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  • February 26, 2019 3:31 PM | Anonymous

    Oregon House Democrats, dated February 26, 2019


  • February 21, 2019 10:38 AM | Anonymous

    By Elliot Njus | The Oregonian/OregonLive

    A proposal for statewide rent control is headed for a vote on the Oregon House floor, its final obstacle before it goes to a supportive governor for her signature.

    The House Committee On Human Services and Housing voted along party lines to advance Senate Bill 608, a priority for leaders of the Democratic majority in both chambers of the Legislature.

    Republican members of the committee proposed several changes to the legislation, including removal of an emergency clause that moves up the bill’s effective date and a proposal to allow cities to opt in to the policy. Democratic members of the committee rejected those proposals, sending to to the floor as-is.

    The bill would cap annual rent increases to 7 percent plus inflation throughout the state. Annual increases in the Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, for Western states has ranged from just under 1 percent to 3.6 percent over the past five years.

    The rent increase restrictions would exempt new construction for 15 years, and landlords would be free to raise rent without any cap if renters leave of their own accord. Subsidized rent would also be exempt.

    The bill also would require most landlords to cite a cause, such as failure to pay rent or other lease violation, when evicting renters after the first year of tenancy.

    Some “landlord-based” for-cause evictions would be allowed, including the landlord moving in or a major renovation. In those cases, landlords would have to provide 90 days’ notice and pay one month’s rent to the tenant, though landlords with four or fewer units would be exempt from the payment.

    The bill wouldn’t lift the state ban on cities implementing their own, more restrictive rent control policies.

    With the bill’s expected passage, Oregon would become the first state to enact a statewide rent control program. In other states with rent control policies, cities enact and administer local programs.

    -- Elliot Njus

    enjus@oregonian.com; 503-294-5034; @enjus

    Visit subscription.oregonlive.com/newsletters to get Oregonian/OregonLive journalism delivered to your email inbox.



  • February 05, 2019 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    SENATE MAJORITY OFFICE

    Oregon State Legislature, State Capitol, Salem, OR

    NEWS RELEASE

    February 4, 2019

    CONTACT: Rick Osborn 503-986-1074

    Rick.osborn@oregonlegislature.gov

    Rent stabilization bill advances to Senate floor SB 608: Healthy and thriving families need safe and stable housing

    SALEM – A bill that would stabilize out-of-control rent hikes for residential properties across the state is advancing to the Oregon Senate for a vote.

    Senate Bill 608 – which passed out of the Senate Committee on Housing today with a “do pass” recommendation – would eliminate the potential for many “no cause” evictions on residential tenancies. It also would cap annual rental increases.

    The bill would provide certainty for Oregon’s renters by ensuring they won’t face enormous and unforeseen rent increases or be kicked out of their homes. Safe and stable housing is a central requirement for healthy families to thrive and for children to excel in school. Sen. Shemia Fagan, D-Portland, chairs the Senate Housing Committee and is a leader on the issue of housing.

    “Last December, I met an 83-year-old renter who was afraid to ask maintenance to fix her lights for fear of eviction or a rent spike,” Fagan said. “She had lived in the dark for 3 months by the time I met her. SB 608 protects her and hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who deserve safe and stable rental housing.”

    The bill prohibits landlords from terminating month-to-month tenancies without cause after one year of occupancy. Tenants would be entitled to advanced written notice, ranging from 30 to 90 days, if they are going to be evicted. The bill also would cap annual rent increases to 7 percent – plus the consumer price index – over the existing year’s rents. Landlords who fail to

    comply with those provisions would pay three months’ rent, plus actual damages, to the tenants affected by the eviction or rent increase.

    Numerous Oregonians from various parts of the state provided oral or written testimony on the legislation. The bill now will go to the full Senate for a vote.

    “Today, working hard is no guarantee that you will be able to put a roof over your head – let alone a healthy and stable one,” Habitat for Humanity of Oregon Executive Director Shannon Vilhauer said in written testimony. “We believe Oregon is better than that. Every Oregonian should be able to find a decent and affordable place to live. Diligent renters deserve the opportunity to plant roots in their local communities. Every child benefits when classrooms stabilize.”


