Phil Querin Q&A: Abandoned t Home Community Owner Wants to Obtain Home

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July 16, 2012

Question – Three abandonment questions: (a) Can a landlord acquire a home that is in abandonment? (b) Can he bid during the sealed bid process? (c) If no one bids on the house can the landlord purchase the house and at what price?

Answer: All good questions. The entire statute, which is lengthy, is found at ORS 90.675. (a) Can a landlord acquire a home that is in abandonment? Yes. Assuming that the abandonment process has been formally commenced, the landlord would have to wait for the 45 day period to expire and then if the property was over $8,000, it would have to be advertised and sold via sealed bid. The landlord can bid, but must make sure that the bid is high enough that it’s not going to be snapped up by another higher bid. If the property is worth $8,000 or less, the landlord could dismantle or give away to a non-profit organization. But if the landlord wanted the home, he would have to advertise and auction and then pay the property taxes and could acquire it. (b) Can he or she bid during the sealed bid process? Yes, as mentioned above. However, sealed bids mean sealed bids – no free peek by the landlord, so he knows how much to make his bid for. The playing field must be level. (c) If no one bids on the house can the landlord purchase it and at what price? Generally this should not come up, since the landlord would normally put in his own “protective bid” which is just a credit bid and represents the amount of costs and fees he’s got into the abandonment process. Thus, if no one else were to bid, the landlord would acquire it for the “protective bid.” The above discussion does not factor in what happens if there is a lender. If there is, then the entire time frame is subject to what the lender does. If it signs and returns the Storage Agreement, then the lender will have the right to try to sell the property itself. However, if the lender does not sign and return the Storage Agreement, or otherwise fails to respond to the landlord, then its interest is “conclusively presumed to be abandoned.” Note, however, that when the home is advertised prior to the private auction, the invitation to bid submitted to the newspaper for publishing must also be provided to the lender – even though it didn’t respond to the original 45-day notice. This is sometimes forgotten, since landlords assume that if the lender didn’t respond or timely exercise their right to sell the property, they don’t have a right to know when the auction is held. They do have the right to know, and the right to bid. Forgetting this can create headaches for landlords after they have sold the property to someone else.