• Saturday, October 30, 2021 10:56 AM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

    By: Jason Miller, ORHA Legislative Director
    October 27, 2021

    Thousands of Housing Providers across Oregon received notification from Residents that they applied for rental assistance. Once a Housing Provider receives that notification, they are required to give Residents a sixty (60) day stay from eviction. While some Housing Providers have received assistance checks many are left wondering what is going on. To make things worse, for most of them, we are past or approaching the end of the sixty (60) day stay from eviction. 

    Housing Providers do not necessarily want to evict a tenant if they know their Resident qualifies and rental assistance is coming. But with no communication from Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) or the local Community Action Agencies Housing Providers are making the heartbreaking decision to file for eviction. How many of those eviction filings could be avoided if the Housing Provider received a simple email or phone call saying your Resident qualifies and the rent is on the way? I suspect a large percentage of Housing Providers would hold off a little longer if they knew the assistance was coming. Remember, the alternative is to evict the tenant in hopes the unit can be rented to someone able to pay. The Housing Provider will incur costs of turning over the rental property to make it ready to rent and lose any chance at being made whole on past-due rent. However, to some this sounds more attractive than being left in the dark wondering when, or if, assistance will come.

    While some believe the answer is to increase the sixty (60) day stay on eviction to ninety (90) or one hundred and twenty (120) days, my message has been to increase communication with Housing Providers and involve them in the process. Housing Providers do not want to go through the process of eviction if it is preventable and would rather receive rental assistance than a loss in income. My belief is most Housing Providers would naturally, without any requirement, wait another 30 or 60 days if they knew and had a guarantee that rental assistance was coming.

    This message has been relayed to OHCS and Legislators in hopes they will improve their communication process to avoid unnecessary evictions. We have received promises of improvement but for some it may be too late and until the promises are fulfilled Housing Providers will still need to make that gut-wrenching decision to evict their Resident or continue to not receive any payment, uncertain if assistance will ever come.

  • Saturday, October 30, 2021 10:45 AM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

    By: Violet Wilson, ORHA Education Committee Chair
    October 27, 2021

    The committee has been working on long-range planning goals, including:

    1. Increasing the available ORHA classes for use by member associations and other organizations.
    2. Direct sales of completed presentations to non-members.
    3. Adding to our list of qualified speakers
    4. Continuing to reach out to our smaller locals who need more support.

    A number of classes on the new Landlord Guarantee Program (LGP), which provide funds to housing providers who waited out the sixty day “safe harbor” period but did not get funds from the tenants or rent programs, have been presented. The power point on the LGP was also sent out to local associations for their use.

    The new Law and Rule Required course (LARRC) with the new discrimination requirements will be completed by January and LARRC classes will be offered after that time.

    Continuing Education Certificates processing for ORHA classes has been centralized and will be completed and sent out by a single individual. This should speed up the timelines for receipt of the certificates by attendees.

    The committee is always looking for new ideas on what to teach. Please contact Violet at vwilson503@comcast.net.

  • Friday, October 08, 2021 11:21 PM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

    By: Tia Politi, ORHA President
    October 7, 2021

    I’m sad to report the passing of J. Norton Cabell, one of the most influential landlords in Oregon. Many of you may have known him during the years he served variously as President, Treasurer and Legislative Director for the Oregon Rental Housing Association (ORHA), Vice President of Lane ROA, Director of the Fair Housing Council of Oregon, Citizen Review Board Member for the Oregon Judicial Department as well as Sponsors, Inc., to name a few. More recently, he chaired the Intergovernmental Eugene Housing Policy Board and Renter’s Protection Committee. I came on the boards of Lane ROA and ORHA after Norton’s time, but he was always available to graciously answer my questions and provide expert guidance. He is the originator of the ORHA Law Book and Forms Manual.

    “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Norton exemplified this saying. Born into privilege, he received a top-notch education, earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of the South and his M.B.A., from the University of Virginia. He spent a couple of decades in the banking industry, before leaving that career for a life in the wonderland of Oregon.

    As a landlord in Oregon, Norton rented to those who few others would have. Violet Wilson of ORHA and the Salem Rental Housing Association remembers, “I first met Norton Cabell in 1990 when I took my very first law update class. He was very knowledgeable and presented the information in an entertaining way. He peppered his talks with actual stories from his professional life. He often rented to the less fortunate population, such as former convicts. One story, in particular, still comes to mind. A man who panhandled on the streets for change and used it to pay his rent. Norton accepted daily payments from him in those small increments. I learned from him the many laws we had to follow to be a good property manager but I was also inspired by him to remember that tenants are human and we have to operate in humane and thoughtful ways.”

    Jim Straub remembers, “Norton was instrumental in my sharp learning curve regard all things Chapter 90 during the 1990’s, as he was countless others. I always felt Norton brought an inquisitive and balanced view of legislative changes. He was highly respected by both landlord and tenant advocates. We have truly lost a giant in the industry.”

    John VanLandingham of the Oregon Law Center was especially close to Norton and recalls, that, “We both grew up in Virginia, which is a very distinct world. Oregon is a breath of fresh air in comparison. Norton’s family name is well known there – there is a Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia. A Cabell fought and died with the Virginia Military Institute cadets who fought at the Battle of New Market in the Civil War, the only college group to fight in a war. He attended a prestigious Virginia prep school – and got expelled for conducting an unauthorized chemistry experiment that blew up the lab.

    “At the beginning of his post-college life, Norton spent 20 years as a banker in New Hampshire, working his way up, before he decided he’d had enough and moved to Oregon. He sometimes described himself as a recovering banker.

    “He was a wonderful writer, clear and concise, and he liked writing. He wrote legislative guides on landlord/tenant law and columns in the ROA newsletter and summaries of the law. They were always excellent. He and I did all of the writing for the old General Landlord/Tenant Coalition’s bills over many years. And he wrote and published a novel (which you can buy online). We used to discuss the novel, and his revisions. It involves a recovering banker who becomes an investigative financial analyst called in over a shady real estate deal in New Hampshire. And there’s sex!

    “Norton and I spent about 15 years as the primary negotiators – he for landlords/ORHA and I for tenants – in the General L/T Coalition. Those were the glory years for the coalition. We worked collaboratively and productively, amending Oregon law in many significant ways. Norton never had as a goal screwing tenants; the goal was to address a problem for landlords or tenants and work to find a reasonable solution that would not harm the other side. I can’t tell you the number of times I tell tenant lawyers in other states who have a legal problem that in Oregon we addressed that issue by statute.

    “And Norton and I would usually carpool to and from those monthly coalition meetings, which were usually held in Salem. We couldn’t get too mad at each other since we would have to ride back to Eugene together. Norton knew the law backwards and forwards, and he was pragmatic, not getting emotionally involved with a case. Deborah Imse, the Executive Director of MultiFamily NW, said to me earlier this week, when I told her about Norton’s passing, that she was “just heart-broken; Norton was instrumental in my sharp learning curve regarding all things Chapter 90.”

    “Norton also cared deeply about affordable housing. After he stopped being ORHA’s legislative leader, he got even more involved in affordable housing issues in Eugene and Lane County, chairing the Intergovernmental Housing Policy Board for years. He became very influential with local elected officials for his knowledge and his level-headedness. He chaired and led other public policy groups over the years, too, such as the Eugene Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee, the Rental Housing Code Committee, the Police Review Board, and more. Because he was a long-time landlord and knew their concerns, he spoke with unequaled authority. Norton was my friend. I’ll miss him more than I can think. But his death is an even bigger loss for landlords and tenants in our community.”

    Norton’s last years were spent living in one of his multi-unit properties, right alongside his residents, and that’s where his memorial service was held, with family, friends, local dignitaries and residents in attendance. He could have lived in a fancy house far away, but chose to be not just a landlord, but also a neighbor…

  • Wednesday, October 06, 2021 5:26 PM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

    By: Violet Wilson, Education Committee Chair
    October 3, 2021

    Due to changes to the Oregon Rental Housing Association office staff, I have taken on the following:

    a. Retained copies of the ORHA power point presentations and distribute as requested. Some of the presentations will need to be updated due to recent law changes. A description of each class will be included on the ORHA website as well as available materials.

    b. Retaining copies of instructor qualifications forms, W9’s, and CE credits given out.

    c. Outlined objectives for each class: in progress.

    d. Instructor’s qualifications need to be completed on an OREA form and kept on file for 3 years. This will be added to document storage for ORHA.

    Other updates:

    a. We have contracted with Peter Bale, a former Agency Investigator, to update the Law and Rule Required Course which includes the new required fair housing language. It will be ready for January classes.

    b. Option: Live video class to a local where the members meet in person is in the works.

    c. Continuing to look at selling our power point presentations to non-members.

    d. The committee would like to know who schedules classes at a local level and get information to them.

    Current available classes

    a. ORHA

    1. Housing Provider 101 (2hr.)
    2. Housing Provider 102 (2 hr.)
    3. Law Update, Part 1 (2 hr.)
    4. Law Update, Part 2 (2 hr.)
    5. Law Update, Part 1 (1 hr.)
    6. Law Update, Part 2 (1 hr.)
    7. Law Update, Part 3 (1 hr.)
    8. Legislative Update: Revised 7/21
    9. Law Update, 3 hrs.
    10. Temporary Occupant, 1 hr.
    11. Odds and Ends of Property Management
    12. Acts of God and other Disasters
    13. Property Management Policies

    b. Other classes available by request.

    Membership in a Box, updated by Ben Seamans, is available for local ROA chapters to review the needs of their associations. It has interactive links to important information needed.

  • Wednesday, October 06, 2021 4:45 PM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

    By: Jason Miller, ORHA Legislative Director
    October 4, 2021

    Several members have asked us this question since the maximum rent increase for 2022 was announced in September. The max rent increase for renters in properties where the certificate of occupancy was issued more than 15 years ago is 7% plus the previous 12 month average, September to August, Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the West Region.

    Although currently the CPI high around 5%, from September 2020 to February 2021 it was below 2% with a low of 1.4%. This brings the average for the year down to 2.9%. The 2022 maximum allowed rent increase will be 9.9%. If the certificate of occupancy for the property was issued in the last 15 years there is no cap on rent increases.

    While some who have properties that are way under market may be disappointed that the 2.9% CPI average is less than current numbers, most Housing Providers will be able to adjust their rents to accommodate rising costs and taxes within the 9.9% maximum increase.

    Caps on rent increases and other regulation has been tough on the housing industry. Oregon needs more legislators who understand that putting more regulations on small family owned businesses only hurts Oregonians. More than ever the Oregon Rental Housing Key Political Action Committee (ORH KEY PAC) needs your donations. Funds go to legislators who value and support our industry. Donate today!!!

  • Thursday, September 16, 2021 2:21 PM | Anonymous


    RENT INCREASE FOR 2022 IS: 9.9%

    On September 15, the State of Oregon's Office of Economic Analysis debuted the maximum rent increase rate for 2022 to be 9.9%. SB 608 set the maximum rent increase formula to be 7% plus the West Coast Consumer Price Index, which changes every year. For 2021 the maximum increase was 9.2%.

    Once SB 608 passed in February of 2019 ushering in the first in the nation statewide rent control, it mandated that the state of Oregon create a web page and update it yearly by the end of September, to display the annual maximum rent increase allowed in Oregon.  The Oregon Rent Stabilization website is:


    Rent increases going into effect for Oregon residents in 2022 must not be more than 9.9% as set forth in the Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act related to rent control. This applies statewide, including in the City of Portland. If a rental housing provider happens to increase the rent above maximum amount allowed, SB 608 specifies a penalty of 3 months’ rent, actual damages sustained by the tenant, and potential attorney fees and legal costs.

    Please remember that there are limited exemptions to the rent cap for affordable housing providers and for new construction. Housing providers should not increase rent more than 9.9% without consulting with their attorneys about exemptions and how to implement.

    This informational notice is not intended as legal advice. Please call your local Association Helpline if you have questions or contact an attorney for any policy change or decisions regarding residential and commercial Landlord-Tenant matters.

  • Monday, September 06, 2021 9:33 PM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

    By: Tia Politi, Forms Committee Chair
    September 6, 2021

    There have been some substantial impacts to some of our forms, including 10-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate for Nonpayment of Rent – ORHA form 4A; 13-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate for Nonpayment of Rent – ORHA form 44A; Past-Due Rent Reminder – ORHA form 14; and Notice of Termination with Cause – ORHA form 38 (just in case you’re using this form to collect money from the tenant). These forms have had language added to comply with statute. That language reads as follows, “Eviction for nonpayment of rent, charges and fees that accrued between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 is not allowed before February 28, 2022.”

    If you want to continue to use notices that do not have this language, that’s fine as long as you write in that required statement. It is required to be included on any notice of termination for nonpayment and any reminder notices regarding protected debt (debt incurred during the Emergency Period). This change lasts through February 28, 2022.

    I’m excited to announce that our new rental agreements are available on the Forms Store and also in print version. You will notice substantial changes not only in the look of the forms, but also in the text in response to your suggestions. Many thanks to committee member, Jason Brush of Klamath Falls, who spent many hours working with me on the agreements to create “boilerplate” language that won’t need to be frequently updated. He brought a great perspective to our team that was much needed.

