Oregon Security Deposit Law: An Essential Guide for Landlords and Tenants
Navigating Oregon Security Deposit Law is crucial for landlords and tenants to ensure compliance. This comprehensive guide covers the key aspects of Oregon’s security deposit regulations, providing clarity and guidance for a smoother rental experience.
Maximum Security Deposit Amount
Unlike some states, Oregon does not set a legal limit on the amount a landlord can charge as a security deposit. This flexibility allows landlords to determine an appropriate deposit amount based on factors like property type and rental agreement terms. Landlords can charge a new security deposit when renewing or signing a second lease after a year.
Refund Timeline and Requirements
Oregon landlords have a 31-day window to refund security deposits after the lease ends. They must provide an itemized list detailing any deductions from the deposit. This list must be sent by first-class mail within 31 days of lease termination and delivery of possession back to the landlord.
Deposit Disclosure and Interest
In Oregon, landlords have no legal requirement to disclose the location of security deposits, nor are they required to pay interest on these deposits.
Deposit Adjustments During Tenancy
During the first year of tenancy, landlords cannot require tenants to pay a new or increased security deposit. After the first year, if such a deposit is required, tenants must be given at least three months to pay the new or increased amount.
Landlord’s Use of Deposits
Landlords may use the security deposit only to cover unpaid rent or repair damages caused by the tenant, excluding normal wear and tear. They are not required to repair the damage before claiming against the deposit, and any labor costs must be reasonable.
Last Month’s Rent Deposit
Landlords must apply any last month’s rent deposit to the rent due for the final month of tenancy under specific conditions, such as a notice of termination or mutual agreement to end the tenancy.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
If a landlord fails to comply with the stipulated 31-day refund period or acts in bad faith, the tenant may recover twice the amount due, either withheld without a written accounting or in bad faith.
Eugene’s Unique Security Deposit Regulations
Eugene, Oregon, has recently introduced specific regulations that modify the general Oregon Security Deposit Law within its jurisdiction. These changes, effective as of August 25, 2023, are part of the city’s broader “Renter Protections” initiative and include several notable provisions:
Limited Security Deposits
Eugene has placed a cap on security deposits, limiting them to a maximum of two times the monthly rent. However, exceptions exist:
- Landlords may charge a higher deposit if a tenant does not meet standard screening criteria (income, credit, criminal history, or past evictions).
- After the first year of occupancy, if the lease terms are altered with mutual agreement (such as adding a new tenant), an increased deposit related to this change is permissible.
Application Processing Order
Landlords and property managers in Eugene are now required to process rental applications in the order they are received. This rule aims to standardize the application process, ensuring fairness and transparency in tenant selection.
Relocation Assistance Mandate
A significant addition to Eugene’s regulations is mandatory relocation assistance. Landlords must provide two months’ rent as relocation assistance in several scenarios, including:
- Legal no-cause evictions, including end-of-tenancy notices issued within the first year.
- The tenant requested relocation assistance due to the inability to afford a rent increase up to the maximum allowed by state law.
- Various landlord-based reasons for termination, like demolition, renovation, landlord’s occupancy, or sale of the unit to someone who intends to reside there.
- Non-renewal of a lease.
Best Practices for Landlords and Tenants
For a harmonious rental relationship, both parties should familiarize themselves with the specifics of Oregon Security Deposit Law. Landlords should issue receipts for deposits, provide detailed accounting for deductions, and adhere to the refund timeline. Tenants should document the property’s condition at move-in and move-out and understand their rights regarding security deposits.
By understanding and complying with Oregon Security Deposit Law, landlords, and tenants can ensure a fair and lawful rental experience.
Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is informational and should be different from legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.