Phil Querin Q&A: Temporary Occupant and Fair Housing Accommodation

Want access to MHCO content?

For complete access to forms, conference presentations, community updates and MHCO columns, log in to your account or register.

June 20, 2018
Phil Querin
MHCO Legal Counsel
Querin Law

 

Question:  A tenant has asked for her daughter to be on a temporary occupant agreement.  The tenant has recently been in the hospital and has returned home.  She has not said she needs a caregiver at this point in time.  The daughter is 40 years old and has three large dogs.   She has applied to be a temporary occupant and has said that she will bring her dogs and if the park says ‘no’ she will get her attorney.  Does the temporary occupant have rights? The park has a small dog policy - her dogs are clearly in violation. At this point there has been no mention of disability or request for reasonable accommodation.  What are the landlord’s rights?  We suspect that the tenant will eventually say she needs at caregiver and hence the need for her daughter.  At that point, once she has said “disability” or “caregiver” what are the landlord’s rights? Can he say no to the daughter in both circumstances or only in first before the word “disability” or “caregiver” is mentioned?

 

 

 

Answer:  Here is a short - and not comprehensive – summary of the temporary occupancy agreement law, which is found in ORS 90.275:

 

  • The temporary occupancy agreement may be terminated by:
    •  The tenant without cause at any time; and
    •  The landlord – but only for a cause that is a material violation of the temporary occupancy agreement.
  • The temporary occupant does not have a right to cure a for-cause violation issued from the landlord.
  • Before entering into a temporary occupancy agreement, a landlord may screen the proposed temporary occupant for issues regarding conduct or for a criminal record.
    • However, the landlord may not screen the proposed temporary occupant for credit history or income level, since they are not a “tenant” and their financial capacity to pay rent is immaterial.
  •  A temporary occupancy agreement:
    •  May provide that the temporary occupant is required to comply with any applicable rules for the premises; and
    • May have a specific ending date.
  • A landlord or tenant is not required to give the temporary occupant written notice of the termination of a temporary occupancy agreement.
  • A temporary occupant is treated as a squatter if they continue to occupy the dwelling in violation of the agreement.

Temporary occupants may be screened (except for financial capacity), and are held to the same criteria as tenants in regards to conduct, etc. Accordingly, if the Community has rules on pets, the TO must qualify.

 

If the tenant and daughter try to turn this into a reasonable accommodation issue, it is my opinion it still does not get her to first base. I can find no case law supporting the contention that a housing provider must make a reasonable accommodation to the daughter (as a TO) for permitting three large dogs in the Community.

 

You do NOT want to put the daughter on the rental agreement because that would make her a “tenant” in a legal sense, and trigger reasonable accommodation entitlements.

 
Location Tags: