Guest Blog by Ben Lawrence of Lawrence & Lawrence Law P.C.
So you’ve bought a second home on the beautiful Pacific coast. Smart choice. It will no doubt bring many years of happy vacation memories, provide investment benefits, and some day even a place for retirement. All you need to do is get the home rented out for the first couple years until you can start taking those long summer vacations you’ve been working toward. Surely it can’t be that difficult.
Unfortunately, it is. Believe it or not, a new landlord is stepping into one of the most heavily legislated areas of Oregon law. Oregon Revised Statutes sections 90 and 105, which deal with landlord tenant relations and evictions, are some of the most restricting rules in Oregon law. The rules are technical, strict, heavily weighted in favor of the tenant, and often defy common sense. If you need to evict someone, and your notice doesn’t meet the statutory requirements in any way, be ready to lose at trial against a canny tenant’s attorney and be forced to start the 30+ day process over again, all while paying the Tenant’s attorney’s fees.
Should you become a Oregon landlord? YES, you should. Most of the time you will have a perfectly nice and reasonable tenant. Sometimes, however, you will have a bad tenant who will use every trick in the book to make trouble for you. However, you can protect yourself. The first step is to have a current rental agreement that has been crafted specifically for Oregon, which you have fully reviewed and fits your particular rental. The second is to carefully screen your potential tenants. The third step is to have a good understanding of your obligations per Oregon Revised Statutes 90 and 105. The fourth is to use a professional early if you have any doubts or uncertainties. In difficult cases, it’s worth creating an eviction plan before even sending the first notice. Fifth, it is vitally important to have patience in working through your statutory remedies.
That last one can be particularly difficult. It’s your home, your investment, and every month it’s costing you money. You want that bad tenant out as soon as possible. Who can blame you? If you have a plan, are patient, and follow the eviction rules carefully, you’ll get there. – Ben Lawrence, 3410 Hwy 101 N, Suite B, Gearhart, OR 97138, 503-739-7200