The articles provided here are informational only, and are not intended as legal advice.  Each case is different, so consult a knowledgeable attorney for legal advice on your particular situation.

Limits on Overnight Guests

A Clackamas County trial judge’s opinion highlights a problem that landlords face when trying to establish reasonable – and enforceable – limits on the number of overnights that any one guest may spend at a tenant’s home. The case involved a mobile home park landlord who filed an eviction case because the tenant was allowing her adult son and his girlfriend to stay in the tenant’s home without park approval. The park is a “55 or older” facility, and neither the son or girlfriend met the park’s age requirements. More importantly, the son’s presence in the park was accompanied by constant visitor traffic at all hours of the day. The park issued a 30-day, for-cause notice to the tenant after co

Security Responsibilities as a Landlord

Question “What’s my responsibility for security at my rental properties?” Answer The basic rule is that a landlord is required to provide rental premises that are “kept in every part safe for normal and reasonably foreseeable uses.” Practically speaking, this means that if you know about a particular danger or threat of danger, as a landlord you must take reasonable steps to reduce or eliminate that danger. The real question of course is what are the “reasonable steps” to take? At the basic level, you should make sure that you have adequate lighting that is well-maintained to illuminate the property at night (i.e., replace those burned out bulbs if they are your responsibility). If you h

When Tenants Leave Belongings Behind

If you are a residential landlord, you cannot take or keep any of a tenant’s belongings until the rental agreement has ended. If you wrongfully take a tenant’s personal belongings while the tenant is still legally renting from you, you may be liable for damages and your actions may relieve the tenant of liability for unpaid rent or other kinds of claims you might have. After a rental agreement has ended, however, you have the right to dispose of a tenant’s abandoned personal belongings, but only after following very specific rules. It is not always easy to determine when a tenancy has terminated and the tenant has abandoned his or her personal belongings. Under Oregon law, a tenant’s belongi

Unauthorized RV Occupants

Question We have a couple of situations with unauthorized RV occupants in our park. The first is an RV tenant who has moved in a person who we consider to be a nuisance – she has been yelling at other residents. The second situation is a nice lady who has moved in a boyfriend – he seems okay but still hasn’t been approved. In both cases, they have ignored our requests to fill out a rental application. We use MHCO Form 80 (RV Space Rental Agreement). Is there anything in that agreement that allows us to do something about these situations? Answer Both tenants appear to be violating MHCO Form 80, Section 12 D, which prohibits any person not listed in the tenant’s rental application from o

Tenant vs. Tenant Disputes: Do I Have to Intervene?

Scenario A Landlord owns several adjacent rental units with multiple tenants, such as an apartment complex, a duplex, or a mobile home park. Problem Two neighboring tenants have an ongoing dispute, which has led to several reported arguments between them and complaints to you as the landlord from both of them about the other. Issue: Do you as the landlord intervene in their dispute, and if so, how? Answer The usual answer is “yes,” you should intervene in the dispute. As a landlord, you can be held liable for the acts of a tenant if it is “reasonably foreseeable” that the tenant poses a risk of physical harm to another tenant, either on or off the rental premises. That means that if you hav

What’s The Quickest Way to Get a Tenant Out of My RV Park?

Question I own a decent-sized RV park with quite a few long-term tenants living there, but with also a few seasonal guests and overnighters. I have one tenant in particular who is constantly abrasive towards other tenants and guests (for example, walking thru the park and telling people that they need to fix their awnings, stack their firewood in a certain way, etc.). He has no qualms about interjecting himself in other people’s conversations even when his input is clearly unwanted. I have already lost several tenants and others have complained. Before this person ruins my good park, how can I get rid of him quickly? Answer You haven’t indicated whether this person is a long-term tenan

My Tenant Owes Me Money!

Predictably, one of the most common questions my clients ask is “how do I collect money that my tenant owes?” If the rent is past-due for the current month, the answer is a 72-hour rent nonpayment notice. Assuming the notice is properly prepared and served, the tenant has until the deadline in the notice to pay the rent in full. If the tenant doesn’t pay, you can file an eviction case. But even after you file an eviction, there is no guarantee that you’ll get paid. While most nonpayment eviction cases are settled with a court-approved payment plan, if not, then presumably the court will give you possession of the rental property. However, in most cases the court doesn’t have authority to awa

Landlords: Should You Allow Subletting?

Residential landlords are increasingly faced with the prospect that their tenants are subletting their rental units. Subletting can take many forms – roommates, girlfriends/boyfriends,unauthorized family members, short-term vacation rental services, etc. In many cases this happens without the landlord’s knowledge. When it is happening with your knowledge, should you allow it? My typical advice to clients is “no,” do not allow any type of subletting arrangement. There are a number of reasons not to allow subletting. First and foremost, you do not have a direct legal relationship with the subletting tenants. This can have important consequences when it comes to serving an eviction notice or fi

Keeping Tenants and Getting Paid

Does this sound familiar? You have a tenant who checked out well in the application process,but now has not paid rent for two months. He says that he was laid off from his job, but is starting a new one and that his mother has agreed to help him catch up. You don’t necessarily want to evict him, but this obviously can’t continue. However, there is a chance that you can give this tenant an opportunity to redeem himself, yet still protect your interests. The first step is to give the tenant a 72-hour rent nonpayment notice. If the tenant pays the rent, then life goes on and the tenancy continues. If not, you should file an eviction case at your county courthouse. The court clerk will have seve

Do RV Parks Need to Provide Showers?

Question We own an RV park that has bathroom facilities, but no showers. One of our new tenants insists that we must provide showers as part of the bathroom facilities. Is that true? Answer The short answer is “no,” you probably do not need to provide shower facilities. However, there may be exceptions, so read through this entire answer to determine whether you may need to seek specific legal advice. The Oregon Administrative Rules (“OAR”) require RV parks to provide "toilets," but do not specify that parks are required to provide showers. OAR 333-031-0066 (1)(a). The OARs refer to the types of "toilets" allowed, which can include flush toilet facilities, pit privies, or chemical toile

Avoiding Tenant Disputes

Every landlord wants to avoid disputes with tenants. Disputes can lead to litigation – and litigation is expensive. There are a few simple things that landlords can do to reduce their risk of a dispute with tenants. The most effective solution is getting good tenants in the first place. Screen each and every potential tenant for credit history, criminal convictions, and evictions. Set your application standards and stick to them (i.e., don’t fall for any “hard luck” stories). There are certain restrictions on what may be considered in the evaluation process, so consult an attorney on the specifics. (NOTE: If you charge an application fee, you must provide applicants with written notice of yo

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