Ask attorney Brad is a feature with attorney Bradley S. Kraus and the question this week is about non-lease occupants and it is the question he get asks about the most. If you have a landlord question for Brad, please feel out the form below. He cannot answer questions from tenants.
Ask Attorney Brad:
How can an owner effectively enforce the lease limitations on extended guests and non-lease occupants contained in the standard Oregon rental agreement?
Thanks for reaching out on this one. Unauthorized-occupant situations are maddening to deal with.
It’s the most frequent question I deal with as a landlord’s attorney.
Prior to Senate Bill 282, it was difficult to prove a tenant had an unauthorized occupant in the premises for longer than the timeframe set forth therein. If you could prove that a tenant had a guest in the premises longer than the timeframe set forth in the lease, a Notice of Termination for Cause under ORS 90.392 was our remedy.
Since Senate Bill 282, the rules of the game have changed a bit, and the strategy has changed. I covered this topic in a previous article for Rental Housing Journal. Senate Bill 282 requires a landlord to prove that the unauthorized occupant has been in the premises for longer than 15 days in the preceding 12-month period. The proof could be such things as witness statements, admissions from the tenant themselves, or other documentary proof to support the same. Once the landlord can prove the 15-day issue, the remainder of a landlord’s rights kick in.
With the above proof, a landlord can require the unauthorized occupant to (a) pass a criminal screening, and (b) sign a temporary-occupancy agreement with the landlord and named tenant. If the occupant or tenant fails/refuses to do either of those items, the landlord can serve a notice of termination for cause to enforce those rights. If the tenant and occupant fail to cure those issues, an eviction can be filed based upon that notice.
Bradley S. Kraus is an attorney at Warren Allen LLP. His primary practice area is landlord/tenant law, but he also assists clients with various litigation matters, probate matters, real estate disputes, and family law matters. You can reach him at email@example.com or at 503-255-8795.
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