The New Year brings a few changes to the landlord tenant law governing rental property in Oregon. As a landlord, it’s necessary to stay up to date on these legal changes otherwise you can easily find yourself in violation of them. Do some research on the things that went into effect in 2016, or talk to a property manager so you aren’t taken to court by a tenant who may know more than you do.
One of the changes that is helpful to landlords is that you can now charge a non-compliant pet fee of up to $250 when you discover a tenant is keeping an unauthorized pet in your property which is capable of causing damage. You may only charge this fee for the second and subsequent violation and you have to wait for 48 hours after the first notice. That gives the tenant an opportunity to remove the pet. After the 48 hours, you can serve the second notice and charge the fee. Remember that it has to be a pet capable of causing damage. A goldfish or a hamster will not qualify for this fee. Talk to an attorney if you’re not sure whether or not you can charge the pet fee for non-compliance because you don’t want to assess it if you don’t have legal clearance.
The precise time that a notice terminates seems to change every couple of years. Starting this year, it is 11:59 p.m. When you serve a notice, the mail time begins at 12:01 a.m. the day after a notice has been placed in the mail, and it ends at 11:59 p.m. four days later. For example, if you are issuing a notice for non-payment of rent, you want to make sure you aren’t sending the notice too early. Then, you need to make sure that the notice specifies the date and time that the notice expires. Your time should read 11:59 p.m. This can get confusing if you’re doing it on your own, and if you make a mistake, your notice will not be valid and you’ll need to start again. Get legal help from someone familiar with landlord tenant law in Oregon.
If you own a condo and you charge your tenants the move in fee and the move out fee that is often charged to the owner by condo boards, you’ll need to state that in your rental agreement. The tenant has a right to the copy of the assessed fee from the Home Owners Association.
These are just a few of the changes we need to deal with in 2016, and there are others that you need to be prepared for. If you have any questions, organizations such as Multifamily Northwest can be helpful, or you can consult an attorney. We’d also be happy to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us at Residential Property Management in Portland.