Evictions vary from county to county, but they still follow the same general eviction process:
- Send a notice
- Fill out the forms
- Serve the tenant
- Attend the trial
- Wait for judgment
Landlord-tenant eviction proceedings are dependent on the agreement signed by the tenant and the landlord. An eviction process is usually the last resort when it comes to evicting a tenant.
Landlords are advised to seek the services of a mediator. These services can save them hundreds of dollars in fees.
Alternatively, they can also seek the services of an attorney well-versed in information about Oregon legal law. The attorney may also help them understand any information they wish to know about the Tenant-Landlord law.
This article details a summary for a landlord to refer to when filing an eviction.
1. Failure to Comply with Rent Deadlines
To pay rent within the deadlines is a requirement. Rent is usually considered late a day after the rent is due. A grace period may be available if stated in the lease agreement.
Tenants or renters should pay the rent on time to avoid getting an eviction notice.
Nonpayment of rent is a common reason for an eviction case. Oregon considers nonpayment of rent on the 4th day from the rental period as late.
Before a landlord may start the eviction process, they are required to give the tenant an official written eviction notice. Providing an eviction notice is crucial to the process.
The notice to receive may vary depending on the tenancy type:
If rent is paid within the notice period, then the landlord cannot continue filing for eviction. In the event of continued nonpayment, the landlord can continue filing for an eviction lawsuit.
2. Violation of the Lease
The rental agreement has to be upheld by both parties for the entire duration of their stay. Landlord-tenant agreements may vary from tenant to tenant.
If a renter has violated an agreement, the landlord may issue a 30-Day Notice to Comply. The time period can give the tenant a chance to correct their violation within 14 days.
If a tenant resolves their violation on time, the filing process does not continue. If not, the tenant has the remainder of the 30 days (16 days) to vacate the property.
Oregon lease violations may include:
- Damage to the rental unit
- Several unauthorized people living in the property
- Keeping pets in pet-free properties, etc.
For weekly tenants, the landlord must provide a 7-Day Notice to Comply. The notice period allows 4 days for the tenants to correct these issues.
The landlord prioritizes the health and safety conditions of their tenants. Anything that affects the health and safety of the tenants negatively is considered a violation.
Health or safety violations also include:
- Not throwing out the trash for long periods of time
- Damaging the unit’s electric lines
- Inviting rodents in the rental unit
If the violation is not resolved or the tenant remains at the rental unit, then the landlord can continue with the filing.
3. Conducting Illegal Activity
In order to evict a tenant conducting illegal activity within the property, the landlord needs to issue an official written 24 Hour Notice to Quit.
Examples of illegal activities Oregon recognizes are:
- Involvement in the creation, distribution, or consumption of a controlled substance
- Manufacturing a cannabinoid extract without a license
- Bias crimes
- Burglary or theft
- Threatens or inflicts injuries on others or the property
The landlord is advised to keep a close eye on their tenants to make sure illegal activity does not go unnoticed. Any information is valid.
4. Providing False Information
A tenant in Oregon can be evicted when they provide false information in their rental application. Information such as:
- The tenant’s history as a convicted criminal
- Wrong contact information
Oregon landlords must give 24 hours notice before filing for an eviction action.
5. Damages from Owning a Pet
Pets damage property and harm other people. The landlord will issue a 10-Day Notice to the tenant to rehome their pets.
Should the tenants prove unable to do so, the landlord can continue filing a complaint.
6. Non-Renewal of the Lease after the Rental Period Ends
According to Oregon law, the landlord must not evict a tenant or force them to vacate the property without probable cause. As long as the tenant does not commit a violation, they can stay until their lease period ends.
There are times when a landlord may not want to renew their tenant's lease. In this case, Oregon eviction notices and notice periods about nonrenewal of the lease depend on the tenancy type. These notices can either be a 10-Day Notice to Quit or a 30-Day Notice to Quit.
A landlord may terminate a month-to-month tenancy without cause only during the first year of the tenant living on the property. After one year, should the tenant stay after their agreement ends, the landlord may continue with the process.
The reason for evictions must always be valid. A landlord cannot evict a tenant without cause. The eviction notice must include the reason for eviction and the length of time before a tenant has to face a lawsuit.
The information found in the Landlord-Tenant rental agreement helps greatly when it comes to determining what the tenant has done wrong.
Filing a Legal Complaint
1. How to File a Complaint
The eviction action process can only begin after the issuance of the appropriate written notice. Enough time for the notice must have been allowed before filing for an eviction lawsuit.
The process is as follows:
- Proceed to the justice court the rental unit belongs to
- File a complaint
- Pay the fees
The time period is 24 hours to 30 days from the issuance of the Notice to Vacate/Quit.
Serving the Tenant
1. How to Serve a Tenant
An official appointed by the court delivers the Summons for the hearing and the Complaint to the tenant. The court’s clerk or the professional process server is usually assigned this task.
There are several methods available:
- Personal Service: The professional process server delivers the Summons and Complaint to the tenant personally
- Mailing: The clerk mails the documents via first-class and certified mail
- Posting: The professional process server posts the documents on the entrance to the tenant’s rental property.
2. After Serving the Summons and Complaint
Tenants have at least 7 days before the first appearance hearing to prepare. If the landlord and the tenant attend an appearance hearing, the eviction hearing should follow within 15 days.
The documents should be served to the tenant 7 days before the acceptance hearing is scheduled.
A tenant may request a continuance for a maximum of 2 days. This applies only to the eviction hearing.