    Press release link:       Rent stabilization bill advances to Senate floor

  • February 05, 2019 11:06 AM | Anonymous

    Rent control, eviction protection bill advances in Oregon Senate

    By Elliot Njus | The Oregonian/OregonLive

    The Oregon Senate’s Housing Committee advanced a bill that would enact a statewide rent control policy and restrict evictions, sending it to the full Senate for a vote.

    Lawmakers heard nearly four hours of testimony from renters and landlords as Senate Bill 608 had its first hearing in the Senate’s Housing Committee. It’s poised to cruise through the Legislature, with support from leaders of the Democratic majority in both the House and Senate.

    Their proposal attempts to sidestep longstanding criticism of the polarizing policy, but it's also drawn some misgivings from rent control supporters.

    Two landlord groups, the Rental Housing Alliance Oregon and the Oregon Rental Housing Association, are both remaining neutral, with their leaders saying the bill is palatable, if not appealing.

    That’s a relatively friendly position for their constituency – both statewide advocacy groups geared toward small landlords.

    “There’s a lot here for landlords to dislike,” said Jim Straub, the legislative director for the Oregon Rental Housing Association. “But I’d also like to recognize it for what it isn’t: an industry killer. As written, I do not believe it will be catastrophic to our livelihood.”

    The larger Multifamily NW, whose Portland-area membership includes larger landlords and property management companies, opposes the bill, as did many landlords who testified on their own behalf. They argued it would hurt business and discourage investment, resulting in substandard housing.

    They pointed to a large body of academic research that’s found rent control policies in other states have resulted in a reduced housing supply and higher rents.

    “At best, Senate Bill 608 will have no effect,” said Deborah Imse, the executive director of Multifamily NW, “but at worst it will make housing less affordable in the long run.”

    Renters and tenants’ rights activists largely argued the bill would help protect against eye-popping rent increases that have frequently grabbed headlines across the state.

    “It doesn’t solve the entire problem,” said Katrina Holland, the executive director of the Community Alliance of Tenants. “It certainly does take a giant leap forward by giving a measure of predictability for hundreds of thousands of renters in hundreds of cities across the state.”

    Senate Republicans on Monday released statements in opposition to the proposal.

    The bill would cap annual rent increases to 7 percent plus inflation throughout the state — a rate that’s much higher than most municipal rent control policies in other states. In many California communities with rent control, for example, affected apartments see their rents climb only by the rate of inflation, or a fraction of it, each year. (Annual increases in the Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, for western states has ranged from just under 1 percent to 3.6 percent over the past five years.)

    The rent increase restrictions would exempt new construction for 15 years, and landlords would be free to raise rent without any cap if a renter left of their own accord. Subsidized rent would also be exempt.

    The bill also would require most landlords to cite a cause, such as failure to pay rent or other lease violation, when evicting renters after the first year of tenancy.

    Some “landlord-based” for-cause evictions would be allowed, including the landlord moving in or a major renovation. In those cases, landlords would have to provide 90 days’ notice and pay one month’s rent to the tenant, though landlords with four or fewer units would be exempt from the payment.

    The bill would not lift the state ban on cities implementing their own, more restrictive rent control policies.

    Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, the ranking Republican on the Senate Housing Committee, said Senate Democrats flatly rejected a suite of amendments, including the removal of an emergency clause. With the clause, the bill would take effect when it’s signed by the governor; if passed without it, the bill would take effect next year. Girod abruptly left the hearing after it became clear the amendments would not pass.

    Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, the only Republican remaining after Girod left, cast the lone “no” vote.

    “We’re making policy that ultimately going to be counterproductive to hat all the people who testified said they actually want,” Knopp said.

    Sen. Shemia Fagan, D-Portland, who chairs the housing committee, said she shared concerns from people who testified it doesn’t go far enough.

    “I wish this bill would do more, and I would be willing to go further,” she said.

