Phil Querin Q&A: 55 and Older Community Problems

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January 11, 2017
Phil Querin
MHCO Legal Counsel
Querin Law

 

Question. We are a 55+ community. One of our residents has a lot of family coming in and leaving from early morning until late at night. This resident also has two Temporary Occupants living with her, one of her daughters and her husband. The resident also has a granddaughter with three children that are brought to the house on a daily basis by her and one of the Temporary Occupants. It has been brought to my attention recently that the children are basically living there and staying over at least 5 nights a week. (The two older kids are school age and come to the space after school, but the youngest child is there all the time.) I am told by another family member the mother of these children is homeless and goes and stays with someone else at night, but does not take the children with her.

My question is because we are a 55+ community what can I do, if anything, to stop them from babysitting the children at the residents which is causing a disturbance to the neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the community? I have received written complaints from some of the neighbors stating that the comings and goings is disturbing them. Because these children do not meet our age requirement to live here, what steps can I take to stop the daily babysitting and staying the night? One of the neighbors recently told me she is going to put her home on the market for sale because of this issue.”
 

 

Answer.  This sounds to me a problem that transcends the park rules.  Based upon your description of these circumstances, you are certainly within your rights to issue a 30-day curable notice under ORS 90.630(1)(a) and (b) for violation of one or more of your park rules (I’d have to read them to say for certain), the rental agreement (same caveat), or ORS 90.740(4)(j) (Tenant Obligations)[1].

 

You have not mentioned whether the Temporary Occupants are staying there under a written Temporary Occupant Agreement. If so, it is far easier to terminate them, than terminating the tenancy of a tenant who is occupying the space under a signed Rental Agreement.[2]

 

But the larger problem, from a humanitarian point of view, is what happens after you have all of the offenders removed? The cycle will likely repeat itself somewhere else, and the situation could become even worse for the children. I suggest you have a discussion with the tenants and make it clear that (a) the extra occupants will have to leave, and that (b) some effort should be made to assist the mother and children transition into a stable living environment. Perhaps a little advance research is in order for you, since it sounds as if the children’s best interests are not being properly addressed by anyone in the home. See, https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/Offices/Pages/Child-Welfare.aspx

 


[1] Behave, and require persons on the premises with the consent of the tenant to behave, in a manner that does not disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the premises by neighbors. 

[2] You need “cause” to terminate both, but there is no 30-day cure period for the Temporary Occupant. See, ORS 90.275