Oregon

MHCO Legislative Summary: Payment to Residents When Parks Close; Notices Upon Transfer; and Manufactured Dwelling Cooperatives

 

Payments to Residents Upon Park Closure. This bill amends ORS 90.645 (Closure of Manufactured Dwelling Park) by increasing the required amount payable to residents as follows:

 

  • From $5,000 to $6000 if the manufactured  dwelling  is  a  single-wide;
  • From $7,000 to $8,000 if the manufactured dwelling is a double-wide; and
  • From $9,000 to $10,000 if the manufactured dwelling is a triple-wide or larger;

 

The Office of Manufactured Dwelling Park Community Relations of the Housing and Community Services Department is charged with establishing by administrative rule a process to annually recalculate these figures “to reflect inflation.” 

 

Comment:  Without being involved with this legislation it is hard to know why a generally accepted and reliable index or set of indices was not identified. As the administrative rule takes place, we should watch to see what develops. All hearing and rulemaking notices are filed through the online filing system: http://sos.oregon.gov/archives/Pages/fileonline.aspx. To expedite the rulemaking process, agencies are encouraged to file a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing specifying the hearing date, time and location, and to submit their filings early in the submission period. All notices and rules must be filed by the 15th of the month to be included in the next month's Oregon Bulletin and OAR Compilation postings.

 

 

Phil Querin Article and Analysis - New Laws on Disrepair & Deterioration - New MHCO Form 55

 

 

Introduction. This bill is an attempt to deal with issues that had arisen between residents in some Oregon communities and their landlord regarding the physical condition of their homes. The result is a change to ORS 90.632 (disrepair and deterioration) which contains more detail than previously, but is nevertheless manageable.

 

By way of refresher, ORS 90.630 pertains to curable maintenance/appearance violations relating to residents’ spaces.  However, if the violation relates to the physical condition of the home’s exterior, ORS 90.632 applies, to address repair and/or remediation that can take more time to cure, either due to the weather, the amount or complexity of the work, or availability of qualified workers.

 

As a result, SB 277A, which became law on June 14, 2017 (“Effective Date”), will apply: (a) To rental agreements for fixed term tenancies – i.e. leases – entered into or renewed on or after the Effective Date; and, (b) To rental agreements for periodic tenancies – i.e. month-to-month tenancies – in effect on or after the Effective Date.

 

MHCO has significantly changed its current form No. 55 to address the changes in the new law. The major issue going forward is for managers and landlords to be able to recognize when to use Form No. 55 to address disrepair and deterioration conditions, versus Form No. 43C, which is appropriate for violations relating to maintenance and appearance of the space.

 

Phil Querin Q&A - Death of Resident and an Uncooperative Estate

Question:  A resident living alone passed away.  It took some time for the estate to get underway because they had to search for heirs.  An heir was located and was appointed as Administrator to act on behalf of the estate. 

 

Shortly after the resident’s passing, we began requesting that a Storage Agreement be signed but the estate was hesitant to do so until the Administrator was appointed.  After the appointment the Administrator was initially cooperative, but unexpectedly changed his mind and is now threatening to bring all of the past due rent current, and then, out of spite, tear the home down while still on the space.  Presumably, after doing so, we would expect the Administrator to cease all further space rental payments.  How should we handle this?

 

 

 

Phil Querin Article - Elderly Residents Who Leave the Community

 

In communities with elderly tenants, landlords are frequently confronted with the question “How do I deal with their home and their care providers when they leave, and with their estates?”

 

Most of the answers can be found in the abandonment statute, ORS 90.675.  The underlying premise to remember in addressing all of these issues, is that if the resident leaves the community without properly disposing of their home, the landlord has no choice but to deal with it as an abandonment. 

 

 

Phil Querin Q&A - Drones and Your Community

Question.  Our community is updating our rules and regulations. Should we include anything about the use of drones flying over people’s backyards?  Can this be controlled for privacy's sake?

