Category Archives: Landlord-Tenant

Fair Housing Act and Temporary Disabilities

A person with a temporary disability due to an accident or injury is protected by Section 804(f)(3)(A) of the Fair Housing Act. The general rules are:
A Landlord must make reasonable accommodations for disabled persons.

Reasonable Accommodation means: A housing provider must make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a person with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. In order to get a change in a rule, policy, practice or service, the tenant must request it.

A housing provider must permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied by such person, if the modifications are necessary to allow the person full enjoyment of the premises.

There are other caveats to the general rules referenced above.

Consumer Price Index – Portland: up 2.1% 1/2012 to 1/2013

From: http://www.bls.gov/ro9/cpiport.htm

Area prices up 0.9 percent over the past six months, up 2.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Portland area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.9 percent in the second half of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted the latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and medical care. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U rose 2.1 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices declined 0.3 percent, mainly due to a decrease in the price of natural gas service. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.5 percent over the year.

Moving Out – A Checklist

Are you  planning to terminate your lease and move out?  There are several things you should do to protect yourself and make your move as stress free as possible.

  1. Make sure you give the proper notice to your landlord.  Review your lease.  Can you terminate early?  Do you need to give a 30 day notice?  A 60 day notice?  If you are renting month-to-month, then you must give a 30 day notice.  Always give your notice in writing.
  2. If you mail the notice, tack on at least 3 days to account for mailing.  ORS 90.150(3).
  3. Clean your apartment and take pictures or video of everything.  Photograph the good as well as the bad.
  4. After the apartment is clean and you have moved everything out, perform a walk-through with your landlord.
  5. Make sure the landlord has your new address.

Once you move out, the landlord has to return your all of your deposit or give you an accounting of your deposit, in writing, within 31 days.

As with all things legal, there are time limits for taking action to enforce your rights.  For most matter related to a rental agreement and the Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act, the time limit is one year.  However, there may be shorter time limits involved in some cases.

FREE LANDLORD-TENANT RESOURCES

Legal Aid Services

Legal Aid Services of Oregon has published a guide book titled Landlord Tenant Law in Oregon.  The electronic copy of this document can be found here.

Print copies are often available at Oregon Legal Aid offices.
Go here for office locations:
Legal Aid Services of Oregon
Please call to confirm that they have copies available.

Oregon State Bar

The Oregon State Bar website has a resource page at:

http://www.osbar.org/public/legalinfo/tenant.html

Consumer Price Index – Portland: up 3.1% 1/2011 to 1/2012

From: http://www.bls.gov/ro9/cpiport.htm

Area prices up 1.3 percent over the past six months, up 3.1 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Portland area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 1.3 percent in the second half of 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted the latest six-month increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and food. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U rose 3.1 percent.  Energy prices jumped 16.9 percent, mainly due to an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.8 percent over the year.

CPI Report – January 2011 – 0.4%/1.6%

From Bureau of Labor Statistics – LINK

Consumer Price Index – January 2011

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased  0.4 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in indexes for energy commodities and for food accounted for over two thirds of the all items increase.  The indexes for gasoline and fuel oil both increased in January, continuing their recent strong upward trend.  The index for food at home posted its largest increase in over two years with all six major grocery store food group indexes rising.

The index for all items less food and energy also rose in January.  The indexes for apparel, shelter, airline fares, and recreation all posted increases.  In contrast, the indexes for new vehicles and for used cars and trucks declined in January.

Over the last 12 months, the food index has risen 1.8 percent with the food at home index up 2.1 percent; both 12-month changes are the highest since 2009.  The energy index has increased 7.3 percent over the last 12 months, with the gasoline index up 13.4 percent.  The index for all items less food and energy has risen 1.0 percent.

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA)

The “Helping Families Save Their Home Act of 2009” (S.896) went into effect on May 20, 2009, and includes the “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act” (PTFA), as well as amendments to Section 8 of the “United States Housing Act of 1937.” Both portions of the bill establish new Federal protections for tenants living in properties that go into foreclosure. This law preempts current state laws except where a state’s law provides stronger protections for the tenant. The PTFA included a sunset clause which scheduled this law to expire on December 31, 2012.

Effective May 20th, tenants with a “bona fide” lease that was entered into before notice of foreclosure can remain in a foreclosed home until the end of their lease, unless the bank sells the property to someone who intends to make it his/her primary residence. If the new owner intends to occupy the home, they are still required to give 90-days notice to the tenant prior to eviction. If the tenant does not have a lease (month-to-month) or current state law allows the lease to be terminated at will, there is still a 90-day notice requirement prior to eviction. Notice must be provided by the “immediate successor in interest” which, in most cases, would be the bank or the new owner.

The Act was designed to be silent on several issues which means state law will need to be consulted for further clarification.

Where to Find the Consumer Price Index – Portland Area

Many leases escalate the lease rates each year based on the change in the Consumer Price Index.  In Oregon and southern Washington, the Portland-Salem index is likely the index cited.

The link to the web page with this information is http://www.bls.gov/ro9/ro9_or.htm.  Go down to the News Releases section and select the “Portland-Salem, OR-WA (Semiannual News Release)” HTML or PDF link.

The semi-annual CPI Index comes out in July or August (for Jan thru June) and the Annual CPI for the each prior year comes out in February or March.

The full list of Western News Releases and Indexes can be found at http://www.bls.gov/ro9/news.htm.