An Oregon eviction notice is a written document that signifies the beginning of the legal eviction process. It acts as both documentation and notification that the tenant has violated the lease or rental agreement in some way. Better known as a notice to quit, an Oregon eviction notice must comply with the state’s landlord-tenant laws and federal housing laws, including the Fair Housing Act.
An eviction notice needs to provide enough information to the tenant so that they understand why the notice was created and served, what they must do, and the deadline by which it must be done. Details are also important so that the landlord or their agent has sufficient documentation in the event that the landlord files an eviction lawsuit because the tenant doesn’t comply with the notice. The components that should be included in an Oregon eviction notice are:
Service of an eviction notice may be done by personal service on the tenant, first-class mail, or by posting the notice to the front door (or main entrance) to the rental. If the landlord opts to use first-class mail, the tenant receives an extra three days to comply with the notice to make up for the time it may take for them to receive the notice.
Landlords or their agents should also create a Certificate of Service to document the service process. It should include the date service happens, on whom the notice was served (generally the name of the tenant), how the notice was served (ie – first-class mail, in person, or posted on the front door), and the signature of the person who completed service.
24-Hour Notice to Quit for Imminent Danger or Illegal Activity
The 24-hour notice to quit for imminent danger or illegal activity must be drafted according to several Oregon laws: § 90.396, § 90.398, § 90.403, and § 90.445. This notice is used when the tenant is involved in criminal activity, extremely outrageous acts, caused substantial damage to the rental property, or if they violate the conditions of their drug or alcohol program. This notice should include an accurate description of the imminent danger or illegal activity and the date that it occurred. This notice does not give the tenant the option to correct the problem. They are being informed to vacate the property within 24 hours. If they do not comply by the end of the 24 hours, the landlord may then file an eviction lawsuit.
3-Day or 6-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment of Rent
A landlord may not issue a 3-day or 6-day notice to quit for non-payment of rent until the rent is late by five days. This notice must comply with § 90.394. A 6-day notice is given when the rent is five days late. The tenant has six days to either pay the rent or leave the property. A 3-day notice may only be given if the rent is at least eight days past due. Then, the tenant has three days to pay the rent or leave the property.
This type of eviction notice should explain how much is due for past rent and late fees (late fees may not begin to accumulate until the rent is four days past due and can only be charged if they are mentioned in the lease), how the rent must be paid (such as a cashier’s check or money order), and where the rent must be paid. It should also give the proper amount of time based on how long the rent has gone unpaid.
10-Day Notice to Quit for Unpermitted Pet
A 10-day notice to quit for an unpermitted pet is governed by § 90.405. This notice informs the tenant that they have a pet that is not permitted under the terms of the lease. It could be that the tenant did not pay the required pet deposit, notify the landlord of the presence of the pet, or has a pet that is specifically forbidden by the lease. This eviction notice gives the tenant 10 days to remove the unauthorized pet or vacate the property.
30-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
A 30-day notice to quit for non-compliance is used when a tenant violates the lease or rental agreement for the first time. Subsequent violations may be eligible to receive a 10-day or a 20-day notice according to § 90.392. This eviction notice should clearly explain the manner in which the lease agreement was violated, the date the violation, and the date by which the violation must be corrected or the tenant must vacate the property. If the notice is given for a second or third violation, you may find it helpful to explain that this is a second or third notice and give the date that subsequent notices were issued.
30-Day or 60-Day Notice to Terminate a Month-to-Month Lease
A 30-day or 60-day notice to terminate a month-to-month lease isn’t quite the same thing as an eviction notice. Eviction notices are issued when the tenant violates the lease in some way. This particular notice can be created by either the landlord or the tenant. It notifies the recipient that the sender isn’t renewing the month-to-month lease for the property. It will be vacated either in 30 days or 60 days. According to § 90.427, a 30-day notice to end the month-to-month lease may be used if the tenant has lived on the property for less than a year. If the tenant has lived on the property for one year or longer, the notice then becomes a 60-day notice.
30-Day or 60-Day Termination and Removal Notice for Manufactured Dwelling or Floating Home
A 30-day or 60-day termination and removal notice for a manufactured dwelling or floating home is provided for by law under § 90.632. This form is used when the manufactured dwelling or floating home is in disrepair or deterioration on the outside of the property. The landlord may either request that the tenant repair the issue within the proper amount of time or to remove the dwelling from the property. Deterioration is an important concept because the landlord must believe that the exterior poses some sort of threat to people in the area. The notice should specifically mention whether it is a 30-day or 60-day notice, whether the tenant has the option to repair the dwelling, and by when the repairs must be made or the dwelling must be removed. A 30-day notice is used as a second notice.
There are a lot of legal considerations when it comes to using an Oregon eviction notice. For example, while most of the commonly used eviction notices we discussed above may be used regardless of whether the tenant rents or leases an apartment, a house, a condo, or a manufactured home, evicting a tenant for the exterior of a manufactured home that could hurt another person requires a specific sort of form.
If the landlord decides to serve the notice via mail, the tenant receives three extra days to either comply with the notice or vacate the property. Remember that service is an important part of the eviction process. The eviction notice must be legally served. Otherwise, the landlord may not be able to succeed if they file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant after the prescribed number of notice days passes without tenant compliance.
Until the landlord receives an order from the court, they may not lock out the tenant, have the utilities disconnected, or get rid of the tenant’s belongings. Without the court order, those methods are referred to as “self-help” evictions. They are illegal.
Two other forms of illegal eviction are retaliatory eviction and discriminatory eviction. Retaliatory eviction happens when the landlord tries to evict the tenant for reporting code violations or uninhabitable conditions to the housing authorities. Discriminatory eviction means the landlord tries to evict the tenant for one of the seven federally protected reasons: actual or perceived skin color, race, religion, disability, gender, home country, or family status.
If a landlord uses an illegal eviction method, they may be sued by the tenant for financial compensation. They may also be fined if they’ve violated state or federal law.
Oregon tenants have rights even during the eviction process. It’s important for tenants to know and understand both their rights and their obligations. If you receive an eviction notice, read it carefully. You need to understand why the eviction notice was issued, what you need to do, and when you need to do it by. If you receive the notice by first-class mail, you have an additional three days to comply with the notice. It’s common to have questions about the eviction notice. You can call your landlord or their agent to talk about the notice.
Not all evictions are legal. We discussed illegal evictions under Legal Considerations. Make sure that you read that section. An illegal eviction could mean that you have the option to sue the landlord for financial compensation. A landlord-tenant attorney can evaluate the facts surrounding your situation and determine whether you have a valid legal claim. They can also tell you your next steps and answer any questions you have about the eviction process in Oregon.
You can also reach out to Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law, University of Oregon Law School, or Willamette University College of Law and ask if they have a legal clinic. A legal clinic may provide free or affordable legal help for renters facing eviction. You can also get into contact with legal aid. Legal aid exists to provide affordable or free legal help to the community that meets their income guidelines.
Landlords should take the time to truly understand how the eviction process works in Oregon. This includes which eviction notice is appropriate, how it is served (including the fact that service by mail grants the tenant an extra three days to comply), and at what time the landlord may sue the tenant.
Landlords must avoid illegal eviction methods, including changing the locks without a court order. You can learn more about illegal eviction under Legal Considerations. As a landlord, you can be sued if you engage in an illegal eviction method. You could be fined if the court determines you broke the law. You could also be ordered to pay the tenant.
To protect your livelihood as a landlord and to make sure that you understand your rights and obligations, make an appointment with a landlord-tenant attorney.