Oregon Landlord Tenant Laws – What Do Owners Have To Know About Repairs?
Are you searching for information about what Oregon’s landlord tenant law says about repairs? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Repairs are often one of the most problematic issues that some landlords have to deal with because they may not know what their responsibilities are while there are also some tenants who notify their landlords long after their rental properties are showing signs of needing repairs.
In this article we will break down the latest information about what Oregon Landlord Tenant Laws have to say about repairs.
What Do Oregon Landlord Tenant Laws Have To Say About Repairs?
Before we provide you with information about what Oregon landlord tenant laws have to say about repairs, it’s important for every landlord in Oregon to know that their rental properties must be habitable.
What does it take for a rental unit to be habitable?
Every rented residential unit in Oregon, regardless of how low the rent is, must meet certain standards for safety, health and cleanliness. These are called “habitability” standards.
If your home fails to meet these standards, then by Oregon law your home’s fair rental value is less than what you have agreed to pay, and your landlord may owe you money for every month that passes without the problems being fixed.
A rental must be waterproof and weatherproof. Doors and windows should seal properly, and the roof, floors and walls should keep out wind and rain. Windows should latch, and all outside doors should have working locks. Those locks should work properly with the keys the landlord provides to the tenant.
A unit must have hot and cold running water supplied through appropriate fixtures that are connected to a sewage system. The water must be safe to drink, and the plumbing system must be adequate for normal use and in good working order.
The unit must have a heat source (or sources) adequate to heat the whole unit. The heating system must have been installed properly and be safe and in good working order. Electrical equipment, lighting and wiring must be properly installed at the time of installation and also must be adequate for normal use and kept in good working condition.
The unit must be safe from fire hazards, and the landlord must place at least one working smoke detector in the unit. Tenants must test the smoke detectors at least once every six months. Tenants are responsible for replacing batteries in smoke detectors. The landlord must provide the tenant a written notice containing instructions for testing the smoke detector when the tenant first takes possession of the premises.
If the rental unit includes appliances, they must be in good working order. Appliances include stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners and ventilators. Sometimes, air conditioning and ventilation systems may serve a large building and aren’t necessarily placed in a specific unit; even so, the landlord has the duty to maintain them for the use of the individual units. The landlord also must keep elevators in good working order. This duty applies not only to the tenant’s individual unit, but also to common areas, such as hallways and stairs in an apartment complex. Floors, walls, ceilings, stairways and railings must be maintained in good repair.
Of course, the landlord must keep the premises in a habitable condition at all times during the tenancy. The list of requirements for the landlord is substantial. Per O.R.S. § 90.320(1), the premises is considered uninhabitable if it substantially lacks any of the following:
- Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including windows and doors.
- Plumbing facilities which conform to applicable law in effect at the time of installation, maintained in good working order.
- A water supply approved under applicable law, which is under the control of tenant or landlord and is capable of producing hot and cold running water; furnished to appropriate fixtures; connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law, and; maintained so as to provide safe drinking water and to be in good working order to the extent that the system can be controlled by the landlord.
- Adequate heating facilities which conform to applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order.
- Electrical lighting with wiring and electrical equipment which conform to applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order.
- Buildings, grounds and appurtenances which are in every part safe for normal and reasonably foreseeable uses, clean, sanitary and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents and vermin.
- Except as otherwise provided by local ordinance, an adequate number of appropriate receptacles for garbage and rubbish in clean condition and good repair; floors, walls, ceilings, stairways and railings maintained in good repair.
- Ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, maintained in good repair.
- Safety from fire hazards, including a working smoke alarm or smoke detector, with working batteries if solely battery-operated, provided only at the beginning of any new tenancy when tenant first takes possession of the premises; a carbon monoxide alarm, as may be required.
- Working locks for all entrance doors, and, unless contrary to applicable law, latches for all windows, and keys for such locks that require keys.
Maintenance Responsibilities by Written Agreement
In Oregon the tenant can perform some repairs if the landlord and tenant define what can be done by the tenant in a written agreement. Per O.R.S. § 90.320(2), the landlord and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant can perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks and minor remodeling only if:
- the agreement is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord;
- the agreement does not diminish the obligations of the landlord to other tenants in the property; and
- the terms and conditions of the agreement are clearly and fairly disclosed and adequate consideration for the agreement is specifically stated.
Contact Portland Rental Management
Are you tired of dealing with the day-to-day responsibilities of managing your rental properties yourself? At Rent Portland Homes – Professionals, we can help!
Besides staying on top of landlord tenant laws in Oregon, we also offer full service property management to all of our clients including rent collection, maintenance, customer service, tenant selection and more!
For more information about landlord tenant laws in Oregon, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today by calling (503) 447-7735 or connect with us online.