Phil Querin Q&A: Expiration of Lease Term - No Response From Resident

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Phil Querin

 

Question.Landlord has given resident notification of expiration of lease term, but tenant has not responded.  What does landlord do when there is no response from resident?  Should she still accept rent, which would turn it into a month-to-month tenancy? What is the best strategy?

 

 

Answer.  Senate Bill 608 applies to this situation. You have not indicated whether the resident’s period of occupancy exceeded one year.[1]For purposes of the answer below, I will assume it is. I will also assume the resident owns their own home, in not in violation of the rules or rental agreement, and is current on rent, i.e. you are not seeking to terminate the tenancy based upon nonpayment, which, as you know, has been prohibited pursuant to HB 4213 which was passed in the Special Session and became immediately effective on June 26, 2020. 

 

Based upon the above assumptions, here are the rules for what is to happen at the end of a lease term:

 

The fixed term lease becomes a month-to-month tenancy upon the expiration,unless: 

 

(a) You and the tenant agreetoanewfixedtermtenancy;

(b) The tenant gives you notice of terminationin writing not less than 30 days prior to the ending date of the lease (or the date designated in the notice for the termination of the tenancy, whichever is later);or 

(c) You give written notice to the tenant under the Qualified Landlord rules.[2]

 

I suggest you try to find out what the tenant wants to do. Reach out and ask. It may be he or she is just being coy, knowing that the right of occupancy cannot terminate at the end of the lease term, i.e. under SB 608 it automatically becomes a month-to-month tenancy. 

 

Note that if the tenant remains in occupancy over one year, he or she automatically becomes a month-to-month tenant. If that is the case, you may not reject the tender of rent. However, with 90 days’ notice, you are entitled to increase the rent, so long as it is no greater than 7% plus the change in CPI.

 

If the tenant plans on withholding rent, that is another issue, since the Special Session rules have imposed limitations on a landlord’s ability to terminate a tenancy for non-payment of rent. This is why you need to contact your tenant to see what’s going on.  Oregon’s laws today do not give residential landlords many options - at least until some of these regulations disappear.[3]  

 

 

 

[1]If the specified ending date for the  fixed term falls within the first year of occupancy, the landlord may terminate the tenancy without cause by giving the tenant notice in writing not less than 30 days prior  to the specified ending date for the fixed term, or30 days priorto the date designatedinthenoticefortheterminationofthetenancy,whicheverislater.

[2]These rules largely do not apply to spaces in manufactured housing communities: With 90-days advance written notice you may terminate the tenancy if you intend to convert the space to a use other than residential; or if you intend to undertake repairs or renovations to the space and the space unsafe or unfit for occupancy during the repairs orrenovations; or if you intend for yourself or a member of your immediate family to occupy the space as a primary residence andthere are no other comparable spaces “in the same building”. (Emphasis added.)

[3]The Special Session law doesprovide that Section 3 of HB 4213 (limitations on nonpayment terminations and evictions) is automatically repealed on March 31, 2021.

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