Landlord Tenant Law

The residential rental market is undergoing a period of upheaval and change. Rental vacancy rates are at a record low in the Portland area, and as a result, rents are rising. The Portland City Council has declared a housing emergency, and the State Legislature is being pressured to take action. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, it is now more important than ever that you have experienced legal counsel.

For Tenants – Rents are rising and available units are scarce. Tenants live in fear of a rent increase notice or worse, a no-cause termination notice. Does it feel like your landlord is trying to take advantage of you – but you can’t put up a fight because you might lose your housing? Oregon’s laws protect your rights as a tenant, and the same laws impose many duties upon your landlord. But the laws often require tenants to jump through certain legal hoops in order to protect their rights. If you are having a dispute with your landlord, you need experienced legal advice before you take action. PDX Law Group can help you – get repairs done, enforce the terms of your rental agreement, fight against landlord retaliation, or get your deposit back.

If you have already been served with a termination notice, or any other legal notice, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. All landlord notices must contain certain legal language, and they must follow strict legal timelines. You don’t have to wait until your case ends up in FED court – PDX Law Group can help you evaluate your options and fight for your rights immediately.

Even if you have been served with an eviction complaint and have an upcoming court date, you still have options. You might have a defense against your landlord’s case, or you might have counter claims that outweigh what you owe. Maybe you just need a little more time to move. PDX Law Group can evaluate your case, negotiate on your behalf, and fight in court for you.

What about cost? Tenants usually aren’t in a position to pay a lot of money in legal fees. Tenants often believe it will cost more to fight for their rights than to simply roll over. PDX Law Group provides low cost initial consultations. Oregon law states that if you win a case against your landlord, your landlord has to pay your attorney fees.

For Landlords – Oregon landlord tenant laws are becoming a patchwork of overlapping jurisdictions. The Portland City Council recently adopted tenant-friendly provisions to the city code. The State’s landlord tenant laws were substantially amended in 2015, and tenant’s rights groups are proposing more radical changes in 2017. As a result, the rules for a property in Portland are different than those for a property outside the city limits. And it appears that more State and local rule changes will be coming in the next few years.

Because the legal landscape is shifting, it is important for landlords to have experienced legal counsel. As the laws change, overlap, and differ from area to area, the chances for a landlord to make a legal mistake increase. Depending on where your rental property is located, the standardized forms you are using may no longer be legally sufficient. And a mistake could cost you big time – up to THREE TIMES the monthly rent in some cases. PDX Law Group offers comprehensive service to landlords including the following:

Evaluation of your rental agreements: PDX Law Group can review your current rental agreements in light of recent law changes, look for pitfalls or other unenforceable provisions, and advise on how to strengthen your agreements.

Draft and serve notices: No landlord wants to end up in eviction court, but sometimes that’s the only option. In nearly all cases, the landlord must give notice to the tenant before filing an eviction complaint. If the notice is incorrectly drafted or served, the landlord’s complaint will be dismissed and the landlord may be forced to pay damages to the tenant. Therefore, a properly drafted and served notice is often the difference between winning and losing a case. You can depend on PDX Law Group to draft and serve notices that will stand up in court. We have experience with standard notices such as non payment of rent, no cause termination, and for cause termination. We also have experience handling unusual situations such as 24-hour termination notice, unauthorized subletters, no-notice situations, and equitable foreclosures. And we handle end of tenancy matters like abandoned property notices and deposit accounting.

Eviction court litigation: proper drafting and service of a notice to tenants is the first step in a successful eviction complaint, but that is just the beginning. Successfully litigating an eviction often requires several court dates, opportunities to negotiate and settle, gathering of evidence, preparation of witnesses, and responding to defenses or counterclaims. Because the landlord has the burden of proof, and because the laws are protective of tenant’s rights, a seemingly minor mistake by a landlord might result in the landlord’s whole case being dismissed. PDX Law Group has the experience to successfully prosecute your eviction complaint through all stages of the proceeding.

Post-eviction proceedings: PDX Law group has experience with all the legal proceedings after an eviction trial – from judgment of restitution of the premises through to sheriff’s lockout. We also handle abandoned property notices and deposit accounting.

Buying a home with tenants: Buyers at sheriff’s foreclosure auctions, trustee sales, and REO auctions often discover that the home they have purchased is already occupied. Whether those occupants can remain, and for how long, is determined by an often complex interplay of facts, real property laws, eviction court notice requirements, and landlord tenant laws. If you have purchased a foreclosed home and find unexpected occupants, PDX Law Group can help you evaluate your options.

Selling a home with tenants: selling your rental home and not sure what to do about your current renters? If you want to terminate their tenancy, you might be required to give 30, 60 or even 90 days notice depending on the location of the home and the circumstances of the sale. PDX Law Group can review your situation and tailor your response to meet your needs.