Oregon’s New Housing Legislation Update – HB 2004

By: Cliff Hockley & Jeremy Boardman

HB 2004 is moving to the Oregon Senate floor. We wanted to update you regarding this House bill and its impact on the Landlord Tenant Act. Since its initial drafting, there have been many substantive changes and amendments, which the housing industry has viewed as favorable.

The bill is out of the Senate Human Services Committee, which amended HB 2004 and then passed the bill onto the Senate Floor for a vote. We expect this bill to go to a floor vote as soon as this coming Tuesday June 6th.
Although the rent control provision has been removed, the Tenant relocation fees and the right to issue a termination notice without cause is still in the bill. A summary of the bill, as currently proposed, is below.
This version allows 30-day no-cause eviction within the first nine months of month-to-month tenancy.

• Tenants can give Landlords a 30 day notice to move out at the end of their lease term

• After first nine months, eviction must be ‘for-cause’ (with 90 days’ notice) and the following new “cause” categories added:

• Landlord intends to convert unit to non-residential use

• Landlord intends to demolish the unit

• Landlord must make repairs or renovations and the unit will not be habitable during that work, so long as Tenant has opportunity to lease unit when repairs/renovations are complete

• If a Landlord has notified Tenant within 14 days of listing the unit for sale, the Landlord may issue a 30-day notice to vacate after sale of unit

• Landlord wants to live in unit or allow family member to move into the unit

• If eviction is for a Landlord-based cause (listed above) and Landlord operates five (5) or more units, the Tenant must be paid one month’s rent for relocation expenses. (Please note, this applies to LANDLORDS only, not to property management companies. Landlords with four (4) or fewer units, who use a propertymanagement company, are NOT subject to the relocation fee).

• If the Landlord fails to give the Tenant 90 days notice for a lease renewal and the Tenant does not terminate the tenancy, the fixed term tenancy automatically becomes a month-to-month tenancy, without requiring further notice.

• If the Landlord terminates a tenancy in violation of the bill’s subsections, then the Landlord may pay a penalty equal to three months’ rent.

• A Tenant has one year after the termination of the tenancy to assert a claim.

• If tenancy is within the same structure or property that the Landlord lives, a no-cause eviction can be issued at any time, with 60 days’ notice.

• Prohibits a Landlord from issuing a no-cause eviction within 60 days of receiving a written request for repairs necessary to correct a violation of the building, health or housing code or to correct an inhabitable condition, as described in ORS 90.320.

• A fixed term tenancy must be for at least six months, unless a shorter term is requested by Tenant

• Landlord must inform Tenant 90 days before end of fixed term lease whether Landlord intends to renew lease. Tenant must inform Landlord 45 days before end of fixed term about whether Tenant intends to accept the new lease

• If Landlord fails to inform Tenant of intention to renew or not renew, the Tenant can choose to vacate the unit on the end date of the lease term or ask that the lease roll into a month-to-month lease.

• A Landlord can increase rent for a Tenant only once in any 12-month period.

While cumulatively beneficial for Tenants, after a series of compromises and changes, the current bill is palatable for most Landlords. If you have objections to portions of this bill, please contact your State Senator by the 6th of June.