Phil Querin Q&A: When to Use 30 Day Notice of Eviction vs. 24 Hour Notice of Eviction

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August 15, 2012

Question: We have a resident in the park who recently got into a verbal shouting match with another neighbor. The resident was extremely intoxicated at the time and made threats and gestures that were very inappropriate and provocative. There are some residents who want us to immediately issue a 24-hour notice. However, until this incident, the resident has been a good tenant and never caused a problem. How should we handle this? This incident seems entirely out of character for this individual.

Answer: The statute governing the issuance of a 24-hour notice is ORS 90.396 [Acts or omissions justifying termination 24 hours after notice.] Subsection (1)(f) states that a 24-hour notice may be appropriate in the following circumstances:

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. For purposes of this paragraph, an act is outrageous in the extreme if the act is not described in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection, but is similar in degree and is one that a reasonable person in that community would consider to be so offensive as to warrant termination of the tenancy within 24 hours, considering the seriousness of the act or the risk to others. An act that is outrageous in the extreme is more extreme or serious than an act that warrants a 30-day termination under ORS 90.392. [Emphasis mine.]

Unfortunately, in close cases, what is “outrageous” is frequently in the eyes of the beholder. The question is was this truly an isolated incident for which you could give a 30-day notice that he could cure by simply not repeated within the following 30 days? If he repeated it thereafter [i.e. within 6 months following the date of the 30-day notice] you could terminate with a 20-day, non-curable, notice.

In making a decision whether to do a 24-hour notice, which is non-curable, or a 30-day notice which is, you should consider the following factors:

1. Has this ever occurred before?

2. How long has the resident been in the park?

3. Is there a reason to believe the conduct will be repeated?

4. Does the resident have a drinking/emotional problem on a regular basis?

5. Did the conduct pose any immediate threat to health or safety?

6. Was actual violence involved?

If you genuinely believe that a 30-day notice would work, it will still provide you with the opportunity to issue a 20-day non-curable notice if he fell off the wagon again - either within the 30 days or within 180 days following the date of issuance of the 30 day notice. Remember that the 24-hour notice is final, whereas the 30-day notice is not, because it can be “cured.” This may be a case where you should issue the 30-day notice, and make it clear to him that the next time will be final. In any event, the conduct should not be ignored – a notice should issue.