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Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

Melissa Lyken | October 19, 2022

Summary: In Oregon, eviction notice requirements for tenants on a lease agreement are different from tenants on a month-to-month rental agreement. Also, the notice requirements for eviction based on nonpayment of rent are different from a no-cause eviction. If you’re being sued by an old landlord in Oregon, use SoloSuit to respond and increase your chances of winning.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented health and economic crisis, which caused Oregon to declare a state-wide moratorium on terminations of rental agreements and evictions. Oregon’s governor signed an executive order on April 1, 2020, which has been in effect since. Later, Oregon's lawmakers extended the eviction moratorium to June 30, 2021, as long as the tenant submitted a declaration of hardship. The moratorium ensured that no landlord could:

  • Issue a termination notice for nonpayment of fees, rent, utilities, and other charges
  • Charge penalties for nonpayment
  • Issue a termination notice without cause
  • Initiate an eviction case based on back-rent owed
  • Report tenants to credit bureaus for late rent or fee
  • Initiate an eviction case based on termination without cause
  • File a petition for non-compliance at an eviction court based on non-payment

Since the eviction moratorium was only extended to June 2021, landlords could technically start evicting tenants after this date (as before). If you are at risk of being evicted, knowing Oregon's eviction laws is critical to know your rights and defenses in the light of an eviction.

If your landlord is suing you, use SoloSuit to respond in minutes.

Oregon’s eviction moratorium ended in June 2021

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic caused all sorts of chaos and issues surrounding housing and finances in American households throughout the country. Luckily, the government stepped in to help those in need.

While tenants were protected from eviction during 2020 and into 2021, Oregon’s eviction moratorium laws ended on June 30, 2021. Since then, tenants still have certain protections regarding evictions, but not to the same extent as granted during the moratorium.

For example, tenants who applied for Oregon rental assistance and showed proof to their landlords before June 30, 2022 could not be evicted until after the application was processed or

after September 30, 2022—whichever was sooner.

While the COVID-19 eviction relief laws are no longer in practice, Oregon resident tenants are still protected by unlawful eviction under Oregon state law.

State law lists requirements for evicting a tenant in Oregon

Generally, eviction proceedings are governed by the Residential Landlord and Tenant chapter of Oregon's Revised Statutes. The legal requirements vary based on the type of tenancy you have and notice the landlord issues. As such, the notice requirements for tenants on a lease agreement are different from tenants on a month-to-month rental agreement.

Also, the notice requirements for eviction based on nonpayment of rent are different from a no-cause eviction. A no-cause eviction occurs when the landlord doesn't give any reason for eviction. Let's take a closer look at the notice requirements for each situation.

Eviction Notice Oregon Requirements for Rent Arrears

Oregon state laws provide landlords with two options when giving a tenant an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent:

  • The landlord can give a three-day notice if the tenant falls behind on rent payment by eight days. The notice should inform the tenant of the need to pay rent in three days, or the landlord initiates eviction proceedings.
  • The landlord may give a notice on the fifth day after the rent is due and allow the tenant six days to pay the rent or the landlord starts eviction proceedings.

Let’s consider an example.

Example: Susan, who lives in Oregon, falls behind on her rent and two weeks have already passed since her rent was due. This isn’t the first time Susan has struggled to pay rent, and the landlord is prepared. The landlord delivers a three-day eviction notice that requires Susan to pay the rent within three days. Luckily, Susan receives some financial assistance from her family members and pays the rent before the landlord begins the formal eviction process.

Eviction Notice Oregon Requirements for Month-to-Month Tenants

A month-to-month tenancy means the tenant pays rent once a month, and this agreement continues until you or your landlord ends it as there is no lease. If the landlord decides to evict the tenant without cause, they must provide a 90-day notice before the eviction date. The eviction notice should be written stating when the tenancy ends. Note, a landlord can't issue an eviction without cause after the first year of occupancy unless it's an owner-occupied property or building.

In cases where the landlord gives a no-cause eviction notice after a year of tenancy, the notice requirement is 60-90 days. If the tenant has rented an apartment in private rental housing, the landlord doesn't have to provide a reason for ending the tenancy. However, this rule doesn't apply in government-subsidized housing programs.

Eviction Notice Requirements for Lease Violations

Properties are leased for specific periods, usually for six months to a year. The term period determines when the lease can be renewed or terminated. According to Oregon state law, neither the tenant nor the landlord can terminate the lease without cause unless the lease states otherwise. However, the landlord can end the term in case of:

  • Non-payment of the lease
  • Violation of the lease agreement
  • Engaging in dangerous behavior intentionally (as discussed above)

According to the law, written lease agreements can't shorten the number of days required for termination, but they can make the notice periods longer. For example, a landlord can give you a 96-hour notice for non-payment. However, if the tenant signed a fixed-term lease that doesn't mention anything about lease termination or renewal, this lease can end without notice from either party.

Tenants can also be evicted for violating rental or lease agreements. Such violations include failure to pay utility bills, late rent charges, or keeping pets when it's not allowed. For these types of breaches, the landlord gives an eviction notice of 30 days explaining the violation.