    We are also now selling our long-awaited Week-to-Week tenancy forms. With the advent of increasing restrictions on housing providers, the week-to-week option provides a lot more flexibility and control over tenancies and skirts a lot of the restrictions imposed both by statute and by COVID-19 restrictions. Our week-to-week forms include a rental agreement, rent increase notice, termination for no-cause and termination for cause. While week-to-week agreements do have some benefits, they also have some special limitations with no ability to charge a security deposit or any fees at all. This, however, does not mean that residents won’t be liable for damage. We think this will be a great option for providers who wish to rent short-term or rent rooms in their own home. For now, these are only available on the Forms Store site. If we get enough interest, we may be able to print small batches.

    As we work through the rest of the updates to our forms, and creation of some new forms, we will continue to roll those out on the Forms Store just as soon as they are available and let you know when updated forms can be printed and ordered.

    With no office space or employee, I’ve moved the physical forms to my office in Eugene and am handling forms orders for now. But another upcoming change will be to have a centralized printer who will receive and send out our orders. We anticipate that change will be implemented within the next month or two. This will eliminate the constant problem of overordering and purging outdated stock, which has plagued ORHA for years! We are forever losing money on forms, but with the new system, orders will be printed and filled as needed, eliminating the problem of keeping or purging inventory as forms change.

  • Wednesday, September 01, 2021 9:43 PM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

    By: Tia Politi, ORHA President
    September 1, 2021

    ORHA has undergone significant changes over the past couple of months. We have lost our employee Virginia Delco and due to the uncertainty in the job market as well as our plan to outsource forms printing and shipping, the board decided a few things. First, I and the Executive Team have been given emergency powers until the September meeting in order to keep the association up and running. Secondly, if the COVID pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that in many cases, people can work from home, so the board also decided that we don’t need a physical office space any more. Cloud Miller, Dennis Chappa, Jill Maricich and I finished dealing with scanning, purging old docs, hauling paper forms to my office in Eugene, removing office cabinets and furniture, returning equipment and canceling our lease. Keys were turned in on August 31, 2021. At some point we may decide to hire an employee or Executive Director, but we should be able to find someone who can work from home.

    We also decided to cancel our phone service. Folks can always reach us by email – office@oregonrentalhousing.com. With no employee, no office rent to pay, and no phone or internet payments, no monthly fees for the copier and UPS, we will be saving a substantial amount of money. Different board members are taking on the tasks that were part of Virginia’s duties, and being paid to do so in line with our reimbursement policy.

    Thank you to everyone who is stepping up to fill in for the following duties:

    • Bookkeeping – Jill and Dennis are hard at work taking care of updating the books and searching for a bookkeeper to handle bill paying. Once we hire a bookkeeper, all reimbursements will flow through them for payment. The finance team of Jill, Dennis, Sibylle and Chuck DeSeranno are developing a reimbursement process, Cloud is developing the reimbursement form. This will result in some differences to the way things have been handled in the past. We will update you on the new policy and send out the form as soon as we have the process nailed down.
    • Email inquiries and eblasts to the state – Cloud and Tia
    • Forms orders – Tia
    • Forms store queries – Cloud and Tia
    • Mail pickup and forwarding – Violet and Kathleen are regularly checking the post office box as they both live in Keizer, and we will be keeping our mailing address the same for the foreseeable future – PO Box 20862, Keizer, OR  97307.
    • Meeting arrangements & board packs – Tia and the Executive Team
    • Newsletter – Maria Menguita
    • Quarterly ethics filings – Jason Miller
    • Wild Apricot updates and revenue sharing – Jill and her staff are performing this task at this time. The revenue sharing will likely be handed to the bookkeeper at some point. Membership fees and updates can continue to be sent to the PO Box, but in the near future, we will be implementing changes to that procedure, and will notify everyone once a new process is created.

    Many thanks to everyone who helped in this fast and furious transition, including Dennis Chappa, Jill Maricich, Jason Miller, Violet Wilson, and especially Cloud Miller. One of the most challenging aspects of Virginia’s abrupt departure was gaining access to our accounts. In many cases, the passwords she had written down were not current and the ones we were sent by her friend were also not accurate. Cloud spent countless hours finding work-arounds, and was able to work some special magic juju to get into her desktop computer to retrieve essential info to cancel or update accounts. Cloud and his dad drove out to Keizer from Ontario and spent three days with us taking care of essential business. I cringe to imagine where we would be without him.

    This crisis has shined a bright light on how important it is to have our passwords safe and protected, but available to essential personnel. At this time, Cloud and I have developed a list of those passwords and they have also been shared with vice president Ben Seamans for safekeeping. Cloud is working on setting up a program called M-Secure where our essential data will be held. Access to that program will be limited to the Technology Chair (Cloud), ORHA President (me), and ORHA VP (Ben), and as those positions transition, will be passed on to the new officers. Once a bookkeeper is identified, we are considering utilizing either them or our tax professional to also hold the password to that file just in case the president, vice president and technology chair happen to get hit by a bus at the same time.

