FAQs

 

Landlord & Tenant FAQ

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Do I need a written rental agreement?

Oregon law requires a written rental agreement for mobile home parks, but not for apartments, houses, or residential dwelling units. However, it is good business practice to have one, as agreements in writing are easier to enforce and result in fewer disputes.

What resources are available for landlords in southern Oregon?

The Southern Oregon Rental Owners Association (SOROA) is a non-profit corporation whose members are rental owners and property managers. SOROA publishes a monthly newsletter, provides seminars on all aspects of landlord/tenant law, sells forms, and has monthly dinner meetings with topics of special interest to landlords.

What types of rental agreements are available?

A landlord may have a month-to-month rental agreement or a lease for a fixed term.

Which type of rental agreement is better?

It depends. A month-to-month tenancy may be terminated at any time without cause (for no reason) by the landlord or the tenant, so it offers more flexibility, but usually results in more turnover and wear and tear on the rental unit for the landlord. A lease may only be terminated for a violation (breach) of the rental agreement, but usually results in more stable tenancies and less wear and tear on the rental unit.

How much time do I have to give the tenant before terminating the rental agreement?

If it is a month-to-month tenancy, then a landlord may issue a No Cause (without any cause) termination notice. If the tenant has been residing in the rental unit one year or less, then only 30 days’ notice is required if the notice is personally served on the tenant;  33 days are required if the notice if sent by mail. If the tenant has been residing in the rental unit more than one year, then 60 days’ notice is required for personal service, 63 days if sent by mail.

How can I terminate a tenancy?

A tenancy may only be terminated by issuing a written notice to the tenant. The requirements are very technical and must be strictly observed. Both the content of the notice and its manner of service must be followed. It is recommended for the landlord to consult an attorney or attend a seminar to learn how to properly issue a Termination Notice.

What happens if a tenant does not pay the rent?

If the tenant fails to pay the rent within seven days of its due date, then a landlord may issue a Termination of Tenancy Notice for Non-Payment of Rent and the tenant has a specified time period to pay the rent (between three days and six days depending on how the Notice was issued). If the tenant does not pay the full amount of the rent, then the landlord may evict the tenant.

How long does it take to evict a tenant?

Once the Termination Notice expires, the eviction process takes between three and four weeks before the landlord can get back possession of the rental unit.

Business FAQ

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What is a LLC?

A LLC is a Limited Liability Company. It is a separate legal entity that is owned by one or more persons (or one or more business entities) and as the name implies, it affords limited liability to the owner. In general, an owner is not personally liable for the debts of the LLC and is not responsible for the negligence of the LLC. There are exceptions to this and an attorney can explain them in more detail.

What is a corporation?

A corporation is similar to a LLC in terms of limited liability, but is more public, more complicated and has more legal formalities such as directors, officers, shareholders, annual meetings and shares of stock. Corporations are usually S Corporations or C Corporations. These are “for profit” corporations whose business is to make a profit and provide returns to shareholders.

How can I operate my business?

There are several options, but the most common are:

  • A Sole Proprietor, which is one person owning the business
  • A Partnership, which is two or more persons owning the business
  • An LLC
  • A Corporation

 

What is the best way to operate my business?

There is no “one size fits all.” Each type of business has different risks, liabilities, financial requirements, state and/or federal regulations and employee issues. An attorney can explain the pros and cons of each type of business entity and help the client decide what is best.

Do I need employment agreements for my employees?

It is highly recommended that an employer have a written employment agreement for all employees covering such matters as salary, specified duties, work hours, job qualifications, benefits such as health insurance, sick time, vacations and retirement (pension plan, IRA or 401K).

Do I need a written contract for my customers or clients?

That depends on the type of business you have. In a retail business such an agreement is not usually necessary as the customer comes in and buys one or more items and leaves with the purchase. This can change with large purchases, multiple purchases or special orders. However in certain service businesses such as construction, legal, surveying, manufacturing, rentals, landscaping, consulting, etc. it is recommended to have a written contract setting forth such matters as the scope and extent of services, method of payment, termination of services, time frames for completion and dispute resolution provisions in the event of a conflict or disagreement. A well-drafted agreement can avoid problems later on and save time and expense for all concerned.