Phil Querin Q&A: Resident Behavior Prevents Landlord From Renting Neighboring Space

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Phil Querin

Question:  Our manager is having difficulties with troublesome residents who are interfering with his efforts to fill spaces. In one case it is a vacant mobile home the manager is showing, but the neighbor is mean/obnoxious and does not want the home purchased. In the other case we have an empty RV pad and another neighbor comes out scaring away the RV owner who wants to rent the space. What are our legal rights regarding these two neighbors?

 

 

Answer.  First, let’s deal with the vacant mobile home next door to the troublesome neighbor. You need to review your community rules and the rental/lease agreement to see what restrictions might apply. 

 

The MHCO Rental/Lease Agreement contains a quiet enjoyment provision similar to ORS 90.740which requires that the tenant “…(b)ehave, and require persons on the premises with the consent of the tenant to behave, in a manner that does not disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the premises by neighbors.”[1] 

 

I assume you have already contacted the problem tenant and requested he/she refrain from such conduct. I would elevate this to a written warning, so you have documentation in the file should he refuse to stop.

 

The next step, if he/she continues, is, depending upon the applicable provisions of your rules and rental/lease agreement, to issue a notice of termination under ORS 90.630(1)(b) for a material violation of a “… rental agreement[2]provision related to the tenant’s conduct as a tenant and imposed as a condition of occupancy….”

 

And thanks to a 2019 legislative change, ORS 90.630now provides that a 30-day notice of termination may be issued if the prohibited conduct is a “…separate and distinct act or omission *** the tenant “…may avoid termination by correcting the violation by a designated date that is at least three daysafter delivery of the notice.” (Emphasis added.) If substantially the same conduct is repeated with six month after the termination date, a landlord may issue a non-curable 20-days’ notice of termination.[3]

 

As to the other tenant interfering with your manager’s efforts to rent an RV space, the manufactured housing section of ORS Chapter 90,[4]does not apply, so you must look to that portion of the landlord-tenant law that applies to all other rentals, such as homes and apartments, etc.[5]

 

You still need to review your rules and rental agreement for a quiet enjoyment provision, or use the statutory equivalent found in ORS 90.325(1)(g). The non-manufactured housing termination for cause statute, ORS 90.392applies. It contains the same “distinct act” and non-curable “repeat violation” provisions. It providesfollows:

 

· The notice must:

  • Specify the acts and omissions constituting the violation;
  • State that the rental agreement will terminate upon a designated date not less than 30 days after delivery of the notice; and
  • If the tenant can cure the violation, state that the violation can be cured, describe at least one possible remedy to cure the violation and designate the date by which the tenant must cure the violation.

· If the violation described in the notice can be cured by the tenant by a change in conduct, repairs, payment of money or otherwise, the rental agreement does not terminate if the tenant cures the violation by the designated date.

· The designated date must be:

o At least 14 days after delivery of the notice; or

o If the violation is conduct that was a separate and distinct act or omission and is not ongoing, no earlier than the date of delivery of the notice as provided in ORS 90.155.

· If the tenant does not cure the violation, the rental agreement terminates as of the termination date provided in the notice.

· If substantially the same act or omission occurs with six months of the designated termination date, the notice of termination must be not less than 10 days after delivery of the notice, and the tenant does not have a right to cure the violation.

 

Lastly, I regard this conduct as a different type of activity than the normal Chapter 90 violations. You might consider discussing this with your attorney, since it clearly interferes with your ability to run your business. The loss of potential tenants can have serious financial consequences. Perhaps a letter to the troublesome tenants would be appropriate, warning them of financial claims if the conduct continues. 

 

 

[1]I acknowledge that the statutory language is, arguably, limited to “neighbors” rather than management. However, the MHCO Rental/Lease Agreement is broader and could be applied to management.

[2]Note that under ORS 90.100(38) a“’Rental agreement’” means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulationsadopted under ORS 90.262 or 90.510 (6) embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises. “Rental agreement” includes a lease. A rental agreement is either a week-to-week tenancy, month-to-month tenancy or fixed term tenancy.”(Emphasis added.)

[3][3][3]I was not involved in the amendments, but believe they were intended to address the anomalous interpretation that a violation could re-occur repeatedly for thirty days and the tenant could “cure” by stopping on the 30thday. That is not possible under the new version of ORS 90.630, since a “repeat violation” could occur within the 30 days and result in a non-curable 20-day notice.

[4]ORS 90.505 et seq.

[5]ORS 90.100 – 90.493.

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