    It’s been an exhausting couple of months for us, but I really believe these changes are going to propel our organization to a new level of efficiency and cost savings while continuing to meet the needs of our local associations.

    If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please reach out to me or another member of the Executive Team (Ben Seamans, Jill Maricich, Cloud Miller, Dennis Chappa, Jason Miller or Violet Wilson). We will be providing an update at the September Board Meeting in Redmond this September. Hope to see you there!

  • Wednesday, September 01, 2021 9:38 PM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

    By: Tia Politi, ORHA President
    September 1,2021

    Hello ORHA members,

    I am equal parts excited and terrified to be your new ORHA President!

    I would like to honor our outgoing President, Sage Coleman, who despite challenges in his personal life, continued the work started by Past-President and current Legislative Director, Jason Miller, to make our group more efficient and cohesive by dragging us into the 21st Century in regards to our use of technology. The Google platform is allowing our committee and team members to collaborate more effectively in many ways. Sage’s term hit during the pandemic and required extraordinary efforts in regards to leadership and legislation. He was an effective voice for ORHA during some crucial conversations and media events and represented us well. A shout out of appreciation to Vice President Ben Seamans, who stepped up ably to fill in for Sage when he was unable to be present. We have a dedicated, dynamic and cohesive board that comes together when needed to support each other when our personal lives conflict with our volunteer lives.

    During the past year or so, we have discovered the efficiencies (and cost savings) that can be created through virtual meetings, but we also feel that in-person meetings provide a creative (and fun) dynamic that helps us connect in a way that virtual meetings can’t. Therefore, the board has decided to hold two of our six bi-monthly meetings each year remotely for the months of November and January. Since travel is more difficult during the fall and winter months, it made sense to stay home then.

    A little bit about me: I have been a housing provider since 2003, and a licensed property manager since 2009. I am also President of the Rental Owners Association of Lane County, Secretary for ORHA Education, Inc., and I head up the ORHA Forms Committee. I serve as a volunteer instructor for St. Vincent de Paul’s Second Chance Renter’s Rehab Program, and teach classes in rental management throughout the state, including a class teaching high school seniors the basics of renting a home. I own and operate Rental Housing Support Services, LLC, providing consultation, landlord-tenant training, mediation, notice prep and service, eviction support, and telephone helpline services to housing providers in Oregon. Married 34 years to Kevin, two grown children, two dogs. Love power walking, gardening, playing cards and board games, and working.

    Besides myself, our other new and continuing officers are Ben Seamans, (serving his first official two-year term as Vice President after stepping in to the position several months ago), Jill Maricich who will serve another term as Treasurer, and Parker Vernon, who has agreed to be our acting Secretary until we can vote him in at the next meeting. The Executive Committee also consists of At-Large Member and ORHA Technology Chair, Cloud Miller, representing SE Oregon, as well as Legislative Director Jason Miller, and longtime ORHA board members and EC advisors, Dennis Chappa, and Violet Wilson, and Maria Menguita, ORHA Social Media Committee Chair. Sage Coleman will continue to serve on the committee, fulfilling the role of Past President.

    We are blessed with a fantastic and growing group of leaders in the state organization as well as our local associations, and are excited to see younger members stepping up to lead at the state and local level. The future for ORHA is brighter than ever and I look forward to collaborating with all of you to ensure that our group continues to improve on the work of our past leaders and volunteers, maintaining ORHA’s stature as the voice of landlords throughout the state. Please feel free to reach out to me with ideas, suggestions, compliments or complaints: orhapres@gmail.com.

    Warm regards,
    Tia Politi, ORHA President

  • Wednesday, September 01, 2021 9:22 PM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

    By: Tia Politi, ORHA President
    September 1, 2021

    I staff five landlord helplines around the state and invariably most calls, especially now, are about terminating tenancy. The process is always fraught with peril, but even more so now, during a pandemic. The challenges are many. First you must select the correct notice, then you must prepare the notice just right, calculate your timing with precision, and finally, serve the notice perfectly. If the resident does not perform according to the direction in the notice, your notice will become the basis for a court action, and the resident can defend against your notice in court. If the termination is for-cause, in most cases you must provide an adequate cure period and you must be able to prove that the violation(s) occurred. The civil standard of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence.

    The Rules of Evidence are found in ORS Chapter 40, and basically, include written documentation, contemporaneous notes, photos, videos, texts or emails, and witness testimony. If your termination is contested, you must prove that your allegations are true – more likely than not. Always look at your situation with a critical eye and ask yourself: What would a judge think? Does your evidence prove your case? Did you act in good faith? Were you reasonable? Is your notice perfect in every way? If the answer to any of these questions is “maybe” you best rethink your strategy. Since the passage of Senate Bill 608 in February of 2019, termination rules have changed dramatically. Pile on pandemic restrictions, and you’d better be even more careful.

    The easiest slam-dunk win for a tenant in eviction court is to prove “the notice is wrong.” That can include problems with your selection and preparation of the notice itself – called a defective notice – or by serving the notice incorrectly – called imperfect service, so proper service is essential. There are three ways and ONLY three ways that you can deliver legal notice to terminate tenancy under statute. The methods of service and the calculation of time for notice periods are found in ORS 90.150, 90.155 and 90.160. It’s a small section of statute, but it often causes the most problems for the unwary landlord. My comments in each section of statute are bold and italicized.

    90.150 Service or delivery of actual notice. When this chapter requires actual notice, service or delivery of that notice shall be executed by one or more of the following methods:

    (1) Verbal notice that is given personally to the landlord or tenant or left on the landlord’s or tenant’s telephone answering device. Actual notice is allowed by landlords only for notice of entry (unless serving by mail only per section (3) below) for notice of termination of tenancy.

    (2) Written notice that is personally delivered to the landlord or tenant, left at the landlord’s rental office, sent by facsimile to the landlord’s residence or rental office or to the tenant’s dwelling unit, or attached in a secure manner to the main entrance of the landlord’s residence or tenant’s dwelling unit. Remember, this is actual notice, and cannot be used to terminate tenancy by the landlord, but can be used to terminate tenancy by the tenant.

    (3) Written notice that is delivered by first class mail to the landlord or tenant. If the notice is mailed, the notice shall be considered served three days after the date the notice was mailed. This type of actual notice is allowed to terminate tenancy by either party.

    (4) Any other method reasonably calculated to achieve actual receipt of notice, as agreed to and described in a written rental agreement. [1995 c.559 §3; 1997 c.577 §5; 1999 c.603 §9; 2003 c.14 §33] This section is what allows landlords and tenants to agree to email or text notice, for example, for notice to enter or maintenance requests, but NEVER for termination of tenancy or rent increases either.

    90.155 Service or delivery of written notice. (1) Except as provided in ORS 90.300, 90.315, 90.425 and 90.675, where this chapter requires written notice, service or delivery of that written notice shall be executed by one or more of the following methods:

    (a) Personal delivery to the landlord or tenant; This method is fraught with peril. I’ve had callers claim to have served notice personally, but when I dig deeper and ask, “Did you hand the notice to the tenant, or drop it at their feet if they refused to take it from your hand? Did you serve each named party?” I often get a no in response. One lady told me she personally served notice by posting it on the door. That’s not personal service. Personal service means I make eye contact with you and PERSONALLY hand you the notice or drop it at your feet.

    There was a case out of Portland where a manager went to a unit to serve notice on a tenant. The tenant’s 9-year-old son opened the door, the manager made eye contact with dad (the tenant) who was lying on the couch and told the man he had a notice to serve him. The dad told his son to shut the door and then the manager slid the notice under the door. The action went to court and the landlord won the case as the manager had made eye contact with dad (who was the sole tenant) and told him he had a notice to serve him. Unless you have no other means of serving notice, most attorneys do not recommend this type of service. The most common errors with personal service are not serving the notice personally or not serving each named party.

    (b) First class mail to the landlord or tenant; This is the way and usually the only way attorneys serve notice and is by far the most secure legally. Just mail a copy of the notice to the tenant(s) and All Others to their mailing address. If their mailing address is different than the physical address of the property, mail the notice there. Because mail does get lost, it’s a good idea to perform a courtesy service of notice by email, text or by posting a courtesy copy of the notice on the door of the unit. I think we can all assume that most folks who go to law school and pass the bar are smarter than most of us (at least about the law), so I’m going to do what the smart people do and so should you.

    Does your resident have an alternate mailing address? It’s important to ask the question at the outset of the tenancy, and our rental agreements require them to disclose that to you, but I had tenants in one of my rentals who did not tell me and I forgot to ask, but they did put their PO Box return address on their envelope every time they paid rent. I made note of that and had no problems, but I could foresee a possibility that a judge could rule in favor of a tenant who made a practice of that, claiming that you should have noticed or asked about it.

