Oregon Renters Rights Explained

Oregon renters rights provide for tenants to have a rental unit which meets basic safety, health, and structural standards.

It must also remain in good repair.

Tenants are responsible for damages they cause which affect these three standards, but landlords are responsible to maintain the property up to code.

Here are the other Oregon renters rights explained under ORS guidelines.

1. A 3 Day Notice For Nonpayment Of Rent Is Required.

Tenants have 72 hours to correct not paying their rent on time.

The catch here is that landlords are not allowed to deliver a 3 day notice until the rent is at least 7 days overdue.

If the rent is 5 days overdue, landlords are permitted to provide a 6 day notice instead.

2. Certain Actions May Qualify For a 24 Hour Notice To Leave.

Landlords have the right to have their property free from damage.

If the rental unit is damaged or certain criminal acts have occurred, then renters may be given just 24 hours to leave.

3. Tenants Must Receive Their Security Deposit Back In 31 Days Or Less.

Landlords are permitted to charge any repairs beyond normal wear and tear to a tenant’s security deposit.

An itemized list of these charges must accompany any remainder to the deposit which remains.

Tenants must then receive this remainder within 31 days of moving out of a rental unit.

4. Only a Court Order Can Make a Tenant Actually Leave a Rental Unit.

Landlords can deliver notices that can begin the eviction process, but tenants can still remain within the rental unit.

Only a court order for their removal can force a tenant out of a property.

Landlords that change lock, shut off utilities, or remove possessions may provide tenants with an eviction defense.

5. Certain Fees Are Permitted.

Landlords can require a first and last month’s rent at the start of a new lease.

Fees for abandonment are also permitted, as are late fees for overdue rent.

Late charges cannot generally be used as the grounds of an eviction.

Screening fees, violation of a pet policy, and other fees that are $50 or less under specific conditions may also be allowed under certain circumstances.

The Oregon renters rights explained here cover some of the most common questions that are asked.

For additional help, consult the ORS guidelines or speak with a knowledgeable attorney regarding your specific matter.

What Are Squatters Rights In Iowa

What are squatters rights in Iowa?

In general terms, this state follows what is known as the “good faith” rules when it comes to adverse possession.

This means someone who knows that a property is not their own will not generally prevail because their actions are not in good faith.

Even if someone maintains a property for more than 30 years, the court can deny their claim because of this element.

In cases where someone may not realize that the property they are maintaining is actually owned by someone else, then there are certain additional elements that must be met for an Iowa court to consider changing the title of the property in question or to redraw property lines.

1. The Actions Of Squatters Must Be Hostile In Nature.

This hostility doesn’t refer to violence.

Simply occupying land or structures that are not someone’s personal property will often qualify as hostile.

With the good faith element in place, the squatters must believe this property is their own and their occupation must be against the wishes of the actual property owner.

The intent must be to take the land and use it in some way to the personal benefit of the squatter because the squatter believes the land is their own.

2. There Must Be a Minimum 5 Years Of Open And Notorious Possession.

There cannot be any secrecy to the adverse possession process thanks to the good faith element in Iowa’s adverse possession laws.

Squatters must operate in the open, treating the property as if they were own, and representing this perspective to the rest of their community.

This possession must also be continuous and exclusive, which means multiple households cannot cover the 5 years of occupation together in order to file an adverse possession claim.

Please note: Depending on when the adverse possession claim was actually started, there may be a minimum of 10 years that are required before an adverse possession claim can be filed.

3. Iowa Has Certain Criteria That Would Allow An Adverse Possession Claim In 12 Months.

Since 1980, Iowa has allowed for adverse possession claims to be filed within 12 months when certain conditions are met.

This must include payment of property taxes and operating under the color of title during the entire time.

Otherwise the 5 year statutes will be enforced.

4. Property Owners Have 1 Year To Challenge Due To The Effect Of a Disability.

If a property owner can prove that a disability prevented them from understanding that an adverse possession claim was being filed with the courts, then they have up to 1 year after the disability has been lifted to challenge any squatters rights that are being claimed.

5. Property Owners May Also File a Notice In Writing To Prevent Acquisition.

The entire goal of the original adverse possession laws was to make sure all lands were being used to their maximum potential by property owners.