 

Civil Law. On the civil side (as opposed to the criminal side) of the law, the common law tort concepts of negligence, assault, invasion of privacy (applying the “reasonable expectation” test), and nuisance, still apply, as does the law of trespass to real property. In such cases, the plaintiff would have a right to sue for damages.  However, with only limited exceptions, prevailing attorney fees are not available.

 

Airspace. The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), regulates airspace, including that which is above private land. So knowing the state, and federal laws, is critical before using drones.

 

Conclusion.  As you can see, most of these prohibitions are found in one form or another, without the necessity of being addressed in your community rules. However, given their ubiquitous presence, especially by folks who are just hobbyists, I do suggest having some rules. Why? Because if someone was using a drone for their own prurient interests, e.g. flying over someone’s fenced backyard, or for harassment purposes, it’s far easier for management to take action against the perpetrator for a rules violation, than it is telling an offended or harassed resident to file a lawsuit or criminal complaint.

 


[1] Oregon law also identifies “critical infrastructure facilities” for which it is a violation of the law to fly a drone over them at an altitude of under 400 feet.

[2] All of which are addressed in the 2016 law.

Phil Querin Q&A - Drones and Your Community

Question.  Our community is updating our rules and regulations. Should we include anything about the use of drones flying over people’s backyards?  Can this be controlled for privacy's sake?

 

Civil Law. On the civil side (as opposed to the criminal side) of the law, the common law tort concepts of negligence, assault, invasion of privacy (applying the “reasonable expectation” test), and nuisance, still apply, as does the law of trespass to real property. In such cases, the plaintiff would have a right to sue for damages.  However, with only limited exceptions, prevailing attorney fees are not available.

 

Airspace. The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), regulates airspace, including that which is above private land. So knowing the state, and federal laws, is critical before using drones.

 

Conclusion.  As you can see, most of these prohibitions are found in one form or another, without the necessity of being addressed in your community rules. However, given their ubiquitous presence, especially by folks who are just hobbyists, I do suggest having some rules. Why? Because if someone was using a drone for their own prurient interests, e.g. flying over someone’s fenced backyard, or for harassment purposes, it’s far easier for management to take action against the perpetrator for a rules violation, than it is telling an offended or harassed resident to file a lawsuit or criminal complaint.

 


[1] Oregon law also identifies “critical infrastructure facilities” for which it is a violation of the law to fly a drone over them at an altitude of under 400 feet.

[2] All of which are addressed in the 2016 law.

Phil Querin Article - Some Tips and Traps - The FED Eviction Process

 

The eviction process can be daunting to those landlords and managers who rarely, if ever, have been involved in the unpleasant task of trying to remove a tenant from a community.  An eviction (formally known as a “forcible entry and detainer” or “FED”) is an expedited legal procedure designed to allow landlords to obtain possession of their property through the court system.

 

 

Phil Querin Q&A - Multiple Question on Water Sub Metering

Questions. My question is in regards to sewer and water pass throughs: 

1. Is it still true, that you can pass through utilities?

2.  If so, what is a reasonable time for notice? 

3.  The newer MHCO space rental agreements do have a provision for pass through, however what if a tenant has been in the park for years & there is no provision for pass through on a rental agreement that they signed?  

4.  I do know of a MHP that does pass through and they send a bifurcated bill- one for utilities and one for space rent.  However, most tenants pay with one check or money order.  I have a MHP in Southern Oregon and the sewer is a fixed amount, so it would be easy to divide that amount up between the tenants, obviously with a proviso that if the sewer bill increases or decreases we would make an adjustment to the bill.

 

A MHP that does pass through water and sewer told me that their bill decreased by about 30% because the tenants knew they were now paying for the water and tried to conserve.  They knew their bill would be reduced if they used less water.  In my Southern Oregon MHP, the sewer is a fixed amount so that incentive would not be there unless the sewer district decreased their bill to the park and I had not intended to pass through water at this time.  NOTE:  If I metered the park it would be very expensive & I would have to take each tenant to small claims if they didn't pay.  Even though it's the same with pass through, the tenants don't get bill separately each month, so it looks different.