    -- Elliot Njus

    enjus@oregonian.com; 503-294-5034; @enjus

    Visit subscription.oregonlive.com/newsletters to get Oregonian/OregonLive journalism delivered to your email inbox.


  • February 05, 2019 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    Updated 2 weeks agoPosted 2 weeks ago

    In this Nov. 10, 2015, file photo, apartments for rent are shown in Portland.

    In this Nov. 10, 2015, file photo, apartments for rent are shown in Portland.

    225



    Oregon lawmakers propose unorthodox approach to rent control

    By Elliot Njus | The Oregonian/OregonLive

    Oregon appears poised to impose statewide rent controls, a national first, and place new restrictions on evictions.

    It’s the second time rent control has been teed up as a major decision for the Legislature. This time, however, Democratic leaders in the Oregon House and Senate have united around a single proposal, and there’s little sign members of the majority party will defect to oppose it.

    Yet rent control remains controversial. A large body of academic research says strict rent control reduces the supply of rentals, pushing rents higher in the long run. Only four states have cities with rent control, and most states prohibit it.

    And the approach proposed in Oregon is unorthodox, not only in its statewide approach but also in its generous allowance for rent increases. That’s served to broaden its support but also has drawn misgivings from some renters and tenants’ rights activists.

    Senate Bill 608 would limit annual rent increases to 7 percent plus inflation throughout the state. It also would require most landlords to cite a cause, such as failure to pay rent or other lease violation, when evicting renters after the first year of tenancy.

    The rent increase restrictions would exempt new construction for 15 years and landlords would be free to raise rent without any cap if a renter left of their own accord. Subsidized rent would also be exempt.

    In the high-cost Portland metro area and given 2018’s rate of inflation, that mean an increase of more than 10 percent — about $138 a month for a tenant renting a typical two-bedroom apartment renting at $1,330 a month.

    That cap is far higher than is typical in cities that have rent control. In many California communities with rent control, affected apartments see their rents climb only by the rate of inflation, or a fraction of it, each year. (Annual increases in the Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, for western states has ranged from just under 1 percent to 3.6 percent over the past five years.)

    House Speaker Tina Kotek had in 2017 proposed to eliminate no-cause evictions and lift the state’s 1985 ban on rent control, allowing cities to create their own rent control policies. That effort failed in the Senate after passing in the House.

    “We need to make progress here,” Kotek said in an interview, “so we needed to have a bill that could get support in the Senate.”

    Lawmakers settled on allowable increases of 7 percent plus inflation because, she said, it would be “fair and responsible” to both tenants and landlords while tamping down on the most eye-popping increases. Cases where rents rose by hundreds of dollars — in some cases doubling overnight — have been reported across the state.

    “We want predictability and stability for tenants,” Kotek said. “We don’t want to see the kinds of spikes that we’ve seen that have caused so much disruptions in people’s lives.”

    It’s also intended to provide stability while limiting the impact on the supply of rental homes, Kotek said.

    Economic research has shown that rent control reduces investment in housing.

    Most recently, a 2018 Stanford University study of San Francisco rent control found that it reduced displacement of existing tenants and particularly those who were members of racial minorities.

    But at the same time, it reduced the housing supply through landlords converting rental apartments to condos or redeveloping the property. That likely resulted in higher rents in the long run across the city, with the brunt borne by new and relocating residents.

    Lawmakers in Oregon, where the Legislature banned rent control in 1985, are proposing a version that gives landlords more latitude to raise rents. That, Kotek said, would prevent double-digit rent hikes seen in some properties in recent years without stifling development.

    “I think that the traditional criticisms just don’t apply here,” Kotek said.

    But it’s drawn ire from some renters and activists who say it’s too little to provide real protection and could instead normalize huge increases. And it maintains a state ban on cities implementing their own rent control policies that could go farther.

    “I think it does more to protect landlords from strong tenant protection than to protect tenants from landlords,” said Margot Black, a Portland tenant organizer.

    The Oregon Housing Alliance, a coalition of housing-related nonprofits and governments, endorsed the measure. Alison McIntosh, a spokeswoman for the group, said it’s important to advance a politically viable measure that would provide stability for tenants.