If land was abandoned, then someone else who was willing to improve that land in some way would be granted the right to do so.

In Iowa, a property owner can file a notice in writing with a copy to the squatters that indicates their intent to keep their property and that it hasn’t been abandoned.

6. Use Isn’t The Only Qualifier For Adverse Possession.

Simply using the property of someone else isn’t good enough to qualify for an adverse possession claim.

When there is a belief that the property belongs to the squatters, the entire situation is considered.

This includes property transfers which occur through sales.

The timing on an adverse possession claim in Iowa does not stop simply because a property title switches hands.

7. Permission To Use Property Doesn’t Negate An Adverse Possession Claim Either.

Many states require that the occupation of a property by squatters be without permission for an adverse claim to qualify for a hearing. Iowa does not necessarily require this.

If a property is being used consistently by squatters, maintained by them, and the property taxes are being paid by them, then it is entirely possible for the squatters to have the outcome be awarded in their favor.

Squatters rights in Iowa can be a complicated affair.

Most of the time the court will side with the individuals who are using the land to its maximum benefit, but holding property rights on that land with the intent to use it may also be a qualified defense.

For specific questions regarding your situation, it is important to consult with an attorney who has knowledge of Iowa’s laws on this matter.

Arkansas Landlord Tenant Law Quick Guide

Landlord rights are highly emphasizes under Arkansas landlord tenant law.

This quick guide will help landlords and tenants understand more of what is or is not allowed in this business relationship.

1. Rent Can Be Raised For Any Reason.

Landlords must only provide a one rental period notice in order to raise the rent.

This even applies to written leases.

2. Evictions Can Happen For Any Reason.

A landlord is allowed to terminate a lease for any reason at any time.

If there are no provisions within the lease for the eviction process, then one rental period is required for notice before approaching the court.

3. All Properties Are Rented In An “As Is” Condition.

Landlords must only meet city building codes when it comes to habitability.

If a unit has no hot water and this is known at the time of rental, then the landlord may not necessarily be held responsible for the cost of this repair by the tenant.

4. Security Deposits Must Be Returned Within 60 Days.

Tenants may be charged up to 2x the amount of monthly rent as a security deposit.

Upon moving out, an itemized list of charges against the security deposit is required if any exist.

Unpaid rent may be charged against the deposit.

5. Nonpayment Of Rent May Be Considered a Criminal Offense.

In January 2015, a judge invalidated the criminal eviction statutes that Arkansas has.

Although this law is still on the books within the state and charges may still be filed, this ruling may provide tenants with an active defense.

6. Tenants Must Keep Paying The Rent.

Even if a landlord has failed to make a promised repair, tenants must still continue to pay the rent.

Tenants can pursue damages because of the lack of repairs in small claims court, but this may also trigger the beginning of the eviction process as well.

Arkansas landlord tenant laws are the most unique in the United States.

Any property left in a rental unit is automatically considered abandoned and there is no recourse for the tenant to follow.

For additional questions regarding your specific situation, consult with a landlord tenant law attorney or consult the specific statutes that govern this relationship.

What Is the Eviction Process in Kansas

The eviction process in Kansas can be completed rather quickly when compared to that of other states.

How the process proceeds depends on what the tenant violation happens to be.

No matter what the violation may be, however, self-initiated eviction efforts are considered illegal and can result in a judgment against the landlord performing them.

That’s why following the eviction process in Kansas is so important.

Here’s what you’re going to need to do.

1. Deliver a Proper Notice To The Tenant.

When a tenant fails to pay the rent on time they may be served with a 3 day notice.

All other violations require at least a 14 day notice.

Some exceptions may apply for criminal activities that occur on a rental property.

Proof of delivery is required.

A 30 day notice is mandatory to terminate a month-to-month lease.

2. File For a Summons And Petition Of Forcible Detainer.

The the tenant does not comply with the notice that was delivered, then landlords must file for a summons and petition the court for a forcible detainer.

This summons must be delivered to the tenant.

Part of the petition may also include provisions for damages to the property and past due rent.

It may take as few as 3 days to set this hearing, but can take no more than 14 days.

3. The 10 Day Dispute Period.

If a tenant believes they have an active defense to an eviction hearing, then they have 10 days to file an answer with the court.

