What Disclosures Should Tenants Receive Before Moving Into A Rental Property?
When it comes to owning rental property in Oregon, or elsewhere nationwide, landlords must provide their tenants with disclosures before they move into their rental property.
Disclosures are important because the tenant must know everything that there is to know about the property, including if the rental may have been constructed or decorated with materials or chemicals that may be toxic to them.
In this article, we will share with you some of the most common disclosures that landlords must share with their tenants.
Oregon Rental Agreement Disclosures
Lead Paint: If the property was constructed before 1978, federal law requires landlords to disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the dwelling before the tenant signs the lease or rental agreement. The landlord also must give the tenant a copy of the federal government’s pamphlet, Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home and Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and Lead-Based Paint Hazards.
Smoking Policy: The rental agreement must contain a disclosure of the smoking policy. The disclosure must state whether smoking is prohibited on the premises, allowed on the entire premises, or allowed in limited areas on the premises. If the smoking policy allows smoking in limited areas on the premises, the disclosure must identify the areas on the premises where smoking is allowed.
100 Year Floodplain: The rental agreement must notify the tenant if the rental unit is in a 100-year floodplain.
What Are The Consequences Of A Landlord Fails To Disclose?
The consequences to landlords who fail to make disclosures vary tremendously. Some disclosure statutes mandate certain penalties for violations, but many do not. When a statute doesn’t specify consequences, general rules take over—tenants can sue (typically in small claims court) for the damages they have suffered as a result of the nondisclosure
Disclosure laws that contain penalty provisions usually aren’t as difficult to enforce as those that don’t. Often, tenants can lodge complaints with a government agency, which in turn can impose Oregon penalties such as fines or the revocation of the landlord’s rental license (if applicable). Tenants should note, though, that disclosure laws typically don’t allow self-help remedies, such as breaking the lease or withholding rent.
Monetary Penalties Specified by Statute
Several disclosure laws carry specified monetary penalties. At the top of the list is the federally-required disclosure of lead paint hazards. First violations can result in a “notice of noncompliance” from the federal government, which gives landlords additional time to notify tenants. Civil and criminal fines of up to $16,000 per violation are also possible.
Some disclosure statutes provide for either a specified monetary damages award, or “actual damages,” which is an amount intended to compensate the tenant for calculable damages, such as lost work, moving expenses, or doctors’ bills. For example, many states require landlords to disclose to tenants whether they will end up paying for common area utilities, such as heat and electricity. Failure to explain these arrangements commonly carries a preset damage amount or “actual damages,” which could be the cost to the tenant of paying for these utilities.
Non-Monetary Consequences Specified by Statute
Some state disclosure rules specify an act or result that is not monetary. A common disclosure rule concerns the owner or agent’s identity and address. Typically, failure to provide this information results in the tenant being able to pay rent and deliver legal notices and demands to, and expect upkeep from, the person who negotiated the lease or manages the property.
Contact Rent Portland Homes – Professionals
At Rent Portland Hones – Professionals, we specialize in local property management services for single-family and multifamily properties in the PDX area.
Besides helping you with all of your property management needs, we can also assist you with staying up to date with the changing rules and regulations for the rental market.
To learn more about the services that we can offer you, contact us today at (503) 447-7735 or click here to connect with us online