    “We know the Legislature needs to act,” McIntosh said. “Tenants all across Oregon are still seeing rent increases and no-cause evictions, particularly in more rural communities.”

    Oregon’s proposal closely resembles one put forward by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California at Berkley as an alternative to an expansion of that state’s rent control.

    In the runup to a vote over whether to repeal California’s restrictions on rent control — a vote that failed — the center proposed an “anti-gouging” cap on rent increase of 5 percent plus inflation. It was modeled on state laws that prohibit price gouging during declared states of emergency.

    “The goal was to provide a high-level baseline protection against really egregious rent increases that are really just designed to get the tenant out,” said David Garcia, the center’s policy director.

    It’s a fair criticism, Garcia said, that that baseline protection still permits rent increases that might be unaffordable in some cases.

    But in California, he noted, municipalities have the freedom to further restrict rents, and 15 do.

    With California’s restrictions -- which allow rents to reset upon vacancy and exempt single-family houses and units built after 1995 -- rent controls have demonstrably reduced displacement, even as they pushed rents higher overall, Garcia said.

    Research is only beginning to capture that nuance, Garcia said.

    “There are some tradeoffs when you talk about any kind of rent control,” he said. “Rent control can mean a lot of different things.”

    -- Elliot Njus

    enjus@oregonian.com; 503-294-5034; @enjus

    Visit subscription.oregonlive.com/newsletters to get Oregonian/OregonLive journalism delivered to your email inbox.


  • January 26, 2019 6:51 AM | Anonymous

    Development restrictions make housing expensive, but lawmakers blame landlords instead.

    152 Comments

    By 

    Mark Hemingway

    Jan. 25, 2019 5:50 p.m. ET

    Wall Street Journal  Opinion

    Oregon is poised to become the first state to enact statewide rent control. The Democrat-controlled state Senate is considering a bill to cap rent increases at 7 points above the annual increase in the consumer price index. Currently, that works out to about 10% a year. The bill also includes tenant protections, such as prohibiting no-cause evictions for anyone who has lived in a property for more than a year. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown supports the bill and says she’ll sign it.

    For a state that prides itself on openness to creative policy solutions—mostly progressive ones—Oregon has an appropriate state motto: Alis volat propriis, or “She flies with her own wings.” But with statewide rent control, Oregon’s political leadership might be venturing a little too close to the sun. Virtually every mainstream economist, from Paul Krugman to Thomas Sowell, has condemned rent control as bad policy. Oregon’s problem isn’t rising rents. It’s the lack of affordable housing boosting prices.

    “We have a lot of people that perhaps had moved here 15 years ago when rent prices were significantly less,” says Jim Straub, a developer and landlord in Eugene who is legislative director for the Oregon Rental Housing Association. “All of a sudden they see the market forces pushing up the rent prices.” They responded by supporting rent control.

    Average annual rent increases in Portland, the state’s most populous city, hit 9% in 2016—the second highest of any housing market in the country, after Seattle. Since then, things have improved. Zillow reported earlier this month that rents in Portland fell 1.3% in 2018. The city’s construction of 15,000 new apartments since 2015 contributed to the decline.

    Still, the state remains resistant to new development. Oregon adopted widely hailed “smart growth” policies in the 1970s, imposing “urban growth boundaries” around cities to prevent sprawl. The boundaries are supposed to include enough land to allow for years of additional growth, but local governments have been needlessly restrictive. This has artificially inflated the price of land within the boundaries. In 2010 consultant Wendell Cox surveyed the Portland urban growth boundary’s effect on property values. Land just outside the boundary was worth $16,000 an acre, versus $180,000 an acre for land “virtually across the street.”

    On top of all this, Oregon has a red-tape problem that skews developer incentives. “Systems and development charges and permit fees for even a 500-square-foot unit in the city of Eugene right now are close to about $20,000 per unit,” says real-estate agent James St. Clair. “There’s no incentive to build small affordable units. Everyone’s building more-expensive luxury units so they can get a better profit margin.” Mr. St. Clair says he has been speaking out against rent control and other Oregon housing policies because the lack of affordable housing has contributed to acute homelessness in Eugene and Portland.