They must also serve the landlord with their answer.

Monetary counterclaims are also eligible to be included.

4. Vacating When Ordered.

If a landlord prevails in the eviction hearing, then a specific date will be set by the judge for the tenant to vacate.

If this does not occur, a landlord must petition the court for what is called a “Writ of Restitution.”

Once issued, the local sheriff’s office will execute the order within 10 days and supervise the removal of the tenant.

Most landlords can have a problematic tenant removed from their rental properties within 3-4 weeks.

Although this ends up being a small loss of rental income, the eviction process in Kansas allows for a fairly simple and straightforward process that minimizes the losses rather effectively.

How are Credit Scores Calculated?

When screening tenants, one of the first things that you should do is run a credit report because the information that is in the report can help you decide whether to rent to a prospective applicant.

A high score often means that the tenant will pay their rent on time every month, but a low score could indicate that the tenant might pay late or default on their lease.

A credit score isn’t the only thing that you should look at, but it is one of the most important factors.

What is a Credit Score?
FICO(r) Scores, the most common credit score, are typically used to determine creditworthiness.

Banks will pull credit scores to decide on loan amounts and interest rates.

Credit card companies use credit scores to decide whether to issue revolving credit.

As a landlord, you can use credit scores to make decisions about whom to rent to.

A FICO(r) Score is a number between 300 and 850 that combines payment and credit data from different categories. The higher the credit score, the better.

What types of data go into a credit score?
Every FICO(r) credit score is made up of data from five different categories: payment history, outstanding debt, duration of credit history, mix of available credit, and new credit.

Each category is given a different weight, and both positive and negative factors affect the final score.

For example, a history of late payments will bring down the number, and a recent history of on-time payments will bring it up.

Credit is individual
Like fingerprints, no two people have the exact same credit history.

The way scores are calculated can also vary, depending on several factors.

A person who has very little credit history might find that their scores are weighted differently than someone with a long and established history.

The exact formula used for generating a credit score isn’t public, but the different category weights are fairly standard.

  • Payment history: 35 percent
  • Outstanding debt: 30 percent
  • Duration of credit history: 15 percent
  • Mix of available credit: 10 percent
  • New credit: 10 percent

While this breakdown is fairly standard, every credit score is tailored to an individual.

You should always look at the credit score in conjunction with the report to see where the number is coming from.

After all, a credit score is only generated from the information that is found in the report.

Looking at the numbers can help you make an informed decision about who you’re leasing your home or apartment to.

An old delinquent account can pull down an applicant’s score, but if your applicant has no new delinquent accounts, you might consider renting to them.

Understanding the 5 Categories
Before making a decision based on a credit score, it’s important to understand what each category is and how it applies to your applicants.

Payment History
The first and most important category is an applicant’s payment history.

This part of their credit report is typically responsible for 35 percent of their overall score.

If they have paid their bills on time, their score will be higher.

A history of late payments will drop their score.

Keep in mind that a single delinquent account can remain on a credit report for seven years or more, so be sure to check for recent late payments.

Also, remember that a delinquent payment doesn’t show up on a credit report until it’s more than 30 days past due.

A single late rental payment could leave you in a continuing cycle of filing eviction paperwork while waiting for current paperwork.

Outstanding Debt
The amount of credit that is used by an applicant makes up 30 percent of their score.

For example, someone with large student loans might have a slightly lower score than someone with no student loans.

When deciding on a tenant, be sure to look at the total debt amount before making a decision.

Combined with their income, this information can tell you which tenants might have trouble meeting their rental obligations and which ones shouldn’t have any trouble.

Duration of Credit History
A longer credit history generally translates into a higher credit score. Every score includes:

  • The newest account, oldest account and average age of accounts
  • The length of time since a person used those accounts

This information may not seem like it has immediate value, but you should take into consideration how often someone uses their revolving credit.

If they frequently resort to credit cards and maintain increasingly large balances, the individual may have a spending problem.

Mix of Available Credit
The types of accounts that someone has also plays a role in their credit score.

Retail stores, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and other types of credit from 10 percent of the total score.

As a landlord, you may not care what type of credit an applicant has, but you may want to see if the information reduces an individual’s score.

New Credit
When someone has several recently opened lines of credit, that can be a warning sign.

