Phil Querin Q&A: Tenant Crimes Committed Outside Park

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April 27, 2016
Phil Querin
MHCO Legal Counsel
Querin Law

 

Question.  As a manager, do I have the ability to terminate the tenancy of a current resident who committed a crime outside of the community?

 

Answer. ORS 90.630(1)(a) (Termination by landlord; causes; notice; cure; repeated nonpayment of rent) permits you to issue a 30-day termination notice for any of the following if the resident:

 

  • Violates a law or ordinance related to the tenant’s conduct as a tenant, including but not limited to a material noncompliance with ORS 90.740;
  •  Violates a rule or rental agreement provision related to the tenant’s conduct as a tenant and imposed as a condition of occupancy, including but not limited to a material noncompliance with a rental agreement regarding a program of recovery in drug and alcohol free housing

 

I read these prohibitions as relating to events or conduct inside the community.  However, as to the following two, the conduct is not required to have occurred inside the community:

 

  • Is classified as a level three sex offender under ORS 163A.100 (3);
  • Is an unclassified adult sex offender designated as predatory prior to January 1, 2014, or a person whom the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, the Psychiatric Security Review Board or the Oregon Health Authority has classified as a level three sex offender under section 7 (2)(b), chapter 708, Oregon Laws 2013.

 

Both of the above two sex offender violations are non-curable, so that presumably the resident must vacate within the 30-day period. As I read ORS 90.630, with the exception of the sex offender violations, the others must relate to the tenant’s conduct as a tenant, and by definition (to me at least) mean “while in the community”; for purposes of termination of a tenancy, a tenant is not a tenant when he or she is outside of the community.

 

90.396 (Acts or omissions justifying termination 24 hours after notice) provides that you may issue a 24-hour notice if:

  • The tenant, someone in the tenant’s control or the tenant’s pet seriously threatens to inflict substantial personal injury, or inflicts any substantial personal injury, upon a person on the premises other than the tenant;
  •  The tenant or someone in the tenant’s control recklessly endangers a person on the premises other than the tenant by creating a serious risk of substantial personal injury;
  •   The tenant, someone in the tenant’s control or the tenant’s pet inflicts any substantial personal injury upon a neighbor living in the immediate vicinity of the premises;
  • The tenant or someone in the tenant’s control intentionally inflicts any substantial damage to the premises or the tenant’s pet inflicts substantial damage to the premises on more than one occasion;
  • The tenant, someone in the tenant’s control or the tenant’s pet commits any act that is outrageous in the extreme, on the premises or in the immediate vicinity of the premises. Acts that are “outrageous in the extreme” include, but are not limited to, the following acts by a person: Prostitution, commercial sexual solicitation or promoting prostitution; Manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance, but not including the medical use of marijuana in compliance with Oregon law; Possession of, or delivery for no consideration of, less than one avoirdupois ounce of marijuana; or possession of prescription drugs; intimidation, as described under Oregon criminal law; or burglary.

 

Under the definition section of the Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act, ORS 90.100 (34), the term “premises” means “a facility for manufactured dwellings or floating homes”, i.e. the park itself.  Thus, again, all of the prohibited conduct must have occurred inside the community.

 

Conclusion.  However, you should remember that when a resident commits a crime outside the community, especially one that entails incarceration, the problems don’t usually stop there, i.e. he or she frequently is unable to pay their rent, which can lead to eviction. Or your issuance of three 72-hour (or 144-hour) late notices, can result in issuance of a noncurable 30-day notice of termination. In cases in which the tenant has committed some particularly aggravated crime outside the park, which causes you concern for their coming back into the community, I suggest you consult your attorney to determine whether there might be some other basis for termination. 

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