    Rather than addressing the lack of housing supply, legislators have seized on rent control. Feisty left-wing groups like Portland Tenants United dominate grass-roots politics in Oregon. Over the past few years, the group’s divisive founder, Lewis & Clark College mathematics professor Margot Black, has become a political force.

    PTU has organized rent strikes and picket lines against landlords seeking rent increases and pushed the Legislature to adopt drastic rent controls. “Homegrown Oregonians tend to be white and racist,” she said during a 2017 television interview. “I think the faster they can get out of the landlord business, the better.”

    The PTU imploded last year in parodic fashion. Ms. Black was forced to step down as a leader of the group for allowing, among other things, a PTU organizer to sing “This Land Is Our Land” over the objection of the group’s Native American racial-equity trainer. While that might seem absurd, PTU’s persistent agitation is largely responsible for making rent control a dominant issue in Portland politics. After veteran East Portland state Sen. Rod Monroe voted against rent control legislation in 2017, he faced a Democratic primary challenge from state Rep. Shemia Fagan. She made housing the centerpiece of her campaign and defeated him in the primary by nearly 40 points.

    For now, the proposed law’s 10% rent cap and various carve-outs—it exempts properties built in the past 15 years—don’t have Oregon’s developers and landlords panicking. The Oregon Rental Housing Association remains neutral on the bill, and Mr. Straub says state legislators have reassured him they won’t let rent-control restrictions put landlords out of business. But Mr. Straub, a third-generation landlord, remains worried statewide rent control will become a one-way ratchet once it is established.

    “I’m an active builder, developer, and investor, and for the first time ever, I went to my family and my wife and I said I think we ought to think about selling everything. We don’t do that bad in the stock market, the housing market’s great, and we ought sell out and reinvest,” he says. “We decided not to do that. But for the first time ever I had those conversations.”

    Mr. Hemingway, a writer in Alexandria, Va., is originally from Oregon.




  • January 25, 2019 4:11 AM | Anonymous

    Attached for your convenience is this year's TVRA 2019 Calendar of Events.

    We have a lot of great training and information available for you.  

    Remember all events are subject to change and to get the most current and up-to-date information, please visit our website events page at: 

    www.TreasureValleyRentalAssociation.com/events

    Events listed are:

    ORHA Board Meetings:  Only for TVRA Board Delegates

    TVRA Board Meetings: Only for TVRA Board members (As a member, you are more than welcome to come and see how the Board operates, but voting is limited to Board members only)

    New Member Training:  Open to everyone in the Rental Business. New TVRA member orientation consisting of TVRA website information, member benefits, member manuals and forms, Federal and State Fair Housing training, Application Screening and Rental Agreements.

    Workshops:  Informal Training open to everyone in the Rental Business.  Invite a friend if you wish, as they may be interested in becoming a TVRA member and receiving training on how to successfully operate their rental business.  

    Seminars:  Formal Training for TVRA Members and Non-members.  Professional Business Training Owners and Property Managers.  There is a cost associated with these training, but you will walk away well informed along with Seminar booklets of the training for further use.

    Annual Meeting:  TVRA Members.  This is our yearly banquet event and election of board members.  This fun event updates our members on the association standing, upcoming law changes and upcoming training for the year.  If you are a member, you do not want to miss this event, as it is not only informative but entertaining, too.  We hope you have lots of fun and enjoy the food and prizes.

    Any event listed on our website can be saved onto your phone or computer by using the "Add to my calendar" link on the actual event webpage.  Don't be afraid to add all the Workshops and Seminars to your device, so you won't miss an event.

    We look forward to helping you become very successful in your Rental Business.

    Cloud Miller

    President

    541-823-6950


  • November 14, 2018 8:36 PM | Anonymous

    Representative Lynn Findley

    Election Review and 2019 Legislative Session

    Hello friends,

    As you are preparing for the upcoming holidays, I wanted to send out a brief email to give you an update about what has been happening in the district and the state.