Those new to credit have a higher risk of default, and applying for several accounts at one time can reduce a total score by up to 10 percent.

Knowing where the credit score number comes from and looking at an applicant’s total credit report can help you make the right decision when you’re screening tenants.


Connecticut Landlord Tenant Law: Important Points To Know

Did you know that there are security deposit limits in place in Connecticut?

Landlords may not charge more than 2x what they ask for in rent as a security deposit against damages.

If a tenant at the time of rental is 62 or above in age, then this security deposit limit is reduced by 50%.

Here are some other important points to know in Connecticut’s landlord tenant law.

1. Landlords Have 30 Days To Return a Security Deposit.

The full security deposit must be returned unless a tenant is sent an itemized list of damages that required repair.

Tenants must give their landlord a written notice of their new address.

Failure to provide a security deposit on time makes a landlord liable for 2x the amount of the deposit.

2. Rent Increases Can Only Happen Outside Of a Structured Rental Period.

Landlords can raise the rent they charge, but only outside of a specific lease term.

This means a 1 year lease is locked.

For those in month-to-month or week-to-week arrangements, just 1 rental period of notice is required to increase the rent.

If a tenant feels their rent is too high, then a Fair Rent Commission may be available to hear the complaint.

3. Tenants Can File To Stay In a Rental Property.

Even if a landlord wins an eviction case, tenants have the right to file for a delay in the execution of the judgment.

In cases where nonpayment of rent is the issue, this stay can be as long as 3 months.

For instances when there is no lease in place, a stay of 6 months could be awarded.

4. There Must Be a 13 Day Notice Provided Before Utilities Are Turned Off.

Utility companies cannot turn off the power to a rental unit without provided proper notice.

This also applies to landlords who pay the utilities on behalf of their tenants.

There are also specific rules regarding time, weather, and other circumstances that prevent utility termination.

These important points to know about Connecticut’s landlord tenant law cover some unusual areas that come up from time to time.

For answers to specific questions not covered here, be sure to consult with the Landlord Tenant Publication provided by the state or speak with a knowledgeable attorney.

Explanation of Maryland Renters Rights

A series of laws, called the landlord tenant code, help to govern the rights which renters have within the state of Maryland.

This code also sets forth the responsibilities that renters have toward landlords in this business relationship.

Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding how this relationship can be structured within a lease.

Q: How Much Can a Security Deposit Be?

A: Landlords are permitted to require a security deposit that is 2x the amount of rent that is being charged for a rental unit. Renters who are overcharged this amount are allowed the right to recover up to 3x the extra amount they were charged plus reasonable legal fees. This means a unit with a $500 rent could have a $1,000 security deposit. Charging $1,100 would allow a tenant to pursue up to $300 in damages.

Q: Does a Security Deposit Collect Interest?

A: Security deposits must have interest paid on them if they are over $50. Interest rates are set yearly and can be based on the US Treasury yield. All deposits must be placed in an escrow account.

Q: Do Renters Have the Right To Their Deposit Back?

A: Landlords are only allowed to charge for actual damages when taking funds out of a security deposit. Ordinary wear and tear does not qualify as damage. Any remainder of the security deposit must be returned with interest within 45 days after a tenant moves out. Landlords who fail to show a good reason for missing this deadline can be held liable for up to 3x the security deposit amount.

Q: What Is Normal Wear and Tear?

A: Maryland has not set forth what qualifies as “normal” wear and tear. A family with 4 children and 3 dogs is going to have different wear and tear on a rental unit than newlyweds without kids or pets. Ripped carpeting or holes in a wall are generally considered damage. Small nail holes from hanging pictures may be considered regular wear and tear.

Q: What If a Rental Unit Isn’t Ready On Time?

A: If a landlord says a rental unit will be ready on the first day of the month, but it doesn’t become ready until the tenth day, then the tenant who has agreed to move into the unit can cancel the lease without penalty. They are entitled to their full security deposit and any prepaid rent back in full. They can also sue for any damages caused by the delay.

Q: Are Verbal Notifications Enforceable?

A: Although a verbal notification can serve as a notice in some situations, Maryland law recommends all communication between landlords and tenants be in writing. Tenants must sign-off on any automatic renewals of a lease specifically within the structure of the rental agreement for it to be valid. If this is not available, then automatic renewals cannot happen and the expiration of a lease can serve as notice of moving out.

