Oregon Landlord-Tenant Laws

Like any state, Oregon has its own set of unique real estate laws that are important to know if you’re thinking of investing in the state. Below are some important Oregon landlord-tenant laws to keep in mind when looking for rental property. 

Rent and Fees

Collecting rent is one of the most important tasks you do as a landlord. Collecting rent on time and in consistent, correct amounts is the best way to keep your business’ profits in the green. In Oregon, there are a few laws regarding landlord responsibilities when it comes to collecting rent and other fees.

For instance, Oregon landlords can only charge a rental application fee if it is equal to the actual cost of conducting tenant screening for background checks or credit reports. Also, Oregon enforces a legal grace period of four days, meaning that tenants must be given at least four days after the rent due date to pay their debt before landlords can apply late fees. 

 As for rent increases, Oregon established that rent cannot be raised by more than 7% a year, plus inflation. 

Additionally, landlords can charge a reasonable late fee in Oregon, which is either a flat amount charged once a rental period, an amount charged per day that is less than 6% of the flat fee, or 5% of the monthly rent which is charged every five days after rent is due. 

Lastly, an important aspect of tenant policy that renters should know is that if the landlord neglects to make necessary repairs or provide essential services, the tenant can arrange to repair the issue and deduct the cost from rent. The tenant must first notify the landlord and wait a reasonable amount of time to give them a chance to fix the problem. If it still goes unsolved, they can repair and deduct, recover damages based on the lowered fair rental value of the unit, or find comparable housing and stop paying rent all together. 


Oregon landlord tenant laws have specific expectations when it comes to evicting tenants.

If the tenant committed a lease violation, the tenant has 30 days to fix the violation or leave the unit. If the tenant commits a more severe act that poses a threat to the safety of others or of the property, the landlord only has to allow 24 hours for the tenant to vacate the premises before they can file evictions proceedings (no opportunity to cure the violation is required). The eviction notice required in this circumstance, an unconditional notice to quit, is typically issued in dangerous situations, or when the tenant has lied on their rental application. 

Eviction laws in Oregon also specify that when demanding unpaid rent, landlords can send a 144-hour pay-or-quit notice after five days of rent being late. After eight days, the landlord can send a 72-hour pay-or-quit notice, and after that amount of time, they can file to evict the tenant. Keep in mind that both of these notices must include the amount and due date of the rent. 

Security Deposits 

In any state, it’s important to regard your tenants’ security deposits as theirs, not yours. You should always intend to give tenants back their full security deposit until they prove that they deserve to have deductions taken from the amount. 

Oregon security deposit laws dictate that the statewide grace period is four days, and if a tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord can charge a fee of $35 to cover any fees the bank charged them. 

Application fees are limited to the actual cost incurred from running tenant background and credit checks. Also, rent control is not allowed to be more than 7%, plus inflation, each year. Late fees must be reasonable, charged either once a rental period, on a per-day basis at less than 6% of the flat fee, or 5% of the monthly rent charged every 5 days that rent is late.

If the tenant notices a serious maintenance issue in their unit, notifies their landlord, and allows reasonable time for a repair without receiving one, they can repair and deduct the cost from rent, recover damages based on the diminished fair rental value of the unit, or, in situations where their unit is rendered unsafe, they can find substitute housing and stop paying rent. 


Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or just starting out, it’s imperative that you know what state laws apply to you as a property owner and how best to treat your tenants by following those guidelines. When in doubt, consult a lawyer about any legal issues you may find yourself in, and keep up with any changes to your local real estate law. 

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