actual legal involvement.
However you choose to look at it, Landlord Station believes that knowing both your rights and responsibilities and the Oregon renter’s rights and responsibilities under Oregon landlord tenant law can only be beneficial. It can help you avoid conflict, and even be a better landlord. Remember, the above is not meant to be legal advice. For legal counseling regarding your situation as an Oregon landlord, please contact a qualified lawyer.
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