Q: Can Landlords Increase Rent?

A: Landlords can increase the rent whenever it is outside of a structured rental agreement. Tenants have the right to receive a written notice about a rent increase before it happens. Leases which automatically renew may also have structured rent increases built into them.

Q: Can Tenants Break a Lease?

A: Yes. As with any contract, either party can break the contract with or without notice. This doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences to such an action. Landlords are obligated to search for new tenants should a renter break their lease, but they can follow their own protocols to fill that vacancy. Tenants must pay for the entire term of the lease if they move out should a landlord not be able to fill the rental unit. What a landlord cannot do is charge 4 months’ rent and then fill the rental unit in a week.

Q: Do Renters Have the Right to Withhold Rent?

A: No. Tenants must always pay their rent. If there are habitability repairs that a landlord is not making, such as a furnace repair in winter because there is no warmth, then renters can pay rent into an escrow account after sending a written complaint to their landlord regarding this issue. The renter must also report the housing conditions to the city’s housing inspector and a violation must be issued to the landlord. The court system under these circumstances will set up the escrow account and use those funds for potential repairs. Maryland has several other codes and statutes that govern renters rights.

This guide is intended only to answer certain common questions.

For a specific answer regarding your situation, speak with a local legal professional or consult the codes and statutes personally for a resolution.

Summary of Iowa Renters Rights

Rental agreements in Iowa cover most apartments and houses, but do not cover 100% of all situations.

That’s why having a summary of Iowa renters rights is so important to the rental process.

Here is what you’re going to want to know.

1. Properties Must Be Habitable.

This generally means a rental unit must be up to local building codes.

It must remain in a livable condition, have places for garbage removal and disposal, and have hot/cold running water.

Heat must also be provided and appliances must be kept in working order.

2. Tenants Must Keep The Peace.

Renting a house or apartment also means making sure personal activities do not disturb neighbors.

Creating a nuisance can be a lease violation that may result in the eviction process beginning in the state of Iowa.

3. Withholding Rent Is Allowed In Iowa.

Tenants can withhold rent to make specific repairs that are required to make a rental unit habitable.

To do so, they must first provide their landlord with a written notice of the needed repair.

A housing inspector should also be contacted, even in an emergency situation.

If the repairs are not initiated, then this allows for payment and withholding.

4. Security Deposits Are Limited.

Landlords may charge up to 2x the amount of rent they are asking as a security deposit.

It must be returned within 30 days of moving out or the tenant must receive a notice in writing stating why it is late.

If this does not happen, then the tenant is entitled to their full deposit and potentially recover costs associated with the lack of the deposit’s return.

5. 24 Hours Of Notice Is Required.

Unless it is an emergency situation, landlords must provide renters with suitable notice to enter a rental unit for inspection.

This summary of Iowa renters rights is intended to only be used as a guide to cover common questions.

For specific questions about Iowa’s landlord tenant law, consult with the specific statutes that govern your concerns or speak with an attorney who practices in this area of law.

What Is the Eviction Process in New Jersey

Under New Jersey landlord tenant laws, there must be a good cause to evict a tenant.

Any violation of the rental agreement or lease may qualify under this good cause section.

The most common reason to have the cause to evict is for the nonpayment of rent.

Even then, however, if rent funds were used to pay utility services, a landlord cannot actually evict a tenant after receiving a notice that services would be shut off.

Any violation must be accompanied by an appropriate written notice that is delivered to the tenant.

The amount of required time for this notice depends on the violation in question.

In New Jersey, what is considered appropriate notice may be as short as 3 days or may require up to 3 years in specific situations.

Here is a brief rundown of the required notices that landlords must give tenants.

3 Day Notice. This is given for property damage, violence, employment contingencies, threatening a landlord, or drug convictions which involve the property.

14 Day Notice. This is for the nonpayment of rent, including rent that is habitually late.

30 Day Notice. This is for rental agreement violations that do not include health or safety violations by the tenant.

90 Day Notice. This is for all tenant health and safety violations.

18 Month Notice. Landlords may issue this notice if they plan to stop using a rental unit for residential use. A tenant does not need to be out of compliance for this eviction notice.