    First, I want to thank you for electing me to serve you in the Oregon Legislature. It is truly a humbling experience and would not have been possible without your support. Oregon is strong because of people like you and I am proud to represent you. Please know that my office has an open-door policy and I, as well as my staff, are here to help with anything you need.

    Elections for the rest of the state were a bit surprising. The Republicans lost three important seats in the House and one seat in the Senate, meaning that the Democrats now have a supermajority in both chambers. In case you aren’t familiar with this term, it means that it will be easier for Democrats to pass tax increases and other controversial proposals like climate change legislation. Although this will bring a new challenge, I will continue to be strategically advocating for House District 60.

    I am developing legislative concepts that will be ready when the 2019 Legislative Session begins in January. Some of the legislation that I have proposed will work to make the Eastern Oregon Border Region more competitive with Idaho in terms of trade and career certification, better access to high speed internet, and incentivizing housing developers to come to the region.

    Additionally, I am working on legislation that would increase funding for public safety answering points (PSAP) for 9-1-1 dispatching. Rural counties currently don’t receive enough funds for this service and so, typically, they have one shared PSAP for the entire county.

    Another issue that I am trying to address is the lack of volunteers that we have to fight frontier fires. Oregon’s Frontier Fire Organizations are primarily staffed by an aging volunteer population, which is already limited as a result of smaller isolated populations and extensive training requirements. Currently, we have the problem of experienced firefighters retiring while not having the population base to find replacements. The legislation that I am proposing will make recruiting new volunteer firefighters in the Frontier Region easier and will allow us to maintain essential fire services throughout the Frontier regions of Oregon. If you would like to discuss any of these proposals further, please feel free to reach out to my office.

    With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s important to remember the people and families in our communities who may be struggling financially. We have compiled a list of organizations in House District 60 that will provide free Thanksgiving meals. If you have extra food to donate, or if you would like to attend one of these Thanksgiving Dinners, please reach out to the organization.

    Baker County

    Baker City McDonald’s, 760 Campbell St, Baker City, OR (541) 523-7041

    Free Thanksgiving Day meal for seniors and veterans Nov. 22nd from 6am-11am

     

    Salvation Army, 2505 Broadway St, Baker City, OR (541) 523-5853

    Free Community Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Nov. 20th starting at 10am

     

    Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 42171 Chico Rd, Baker City, OR (541) 523-4913

    Thanksgiving boxes – collection through Nov. 20th

     

    St. Francis De Sales Cathedral, 2235 1st St, Baker City, OR (541) 523-4521

    Food Bank

     

    Baker County Senior Citizens Inc, Community Connection of Baker County, 2810 Cedar St, Baker City, (541) 523-6591

    Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner/Lunch Nov. 15th 11:30am-12:30pm

     

    Baker City Calvary Baptist Church, 2107 3rd St, Baker City, OR, (541) 523-3891

    Free Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner 11/22 at 2pm

    Grant County

    Grant County Food Bank, 530 East Main Street # 9, John Day, OR (541) 575-0299

    Normal monthly Distribution of food (staples only-no pre-made food) 4th Wed 9am-1pm

    For Thanksgiving will distribute food on 11/21

    Harney County

    Safeway, 246 W Monroe St, Burns, OR (541) 573-8580

    Turkey Boxes Nov. 20th 9am

    Sign in & provide food bank link-to-feed #

     

    Elks, 118 N Broadway Ave, Burns, OR (541) 573-6170

    Free Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner Nov. 22nd 1-3pm

    Lake County

    Lake County Food Share, 247 North N St, Lakeview, OR (541) 947-3222

    Thanksgiving Day boxes for the needy Nov. 20th10am-1pm & 4-6pm

    Malheur County

    First Christian Church, 180 NW 1st St, Ontario, OR (541) 889-6716

    Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner Nov. 22nd11am-3pm

     

    Starlite Café, 152 Clark St N, Vale, OR (541) 473-2500

    Free Community Breakfast Nov. 22nd 7-11am & Thanksgiving Day Dinner 12-2pm

     *donations appreciated

     

    Nyssa Community Food Pantry, 415 Main St., Nyssa, OR, (541) 372-5623

    Distributing Thanksgiving boxes in November. Please bring donations by Nov. 15th dropping off on Monday from 5-7pm or Thursday 9am-1pm

    *Items needed are 200 cans of vegetables (especially corn & green beans), 100 boxes of stuffing, and all baking items such as salt, flour, oil, sugar, baking soda, shortening, baking powder, all spices, cinnamon, & cake mixes.

     

    Nyssa Senior Center, 316 Good Ave, Nyssa, OR, (541) 372-5660

    Free Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner Nov. 22nd 12-2:30pm  

    *donations accepted, or you can bring a side dish or desert

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Warm wishes,

    Rep. Findley Signature

    Lynn Findley

    Let's Connect!

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    Stay Informed & Engaged During the Legislative Session

     

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    Track legislation, agendas, or search the daily schedule of the Legislature.

    CONTACT REP. FINDLEY

    Salem Office

    900 Court St. NE, H-475

    Salem, OR 97301

    Phone: 503-986-1460

    Rep.LynnFindley@oregonlegislature.gov

     

    District Office 

    151 Court St.

    Vale, OR 97918

    Hours: Monday- Friday 8am-5pm

    Phone: 541-473-4029

     

     



    Elections and the 2019 Legislative Session.htm

  • October 24, 2018 12:26 PM | Anonymous

    If you are a residential landlord, you cannot take or keep any of a tenant’s belongings until the rental agreement has ended. If you wrongfully take a tenant’s personal belongings while the tenant is still legally renting from you, you may be liable for damages and your actions may relieve the tenant of liability for unpaid rent or other kinds of claims you might have. After a rental agreement has ended, however, you have the right to dispose of a tenant’s abandoned personal belongings, but only after following very specific rules.

    It is not always easy to determine when a tenancy has terminated and the tenant has abandoned his or her personal belongings. Under Oregon law, a tenant’s belongings are considered abandoned in one of three ways.

    The first way is when the rental agreement ends. This means that the term of the tenancy is over. The tenancy is also over if: the landlord or tenant has given a termination notice; the tenant has surrendered the keys; or the tenant has abandoned the premises and the landlord believes that the tenant has left belongings in the rental unit with no intention of returning.

    The second way a tenant’s personal belongings are considered abandoned is when the tenant has been gone from the rental unit continuously for at least 7 days after a court has ordered an eviction of the tenant, even though the sheriff’s department has not executed the court order or judgment.

    The third way in which a tenant’s personal belongings are considered abandoned is when a sheriff’s department executes a court order of eviction, after which the landlord must take responsibility for storing the belongings. In this case, the landlord does not need to wait for seven days to see if the tenant returns.

    Once the tenant’s personal belongings are considered abandoned, the landlord has the right and the responsibility to deal with them. Regardless of the way in which the belongings were abandoned, the landlord cannot dispose of them until after meeting several important requirements. The only exception from these requirements is if the landlord and the tenant agree in writing no more than seven days before the tenancy ends, or after the tenancy is over.

    If you are a landlord, your first responsibility is to give the tenant a written notice explaining that his or her belongings are considered abandoned and have been safely stored. This notice also must explain that the tenant must contact you within 5 days after personal delivery of the notice or 8 days after mail delivery of the notice, to arrange for removal of the belongings, or else you may sell them or throw them away. (The time period is 45 days for abandoned recreational vehicles, manufactured dwellings and floating homes.) The notice must tell the tenant how to contact you, and that you will make the belongings available for removal by appointment at reasonable times. The notice must also explain that, under certain circumstances, there could be a storage charge the tenant must pay. Finally, if you think the fair market value of the tenant’s belongings is worth $1000 or less, or so low that the cost of storage and sale probably exceeds the amount that would be realized from the sale, the notice must say that you will throw or give away any belongings not claimed within the required time period. The value of abandoned recreational vehicles, manufactured dwellings or floating homes must be no more than $8,000 for the landlord to be able to dispose of them without sale. The same kind of notice must go to any lien holder or holder of title on these kinds of property, and to the county tax assessor and tax collector in the county where the abandoned manufactured dwelling or floating home is located. (As of January 1, 2016, under certain circumstances the county is required to cancel personal property taxes owed on some abandoned manufactured dwellings that are sold to a person who intends to keep the dwelling in the facility where it is located to occupy as a residence.)

