HOTLINE Frequently Asked Questions
Rental Housing Alliance Oregon does not offer legal advice. The answers provided are based on the forms we provide and generally accepted standards of practice. RHAO recommends its members to seek professional council for individual situations and circumstances.
Can you email me the forms? I lost my online download I didn’t know you had to fill out certain information to be able to print it, etc.
RHA Oregon forms are copyright protected. Hardcopies can be purchased and picked up at the office, with next day service. Individual copies can be downloaded here.
Can I raise the rent? How much and how often?
Use FORM 226 . Rent can be raised no more than once per year and no higher than 7% + CPI. In the city of Portland, all additional housing costs must be calculated in the increase. Also use FORM 242 in the city of Portland.
Can we charge late fees?
Yes, so long as they are in the rental contract, (FORM 203) AND NOT for any rent owed from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. ALSO collections are postponed if they apply for rental assistance through Feb 28, 2022.
Can I give out Non-Payment of Rent Notices (10-day notices)?
Yes, you can use FORM 303 along with Tenant Notice Document unless the tenant has applied for rental assistance after July 1, 2021 (until February 28, 2022), AND NOT for any rent owed between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. ALSO. Evictions are postponed if tenants apply for rental assistance through Feb 28, 2022. Use FORM 242 in Portland.
Can I terminate a tenancy without cause? Can I move back into the unit, or sell the property?
Only per the conditions stated in Form 301. And if the property is in Portland, unless the Owner has an approved Exemption from the Portland Housing Bureau, the Mandatory Relocation payment is required. Always use FORM 242 in Portland.
What do I need to give (or to receive) from my tenant regarding their applications for rental assistance and when can I start enforcing eviction for non-payment of rent if they have applied and proved it?
Am I required to accept a companion/service animal?
Yes, without any additional deposit or rent. Use Form 239
What about pet violations (undisclosed pet, noise, intimidation, etc.)?
Use FORM 305 for animal violations.
How do I go about changing the terms of my rental agreement with my tenant?
If it’s a lease, terms are generally unable to be changed until after its expiration. If it’s a month to month it may, so long as the change does not affect the monthly amount. Examples such as a change of late fees, or of ownership, or where or who to call for maintenance, etc. is possible with a 30-day written notice. Changes in monthly charges (like utilities) or adding services like yard care to be paid by the tenant can be calculated as rent increases. Form 226
Can I give warning notices for roommate feuds regarding upkeep and cleanliness?
FORM 235 outlines how to notice and document various contract violations. If the tenant is on a fixed-term lease and has 3 warnings in 1 year, the landlord may deny the lease for renewal, without a court action, as a “Just Cause” termination see FORM 301.
What can I do if I learn my tenants have “secret roommates”?
SB 282 passed emergency occupancy regulations in 2021 that are in effect until 2/28/2022 REQUIRING Landlords to allow Guests and Temporary Occupants. Briefly:
- Housing providers are prohibited from imposing restrictions against tenants’ guests and or temporary occupants based on the maximum duration of stay in a tenant’s dwelling and enforcing lower maximum occupancies than those established by federal, state, or local laws, (assumed to be 2 persons per bedroom, + 1. So, a 3 bedroom unit = 7 occupants).
- Housing providers may require Temporary Occupancy Agreements FORM 214 to be signed by all guest and may screen guests using standard criteria, except for credit-related indicators.
- Penalties allowed to tenants (against landlords) for housing providers’ violations:
- damages of 3 months’ rent along with actual damages and attorney fees,
- defense to eviction for housing providers’ failure to comply,
- ability to seek injunctive relief to regain possession of the premises,
- fines for retaliation increased from 2 months’ rent to 3 months’ rent or 3 times the actual damages incurred by tenant.
How can I evict a tenant with a For Cause Notice of Termination?
A breach of the rental agreement calls for a For Cause Termination FORM 302 also always use FORM 242 in Portland. This is known as the “14 / 30 day notice”. The landlord must provide a suggested way of curing the breach within 14 days, or the FED can be filed after 30 days.
Who claims the liability of appliances breaking or mold or pests?
A landlord is required to provide the unit in a habitable state, which would normally include working appliances, and housing free of mold and pests. If appliances are listed in a rental agreement the landlord is generally expected to keep them working (refrigerator, a/c units, washer and dryers etc.). If the conditions for mold FORM 210 and/or pest infestation exist FORM 222 in the dwelling, a landlord may be responsible. If it can be demonstrated that adverse conditions are due to the tenants’ behavior, misuse or carelessness, the liabilities may be theirs’s alone. In extreme cases, these conflicts may need to be resolved in court. If a landlord is found to be retaliating for prior tenant conflicts, these cases may be awarded to a tenant by a sympathetic judge.
What is the Portland F.A.I.R Ordinance? Must I learn more about Screening Guidelines and Security Deposit Requirements?
Many landlords are still just becoming aware of this ordinance. It is among the most restrictive tenant protection laws in the nation and NEEDS to be understood by all landlords in the City of Portland. Spend an hour and watch / listen the instructional videos and audios on our website:
- The Introduction to F.A.I.R. – What is it and how does it affect my rights as a landlord?
- What do I need to know about Advertising my unit and Screening tenants in Portland? Click HERE for the Portland Booklet on Screening Guidelines.
- How do I process Security Deposits and calculate the depreciation schedules? Click HERE for the Portland Booklet on Security Deposits.