Asking for Possession
1. Filing a Motion to Obtain Judgment and Get a Judgment for Possession
The landlord must provide a strong argument backed up by solid evidence against the tenant. Should the tenant fail to show up to the hearing, the landlord wins by default.
The tenant must move out within 4 days before the writ’s issuance.
2. Next Procedure if the Tenant Disagreed and Replied
In the state of Oregon, before an eviction hearing is scheduled, both the landlord and the tenant must first attend the appearance hearing.
If the tenant appears, a written Answer must be filed by the first appearance hearing.
The landlord must give evidence or information, and show it during the hearing.
This could include, but is not limited to the following:
- Copy of the deed and lease of rent
- Rent receipts and ledgers
- Information on Bank statements
- Photo and video documentation
If the landlord wins the case, Writ of Execution will be issued and the eviction process will continue.
In Oregon, appearance hearings are scheduled in 7 days after the complaint is filed. Eviction hearings are scheduled in 15 days after the appearance hearing.
1. After the Landlord Wins the Case
After the landlord wins, the Writ of Execution shall be issued. The tenant is given 4 days to vacate the rental unit after the Writ’s issuance.
2. Move Out Process
In Oregon, after judgment is passed in favor of the landlord, renters have to move out immediately once the law enforcement officers execute the Writ.
Only the appropriate authorities are allowed to remove the tenant by forcible entry. Should the landlord win in court, they are not allowed to undertake any illegal methods of eviction.
The state of Oregon does not specify what to do with a tenant’s belongings. If any belongings are left behind, landlords are advised to contact them and give them a reasonable timeframe to claim them. After the timeframe has passed, their property may be sold or disposed of.
The tenant must vacate immediately upon receiving the Writ of Execution. If not, the officers will forcibly evict them from the premises.
Oregon Eviction Process Timeline
Below is the average timeline for a complete eviction process. This timeline does not include special cases or activities such as requests for an appeal or continuance.
On average, it would take anywhere between 1 month to 2 months for a complete eviction process.
1. How to keep good records
If the tenant disagrees with the eviction request and they reply to the court, it’s important that you keep extremely good records of everything so you can provide proof to the judge and win your case. This part is essential to your case as it provides the courts with evidence to decide in your favor.
You can stay organized by:
- Keeping a physical paper trail - This gets VERY hard to search through, takes up a lot of storage space, and could get lost, damaged, stolen, or burnt in a fire.
- Scanning documents - Scan every document into your computer. A great scanner is the Brother ADS-1700W for under $200 or the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 for $400.
- Backups - Store and backup every file using Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or any other option that is easily searchable.
- PMS - Use a property management software to save everything from lease agreements, signed documents, violations, emails, notes, invoices, payments, reminders, maintenance requests, pictures, videos, and anything you can imagine. This is used best when you also scan every document into your software.
2. Evidence to show for not paying rent
If the tenant doesn’t pay rent, and they dispute that claim, it’s important that you show the judge the following:
- Your lease agreement - Showing the terms of the agreement, when rent is due, and any penalties for late payment.
- All payments - Showing all previous payments, how they were normally made (check, credit card, ACH, etc…), and what date they were normally paid on.
- Any payment returns - If their check bounced, their bank account had insufficient funds, or they did a chargeback dispute on their credit card, show this to the Judge. Also, show any fees your bank may have charged you, and any penalties you are owed according to your lease agreement in order to have these form part of the court case.
- All messages - If you sent your tenant automated or manual payment reminders by text, email, a letter, or mail, it’s important to show this. While it’s usually not needed, it’s still good to show that they were aware of the situation and were given time to cure and make payment. This is why it’s always best to have everything in writing instead of any phone calls or face-to-face meetings.
3. Evidence to show for lease violations
If you are evicting the tenant for lease violations, for example, noise complaints, unauthorized pets, or property damages, it’s important to show proof from any of the following methods:
- Security Cameras - If you have a surveillance system that can show them committing the crime or lease violation, it’s safe to say you will normally win this dispute.
- Video - If you didn’t catch them in the act, a video of the damages or of the violation could also be enough.
- Pictures - They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, a picture could be worth thousands of dollars! Even if you take a video, it’s important to show the Judge any pictures too as it’s usually easier to see by email or printed.
- Lease Terms - Once again, show the court which term they violated in their lease agreement. Don’t worry if you don’t have every single term spelled out in your rental agreement. If the violation is bad enough, it might not be needed to have it written. As a good practice though, start adding all of the potential reasons to evict a tenant into your agreement.
Can I force a tenant to move out in Oregon?
No. A landlord could be sued for forceful eviction of a tenant if they skip the proper proceedings. When evicting a tenant, landlords must have a valid reason for the eviction.
In Oregon law, a tenant may sue their landlord for two months' rent or twice the actual damages.
Which methods are considered illegal in Oregon?
Self-help eviction is illegal. Examples of such acts include (but are not limited to):
- Cutting off services such as electric, water, and/or heat supply
- Changing the locks to prevent the tenant from entering the property
- Vandalizing or destroying the tenant’s property
A landlord must give the tenant all rent services without discrimination.
Can you evict someone right now in Oregon?
Yes. However, due to COVID-19, the tenant can write a declaration of their financial hardship for assistance in paying rent. Services such as the eviction moratorium have been extended. Once this eviction moratorium is lifted, the grace period for repayment is six months.
What other Oregon laws should I be aware of?
It is also wise for landlords to check out laws on Landlord-Tenant Security Deposits. These deposits protect the landlord from a tenant who violates any terms in the landlord-tenant agreement or fails to pay their rent. Trade library has more information regarding eviction cases.