    The landlord must either have the notice personally delivered to the tenant or sent first class mail to the tenant at all three of the following locations: the rental unit, any post office box the landlord knows about, and the most recent forwarding address known to the landlord.

    As a landlord, your second responsibility is to store the tenant’s abandoned belongings in a safe place until the tenant removes them or the required time period passes. This place could be the rental unit, a commercial storage unit, or your garage. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule: You may immediately dispose of rotting food, and you may allow an animal control agency or humane society to remove abandoned pets or livestock. Special rules also apply to motor vehicles.

    If you follow the statutory notice requirements and use reasonable care in storing the tenant’s things, you cannot be held responsible to the tenant for any loss resulting from handling or storage. If you fail to follow these requirements, the tenant will have the right to recover any losses, and the tenant will be released from other claims. If you deliberately ignore the notice and storage requirement of the law, you will be liable for twice the tenant’s actual damages.

    Once the notice has been delivered, the tenant has at least 5 to 8 days, depending on the method of delivery of the notice, in which to contact you to remove the abandoned personal belongings. The tenant may contact you in person, by writing or with a phone call. You then must allow up to 15 more days for the tenant to collect the belongings. The time period is longer (30 days) for abandoned manufactured dwellings, floating homes, and recreational vehicles. You must act in good faith to make the belongings available to the tenant at a reasonable time and place. You may require the tenant to pay removal and storage costs, but not any other charges, before releasing the belongings. However, you may not charge the tenant anything if you had the sheriff execute on an eviction judgment against the tenant.

    If the tenant does not claim the belongings or contact you to arrange to collect them, you may sell the belongings at a public or private sale. If the belongings have a fair market value of $1000 or less or cannot be sold for a profit, you can throw or give them away to anyone unrelated to you. Any sale must comply with special rules.

    You may keep the reasonable cost of notice, storage and sale, and unpaid rent from the proceeds of the sale. Any balance must be forwarded to the tenant, with an itemized accounting. If the tenant cannot be found, any remaining proceeds go to the county treasurer in the county where the sale occurred. You must not keep the belongings for personal use.

    If you fail to notify the tenant of the right to get abandoned belongings or refuse to turn over the tenant’s belongings after a proper request, the tenant may file an action to recover the belongings. The court clerk’s office has standardized complaint forms for that purpose, as well as answer forms for use by landlords. A tenant must file such a claim within one year of the time the belongings were wrongfully withheld.

    There are a number of significant differences in the law described above when the tenant’s abandoned personal belongings include a manufactured dwelling, floating home, or recreational vehicle. Because these items are often worth a lot of money, and there may be others with a legal interest involved, you should ask a lawyer for more detailed information.

    Mark L. Busch, P.C., Attorney at Law

    https://www.marklbusch.com/single-post/2018/06/07/When-Tenants-Leave-Belongings-Behind


  • September 19, 2018 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    Mark L. Busch, a landlord-tenant attorney, presents a video to answer questions that most Landlords have about Landlord-Tenant Law.  He advertises with our state-wide association, the Oregon Rental Housing Association, and represents Landlords in the state of Oregon.

    Check him out at https://marklbusch.com


    Questions that most Landlords have about Landlord-Tenant Law are at the following points in the video: 

    1. What is the most common Landlord-Tenant dispute you help with? (0:23)
    2. How does the sale of a property affect the lease and its tenants? (1:23)
    3. What is the proper way for a landlord to handle the collection, storage, and return of a security deposit? (2:40)
    4. What are the three most important lease clauses that should be in every residential lease? (4:31)
    5. What’s the proper procedure for a landlord to handle a tenant who fails to pay rent? (6:18)


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