This article is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice for any specific issue that might arise, since every situation is different. Always consult a knowledgeable landlord attorney with your specific legal issues.
A very recent court case highlights the ongoing importance of always conducting background checks on potential tenants. This particular situation arose at an RV park when two overnight guests refused to vacate despite never being offered a rental agreement. There were unusual circumstances that led to the situation, but the main point is to never let anyone become a tenant without running a thorough and accurate background report first.
Editor's Note: In 2019 the Oregon Legislature made changes to mediation for Oregon Community owners and residents. At the time time we published 17 Q&As for MHCO members by Bill Miner, Davis Wright Tremaine. Here is a re-visit of an article published earlier.
One of the advantages of being a lawyer at Davis Wright Tremaine, is we have lots of different lawyers with many different areas of expertise. To answer the questions below, I enlisted the help of my colleague Jim Oliver, who is a lawyer with substantial experience in the insurance industry. As with all of these articles, the following should not be construed as legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created. If you have specific legal questions or concerns, please reach out to your attorney.
Question: We have a couple living in a nice RV in our park on a month-to-month rental agreement. They have been here for about two years, are retired, and have never had trouble paying the rent. To make a long story short, we refused their rent earlier this year in January, February and March until we resolved a dispute with them regarding their dogs. When we asked them to pay that rent, they refused because by then the statewide COVID-19 eviction moratorium had gone into effect. Can we evict them for not paying pre-COVID rent that they still owe?
Question: A man has set up a tent on one of our park’s RV spaces, with lot of garbage around the space. He did not sign any agreement – he just showed up one day. How does the landlord best deal with this situation?
Question: A month-to-month resident in our RV Park (on MHCO Form 80 - RV Agreement) is causing numerous problems for other RV residents. In one case he was verbally abusive to several children – a restraining order was issued and subsequently violated. What options do we have as the landlord to evict this tenant?
Question: Our county has entered Phase 2 of the reopening procedures for COVID-19. While we have kept the park restrooms, showers and laundry room open during the state-wide shutdown, we have kept other park facilities closed. We are still reluctant to open our swimming pool, small indoor rec center, and playground. What are we required to open and how do we safely do it?
Question: We have residents in our RV park who seem to be blatantly violating the governor’s COVID-19 emergency stay-at-home order. Some residents have outside family members or guests come by regularly, while a few other residents get together on their spaces to just “hang out” in the evenings. This has caused some concern in the park, so what can or should we do?
Question: We had a month-to-month RV tenant vacate shortly after she paid her monthly rent, and she is now demanding a refund of “unused” rent from the vacate date forward. Do we have to refund that rent?