Once served, the tenant has 14 days to remedy the violation, causing the landlord to lift the eviction charge. If the tenant commits the same violation within six months, the landlord provides 10-day notice before filing an eviction lawsuit. And, this time, the tenant can't halt the eviction proceeding by fixing the violation. If the tenant doesn't fix the violation, the landlord will evict the tenant after 30 days.

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Reasons for an Oregon 24 hour eviction notice

There are certain circumstances under which a landlord has the legal right to evict a tenant with only a 24-hour notice in Oregon. State law outlines the specific reasons that someone might be given an Oregon 24 hour eviction notice.

ORS Chapter 90, §90.396 states:

“90.396 Acts or omissions justifying termination 24 hours after notice. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, after at least 24 hours’ written notice specifying the acts and omissions constituting the cause and specifying the date and time of the termination, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and take possession as provided in ORS 105.105 to 105.168, if:

(a) The tenant, someone in the tenant’s control or the tenant’s pet seriously threatens to inflict substantial personal injury, or inflicts any substantial personal injury, upon a person on the premises other than the tenant;

(b) The tenant or someone in the tenant’s control recklessly endangers a person on the premises other than the tenant by creating a serious risk of substantial personal injury;<

(c) The tenant, someone in the tenant’s control or the tenant’s pet inflicts any substantial personal injury upon a neighbor living in the immediate vicinity of the premises;

(d) The tenant or someone in the tenant’s control intentionally inflicts any substantial damage to the premises or the tenant’s pet inflicts substantial damage to the premises on more than one occasion;

(e)(A) The tenant intentionally provided substantial false information on the application for the tenancy within the past year;

(B) The false information was with regard to a criminal conviction of the tenant that would have been material to the landlord’s acceptance of the application; and

(C) The landlord terminates the rental agreement within 30 days after discovering the falsity of the information; or

(f) The tenant, someone in the tenant’s control or the tenant’s pet commits any act that is outrageous in the extreme, on the premises or in the immediate vicinity of the premises. For purposes of this paragraph, an act is outrageous in the extreme if the act is not described in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection, but is similar in degree and is one that a reasonable person in that community would consider to be so offensive as to warrant termination of the tenancy within 24 hours, considering the seriousness of the act or the risk to others. An act that is outrageous in the extreme is more extreme or serious than an act that warrants a 30-day termination under ORS 90.392. Acts that are “outrageous in the extreme” include, but are not limited to, the following acts by a person:
(A) Prostitution, commercial sexual solicitation or promoting prostitution, as described in ORS 167.007, 167.008 and 167.012;
(B) Unlawful manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance, as defined in ORS 475.005;

(C) Manufacture of a cannabinoid extract, as defined in ORS 475C.009, unless the person manufacturing the cannabinoid extract holds a license issued under ORS 475C.085 or is registered under ORS 475C.815;
(D) A bias crime, as described in ORS 166.155 and 166.165; or
(E) Burglary as described in ORS 164.215 and 164.225.”

In other words, a landlord can legally give you an Oregon 24 hour eviction notice if:

  • Someone on the landlord’s property is seriously injured, or threatened with injury, by you, someone you are responsible for, or your pet.
  • You, or someone you are responsible for, damage the property substantially and on purpose.
  • Your pet damages the property substantially on more than one occasion.
  • You lie about your criminal history on your rental application.
  • You, or someone you are responsible for, are involved with prostitution on the premises.
  • You, or someone you are responsible for, distribute, deliver, or possess illegal drugs.
  • You, or someone you are responsible for, make a cannabinoid extract on the premises without a license to do so.
  • You, or someone you are responsible for, are guilty of a bias crime.
  • You, or someone you are responsible for, are guilty of burglary.

However, if the tenant is a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking, the landlord cannot issue a 24-hour notice or attempt to evict them.

Make the right defenses when you are evicted

Tenants facing eviction in Oregon can use at least one legal defense to challenge the charge. They can argue the landlord did not follow the outlined eviction procedures in the Oregon Revised Statutes.

For example, if the landlord uses self-help procedures like changing locks on the door, they can't evict you legally. On the contrary, the tenant should sue the landlord for damages, stop the eviction lawsuit and force the landlord to start the process from the beginning. In Oregon, landlords can only evict a tenant by obtaining a judgment from the court.

If the landlord has filed a complaint without issuing a notice, the tenant can use the lack of notice as a defense during the lawsuit. Keep in mind; the defense doesn't stop the landlord from serving a justified eviction. If the landlord rectifies the mishaps, they can issue the eviction notice, which allows a limited time to vacate the rental unit.

Oregon eviction laws are pretty vast, but with this insight, you now know a thing or two about when and why you can be evicted from a rental unit.

Respond to a debt lawsuit in Oregon

Getting evicted isn’t the worst thing a landlord can do. Landlords may file a Complaint against you if you owe them money. If you are being sued for an overdue rent in Oregon, you must respond to the lawsuit within the state’s deadline or you will lose by default. The deadline to respond to a debt lawsuit in Oregon is 30 days.

To respond, you should file a written Answer in the court and send a copy to the landlord’s attorney. SoloSuit can help you draft and file your Answer in just 15 minutes.

Check out this video to learn more about how to draft and file your Answer document:

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