    Another obstacle to mailed-only notices can be the lack of a mail receptacle. I once tried to serve a notice for a client, who had failed to provide a mail box or slot at the rental property and he had not gotten any alternate mailing address for them. By the time he came to me, the relationship between them had soured and they would not answer the door or return any of his calls or emails. So, how was he supposed to get them served? I went and attempted to personally serve them, but 15 minutes of sustained knocking failed to garner any response. He was forced to put the property under surveillance and wait for them to come out. After many hours, he was able to accomplish personal service, but what a pain. Make sure there’s a mail box or mail slot at the property or get an alternate mailing address before you hand over keys.

    (c) If a written rental agreement so provides, both first class mail and attachment to a designated location. In order for a written rental agreement to provide for mail and attachment service of written notices from the landlord to the tenant, the agreement must also provide for such service of written notices from the tenant to the landlord. Mail and attachment service of written notices shall be executed as follows: Most landlords like to serve notice by post-and-mail because they don’t have to add three days for mailing, but this method is also fraught with peril…

    (A) For written notices from the landlord to the tenant, the first-class mail notice copy shall be addressed to the tenant at the premises and the second notice copy shall be attached in a secure manner to the main entrance to that portion of the premises of which the tenant has possession; and What does it mean to attach a copy “in a secure manner”? Can it be argued that your notice wasn’t securely affixed? Yep. Did you post it on the “main entrance”? What is the main entrance? What if the tenant uses the back door as their main entrance? This method of service can be a challenge as many the unwary landlord has discovered once they’re in court facing a tenant attorney. The next section of the law showcases another reason why…

    (B) For written notices from the tenant to the landlord, the first class mail notice copy shall be addressed to the landlord at an address as designated in the written rental agreement and the second notice copy shall be attached in a secure manner to the landlord’s designated location, which shall be described with particularity in the written rental agreement, reasonably located in relation to the tenant and available at all hours. Pay attention to this part of statute. Because reciprocity is integral to the right to post-and-mail notices, landlords have to have everything just right in the written rental agreement. First, you must designate a reciprocal, physical location in the written rental agreement. Second, that location must be “described with particularity,” so not just an address, but a particular location at that address where the tenant may reciprocate and post and mail notices back to you.

    Third, that location must be reasonably located in relation to the tenant and available at all hours.

    So, what does “reasonably located” mean? I think it means that wherever that location is, it can’t be too far away from the tenant’s location. I don’t think there’s a specific definition and it may largely depend on the tenant, their capacity and their transportation options. Another thing to consider is whether or not there are barriers to access to your reciprocal location. Can the tenant actually get there? Are their stairs, and your tenant is physically limited? I once had a renter who lived close to my office, but she was morbidly obese and struggled to get up the few short steps to our office door. Because of this fact, I would never serve notice to her by post-and-mail because even though we met the criteria otherwise, reciprocity was a challenge for her.

    In another matter, I once had a rental owner come to me wanting to evict their residents for non-payment of rent. The right to post-and-mail their notices was listed in the written rental agreement for posting notice on their front door, the address provided by the owner was located a reasonable distance from the dwelling unit, and the residents had appropriate transportation, were able-bodied and physically capable of providing reciprocal service to their landlord at that location. Believing all the criteria were met, the notice was served by post-and-mail, the residents failed to tender rent and the case ended up in court.

    The residents requested a trial and the owner began to prepare. Looking at their case with a critical eye, we were discussing any possible weak spots. During the discussion, the landlord mentioned a gate at the property. What?!! A gate? Oh, yeah, they had forgotten to mention the very important fact that a locked gate prevented access to the main entrance of their stated physical address. The case ended up being settled without a trial, but this one tiny detail could have resulted in a spectacular loss for them even though the residents clearly owed the money specified in the notice, the notice was otherwise perfect, and they acknowledged receiving it.

    (2) If a notice is served by mail, the minimum period for compliance or termination of tenancy, as appropriate, shall be extended by three days, and the notice shall include the extension in the period provided. This is another area where landlords mess up – they count their days wrong. We’ll address that in Calculation of Notice Periods.

    (3) A landlord or tenant may utilize alternative methods of notifying the other so long as the alternative method is in addition to one of the service methods described in subsection (1) of this section. Yes, you can serve notice by certified or registered mail, or even carrier pigeon if you have one, but only if it’s IN ADDITION to one of the legal methods of service.

    (4) After 30 days’ written notice, a landlord may unilaterally amend a rental agreement for a manufactured dwelling or floating home that is subject to ORS 90.505 to 90.850 to provide for service or delivery of written notices by mail and attachment service as provided by subsection (1)(c) of this section. [Formerly 90.910; 1997 c.577 §6; 2001 c.596 §29a; 2015 c.388 §9; 2019 c.625 §50] This statute does not allow for a notice of change in terms for post-and-mail for regular tenancies, only for manufactured dwellings or floating homes that are subject to ORS 90.505 to 90.850. So, if you don’t have the correct info in your rental agreement, it doesn’t appear that you are allowed to change that. But that’s okay, because you should ALWAYS serve notice by First-Class Mail only - if you want to be one of the smart people.

