The Eviction Process in Oregon: Rules for Landlords and Property Manager

An overview of Oregon eviction rules, forms, and procedures.

A landlord must carefully follow all the rules and procedures set forth by Oregon law when evicting a tenant in Oregon. Otherwise, the eviction may not be valid. This article will explain the basic rules and procedures landlords and property managers must follow when evicting a tenant in Oregon.

Notice for Termination With Cause

If a landlord wishes to evict a tenant before the tenant’s lease or rental agreement has expired, the landlord must have legal cause. Legal cause is defined by Oregon law, and the landlord can only evict the tenant for one of the reasons allowed under Oregon law. The most common legal cause for eviction is the tenant's failure to pay rent. However, under Oregon law, the landlord can also evict the tenant for violating the lease or rental agreement or committing an illegal act on the premises of the rental unit (among other things). The first step in evicting the tenant for one of these reasons is to terminate the tenancy. This is done by giving the tenant notice. The type of notice will depend on the reason for the eviction.

  • Notice for Failure to Pay Rent: If the landlord wishes to evict the tenant who fails to pay rent, the landlord has two options when giving the tenant notice:
    • Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent: On the eighth day after rent is due and owing, the landlord can give the tenant a three-day notice to pay rent. This notice must inform the tenant that the landlord will terminate the tenancy unless the tenant pays rent within the three-day period. If the tenant does not pay rent, then the landlord can go to court and file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant (see  Ore. Rev. Stat. § 90.394(2)(a)).
    • Six-Day Notice to Pay Rent: On the fifth day after rent is due and owing, the landlord can instead give the tenant a six-day notice to pay rent. Just like the three-day notice, this notice must inform the tenant that the landlord will terminate the tenancy unless the tenant pays rent within six days of receiving the notice. If the tenant does not pay rent, then the landlord can go to court and file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant (see  Ore. Rev. Stat. § 90.394(2)(b)).  Eviction Notices for Nonpayment of Rent in Oregon  has more information on this topic.
  • Thirty-Day Notice to Cure: If the tenant violates the lease or rental agreement, then the landlord can give the tenant a 30-day notice to cure. This notice must inform the tenant that the tenant has 14 days from the date of the notice to cure the violation; otherwise, the landlord can terminate the rental agreement at the end of the 30-day notice period. If the tenant does not fix the violation, then the landlord can go to court and file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant (see  Ore. Rev. Stat. § § 90.392(3) and (4)).  
  • Unconditional Quit Notice: In certain situations, the landlord can give the tenant a 24-hour unconditional quit notice. Using this notice, the landlord will inform the tenant that because of the tenant’s behavior, the landlord will be terminating the tenancy in 24 hours and filing an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. The tenant will have no opportunity to correct the bad behavior. The landlord can give the tenant a 24-hour unconditional quit notice in the following situations:
    • the tenant, or the tenant’s pet, threatens or causes serious harm to another person on the premises of the rental unit
    • the tenant, or the tenant’s pet, seriously damages the rental unit
    • the tenant provides false information on the on the rental application, or
    • the tenant possesses or uses illegal drugs on the premises of the rental unit.

See  Ore. Rev. Stat. § 90.396  for a more complete list.

Notice for Termination Without Cause

If a landlord does not have legal cause to evict a tenant, then the landlord must wait until the tenancy has expired before expecting the tenant to move out of the rental unit. In some cases, the landlord may still need to give the tenant written notice to move, such as with a month-to-month tenancy.

Month-to-Month Tenancy

If the landlord wishes to end a month-to-month tenancy but does not have legal cause to evict the tenant, then the landlord can give the tenant a 30-day notice. This notice will inform the tenant that the month-to-month tenancy will end in 30 days from the date of the notice and that the tenant must move out of the rental unit by that time. If the tenant does not move out in time, then the landlord can file an eviction notice against the tenant (see  Ore. Rev. Stat. § § 90.427  and  91.070).  Oregon Notice Requirements to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy  has more information.

Fixed-Term Tenancy

If the landlord wishes to end a fixed-term tenancy (such as when the tenant has a lease or other written rental agreement for one year) but the landlord does not have cause to evict the tenant, then the landlord must wait until the tenancy has expired. Unless the lease specifically requires it, the landlord is not required to give the tenant written notice to move by the end of the tenancy. The landlord can expect that the tenant will move by the end of the tenancy, unless the tenant has indicated otherwise.

Tenant Eviction Defenses

A landlord may have a valid legal reason to evict a tenant. However, despite that, the tenant may decide to fight the eviction in court. The tenant could also have a valid legal defense, such as the landlord retaliating against the tenant or failing to maintain the premises of the rental unit. The tenant’s decision to fight the eviction could lead to increased costs of the lawsuit for both the landlord and the tenant and allow the tenant more time to remain living in the rental unit.  Tenant Defenses to Evictions in Oregon  has more information.

Removal of the Tenant

Even after a landlord wins an eviction lawsuit against a tenant, the landlord is not authorized to remove the tenant from the rental unit. Only a law enforcement officer with a court order can do that. It is illegal in Oregon for the landlord to ever try to force the tenant to move out of the rental unit.  Illegal Eviction Procedures in Oregon  has more information on this topic.

The tenant may leave personal property behind at the rental unit after an eviction has occurred. If this happens, Oregon law requires the landlord to store the property in a safe location and then send a written notice to the tenant. This notice must inform the tenant of the property the tenant left behind and that the tenant has 30 days to claim the property. If the tenant does not claim the property within 30 days, then the landlord can dispose of it. The landlord can also charge the tenant for the costs of storing the property (see  Ore. Rev. Stat. § 90.425).

Rationale for the Rules

Landlords must carefully follow all the rules and procedures required by Oregon law when evicting a tenant; otherwise, the eviction may not be valid. Although these rules and procedures may seem burdensome to the landlord, they are there for a reason. Evictions often occur very quickly, and the end result is serious: the tenant has lost a place to live. The rules help ensure the eviction is justified and that the tenant has enough time to find a new home.

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