2 Year Notice. This is for tenants who have been convicted of any criminal activity.

3 Year Notice. This is for rental properties that are converting to cooperatives.

Once the proper notice has been served, a tenant has the right to get back into compliance.

This is true even if the violations are habitual in nature.

The only exception to this would be the “no cause” evictions which require more than 1 year of notice before eviction proceedings can begin.

Taking a Tenant to Court

Only the justice system in New Jersey has the authority to evict a tenant.

This means a landlord must file a complaint with their local Office of the Special Civil Part Clerk.

There is a filing fee associated with this action.

A summons will be issued to the tenant at this point and a hearing date set to hear both sides of the eviction case.

Landlords and tenants both have the right to present their case at trial.

Written statements will not be heard by the court, so both parties must schedule any witnesses they wish to testify on their behalf.

A judge will hear both sides of the case and issue a ruling.

If a tenant prevails, then the eviction process must start over from the very beginning.

If the landlord prevails, then the tenant can be forced off of the premises.

What Happens When an Eviction Order Is Enforced?

Tenants have 3 business days to move from a rental unit when they’ve lost an eviction case once a warrant for possession has been served.

After 3 business days, landlords have the authority to change locks or have law enforcement come out to physically remove tenants.

New Jersey prohibits landlords from taking possession of an evicted tenant’s property.

They are authorized to move any leftover belongings to a storage unit at the cost of the evicted tenant.

This cost, along with any legal fees and past due rent, can become part of a separate financial judgment which may be issued.

Even after a writ of possession is authorized, however, a tenant may still be able to stay in a rental unit for up to 6 additional months.

In order for this to happen, the court must issue special permissions for the tenant to stay.

All rent that is past due must be paid in full and any other court orders must be followed for this to be allowed.

What a Landlord Cannot Do

New Jersey does not allow any self-help eviction methods.

Tenants can use any action that a landlord takes to evict them as an active defense in court.

Retaliation through the form of eviction is also not allowed. If a tenant is not following the rental agreement or lease and that action qualifies under New Jersey landlord tenant law as a violation, then the eviction process can be started.

These steps are just a brief outline of the process.

For a complete look at the eviction process in New Jersey or to answer specific questions, be sure to look at the specific statutes which govern this area or speak with a knowledgeable attorney familiar with this situation.

Easy Guide to Florida Landlord Tenant Law

Under Florida landlord tenant law, tenants have certain rights and responsibilities to which they are entitled.

A person becomes a tenant when they pay rent to live in a mobile home, condo, apartment, or single family home whether there is a lease in place or just a verbal agreement. This is an easy guide to those rights and responsibilities.

1. The Right To Private And Peaceful Possession.

Florida allows landlords to enter a rented unit to inspect it or make necessary or agreed upon repairs.

Reasonable notice is required for entry unless emergency conditions exist.

2. The Right To a Habitable Environment.

A rental unit in Florida must have plumbing that works, access to hot water, have a reasonable amount of security, and be structurally sound.

Any building must meet local safety, health, and building codes.

3. Tenants Must Maintain Their Living Conditions.

A tenant must maintain a rental unit so that it continues meeting all necessary codes.

This means removing trash when necessary, cleaning the unit, and using appliances as they are intended.

Any damages to a unit that is caused by tenant neglect is generally the responsibility of the tenant to pay.

4. Tenants Can Be Evicted Even If Partial Rent Payments Are Received.

If a landlord has issued a notice to quit because of the nonpayment of rent, the eviction procedures can still take place even if they accept a partial payment for past due rent.

Sometimes housing associations can demand that tenants pay rent to them instead of the landlord.

All evictions are handled through the courts.

5. Tenants Have The Right To Their Security Deposit.

A security deposit must be maintained throughout an entire tenancy.

Landlords must return the full amount within 15 days of moving out or provide a detailed statement of deductions from the security deposit.

Interest on this amount may be required to be paid in certain circumstances.

If a tenant does not provide a forwarding address upon moving out, the may lose the right to claim any remainder to the deposit.

This guide is not intended to cover every potential situation that may occur under a Florida rental agreement between a tenant and landlord.

Be sure to consult with Florida’s landlord tenant law to receive specific answers for your situation or consult with a legal professional.