    90.160 Calculation of notice periods. (1) Notwithstanding ORCP 10 and not including the seven-day and four-day waiting periods provided in ORS 90.394, where there are references in this chapter to periods and notices based on a number of days, those days shall be calculated by consecutive calendar days, not including the initial day of service, but including the last day until 11:59 p.m. Where there are references in this chapter to periods or notices based on a number of hours, those hours shall be calculated in consecutive clock hours, beginning immediately upon service. Calculating your time correctly is another challenge of serving notices. Notices served personally are sometimes referred to as “hour notices,” as the clock begins running as soon as the notice is served and expires however many hours later depending on the timeframe for performance or termination as the case may be. Notices served by first-class mail or post-and-mail are sometimes referred to as “day notices,” as the clock does not begin running until 11:59 p.m. on the day of service and expires however many days later depending on the timeframe for performance or termination as the case may be. The day of service is often called a wasted day, or day zero.

    Take note that in 90.155(2) that notice periods are required to be extended by three days when serving notice by first-class mail. What often messes up the timing is when landlords count the day of mailing as day one, so you’ll see on all notices produced by the Oregon Rental Housing Association, that it says to add four days for mailing. We’ve done this as too many private landlords were messing up their calculation of time and counting the day of service by first class mail or post-and-mail as day one. Remember, you can always give more time, you just can’t give less.

    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, for 72-hour or 144-hour nonpayment notices under ORS 90.394 that are served pursuant to ORS 90.155 (1)(c), the time period described in subsection (1) of this section begins at 11:59 p.m. the day the notice is both mailed and attached to the premises. The time period shall end 72 hours or 144 hours, as the case may be, after the time started to run at 11:59 p.m. [Formerly 90.402; 1997 c.577 §7; 2005 c.391 §14; 2013 c.294 §4; 2015 c.388 §1] This section reminds us that calculation of time must be perfect. Again, if you’re unsure about how to count your days, you can always add a day or two to ensure perfection in timing.

    Other timing issues and notification requirements

    Legal Holidays – 187.010
    When your rent due date or notice ‘pay by’ date falls or expires on an ‘official’ holiday, you need to add time to your notice periods.

    • Each time a holiday, other than Sunday, falls on Sunday, the succeeding Monday shall be a legal holiday.
    • Each time a holiday falls on Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be a legal holiday.

    The following days are legal holidays in this state:

    • Each Sunday; New Year’s Day on January 1; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday on the third Monday in January; Presidents Day, for the purpose of commemorating Presidents Washington and Lincoln, on the third Monday in February; Memorial Day on the last Monday in May; Independence Day on July 4; Labor Day on the first Monday in September; Veterans Day on November 11; Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday in November; Christmas Day on December 25.

    Any act authorized, required or permitted to be performed on a holiday as designated in this section may be performed on the next succeeding business day; and no liability or loss of rights of any kind shall result from such delay.

    The easiest way to remember this rule is that your notice to pay money must expire on a banking day.

    Veterans disclosure required – ORS 90.391
    As of January 1, 2020, all notices of termination, whether for-cause or no-cause, must include a disclosure for veterans regardless of whether or not the tenant is a veteran. Use updated forms, or if you’re using older forms, be sure to write in the required language:

    • If you are a veteran of the armed forces, assistance may be available from a Veterans Services Officer or Community Action Agency. Call the 2-1-1 information service to learn about resources in your area.

    Failure to include this language will result in the notice being materially defective.

    The Takeaway
    Notices to your residents are legal documents and they must meet legal requirements – don’t let your tenant beat you on a technicality. Losing an eviction trial, paying for your tenant’s attorney, and having a judgment against you that’s on your record for 10 years, impacting your credit, has got to be one of the more frustrating and costly experiences for a rental owner. Know the rules and follow them exactly or you may experience a very painful outcome.

    This column offers general suggestions only and is no substitute for professional legal counsel. Please consult an attorney for advice related to your specific situation.

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PO Box 20862, Keizer, OR 97307
Email: office@OregonRentalHousing.com 

The Oregon Rental Housing Association (ORHA) is a non-profit educational landlord association -- ORHA Board Members, Mentors, Staff, and/or other related ORHA affiliates do not give legal advice. Please be advised that any information provided  is no substitute for professional legal counsel and any advice or guidance given does not constitute legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for legal advice related to your specific situation.

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