By Tia Politi, ORHA Forms Committee Chair
Dear Local Associations of the ORHA,
Usually, when ORHA produces a new Forms Manual or Law Book, we work to create an insert or guide that can be added to the previous manual that allows it to be used longer, saving our members money. With the addition of so many new forms, and so many updates to established forms, the board feels that this is not a good option. We are encouraging you to urge your members to purchase the new ORHA Forms Manual 2019 and dispose of the old one. We are moving toward the idea of creating a system or how-to guide for property management in Oregon, and so have revamped the order of the Forms Manual by putting the educational sections, “Delivery of Notices” and “Delivering Possession,” before the forms themselves.
We exist to protect and serve the interests of our members, and one of the most valuable things we can teach them is the importance of perfecting service of notice. Failure to select the right form, fill it out properly, calculate time correctly, and serve it perfectly are the most common cause of landlord loss in the courtroom and imposition of money judgments owing to the tenant.
Cloud Miller of TVRA is encouraging members who are reluctant to get a new manual by requiring them to have one if they want his help on the Helpline related to forms. He then teaches them how to find the answers by taking them through the answer in the manual. It has the added benefit of reducing calls.
Lane ROA is selling the manuals at a lower price now and plans to increase the price in November, and is letting members know. Use whatever strategy you feel would work to get this important reference book into the hands of your members.
Violet Wilson of SRHA, created a class for her members on the new Forms Manual, that ORHA has purchased to distribute to all of you for the low, low price of $20. Violet’s presentation is designed for a three-hour class and runs attendees through service of notice, the different types of notices, and how to use the manual. Please contact Virginia at the office if you would like a copy of the PowerPoint presentation. She will email it to you, and all it takes is a class facilitator to run through the material. You can print handouts for classes as needed in whatever layout works. Educate your members, create interest in your association, and make money to further your mission – what’s better than that?
And finally, just in case you haven’t read the rundown on the new forms, here’s the skinny:
The 2018 Forms Manual was complete and ready to go to print, when word came that there would be a major change coming to the Landlord-Tenant Act – ORS Chapter 90. The board of directors decided it would be best to delay the release of the manual until new forms could be created and incorporated. The final version of SB 608 instituting rent control and limits on no-cause termination of tenancy, was signed into law on February 28, 2019, with an emergency clause. The Act became effective on the Governor’s signature for rent increases, fixed-term leases entered into or renewed on or after the effective date, and terminations of month-to-month tenancies occurring on or after the 30th day after the Governor’s signature.
The Forms Committee introduced several new forms earlier in 2019, including Septic Agreement (Form #61), Well Agreement (Form #62), Fireplace, Wood Stove, Pellet Stove Agreement (Form #63), and Pest Agreement (Form #64). This year we are also rolling out a new Exterior Property Care Addendum (Form #65) that address issues of yard care and other exterior care issues, as well as a new Weatherization Addendum (Form #66) to clarify the responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants in protecting the property in case of severe weather events. We have added a Co-Signer Application (Form #52A), to make screening co-signers easier, and have changed our satellite agreement to include cable hookups and security systems. This form is now called the Cable/Satellite Dish/Security System Agreement (Form #24). We also updated several forms in response to user feedback and attorney review, including both the Application (Form #1), Month-to-Month Rental Agreement (Form #2A), Fixed-Term Rental Agreement (Form #2B), Rules and Regulations (Form #33), Add or Delete Tenant Agreement (Form #59), Deposit Refund Checklist (Form #21), the Pet Agreement (Form #3), the Assistance Animal Agreement (Form #46), 24-Hour Notice to Enter (Form #18), and both the Medical Marijuana Agreement (Form #10) and the Marijuana Agreement (Form #10A).
With the passage of SB 608, the Forms Committee updated the Notice of Termination – No-Cause (Form #5) to clarify that it only applied to first-year tenancies. The committee kept the options for 30, 60 or 90 days because in certain jurisdictions or in subsidized housing, termination timeframes are different. The committee also created new termination forms: Notice of Termination – Qualifying Landlord Reason (Form #5A), Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease (Form #5B), and Notice of Termination – Two-Unit/Owner-Occupied Property (Form #5C), to help landlords comply with the new requirements. The Notice of Rent Increase (Form #13) was updated to include language consistent with the requirements of law, and created a form Notice of Lease Renewal (Form #67) that provides a way for landlords to incentivize lease renewals rather than allowing the tenancy to convert to a month-to-month agreement.
To make it easier for landlords to provide warning notices to tenants under a fixed-term lease and potentially terminate a lease under the Three Strikes rule, the following forms have had new language included that states: “If you are on a fixed-term lease, be advised your landlord has the option to terminate your tenancy at the end of your lease if you have received three or more notices for noncompliance (including non-payment of rent) within a 12-month period preceding the end of the fixed term. Owner/Agent may terminate the tenancy by issuing a 90-day notice prior to the lease end date, or 90 days prior to the date designated in the notice, whichever is later. Correcting the third or subsequent violation is not a defense to the termination. This is your violation in the last 12 months.”
This language has been added to all non-compliance forms, including:
ORHA Forms #4 & #44 – 72/144 Hour Notice of Non-Payment of Rent
ORHA Form #6 – Unauthorized Pet Violation
ORHA Form #14 – Past-Due Rent Reminder
ORHA Form #34 – Parking Violation
ORHA Form #35 – Notice of Non-Compliance
ORHA Form #38 – Notice of Termination with Cause
The forms committee also included language on all of our termination notices to comply with a new law requiring landlords to make veterans aware of the community resources that may be available to help them. Even though this law does not take effect until January 1, 2020, we thought it would be prudent to include the language now.
Two other bills that passed this term, but won’t take effect until January 1, 2020, are necessitating changes as well. After the law takes effect, a landlord may only require an applicant to pay a single applicant screening charge within any 60-day period, regardless of the number of rental units owned or managed by the landlord for which the applicant has applied to rent. This prompted a change to Application Screening Charge Receipt (ORHA Form #42) reminding landlords of the new rule.
Another change to screening guidelines:
- 1) When evaluating an applicant, the landlord may not consider drug-related convictions based solely on the use or possession of marijuana.
- 2) When evaluating an applicant, the landlord may not consider the possession of a medical marijuana card or status as a medical marijuana patient when making a determination about the suitability of an applicant. Affordable housing providers subject to federal laws prohibiting the use or possession of marijuana (including medical marijuana) by resident on the premises may continue to enforce those rules with their residents.
This prompted a change to Application Screening Guidelines (ORHA Form #45) reminding landlords of the new rule.
As we work at the state level to provide the best updates to forms and our manual to serve your association, we know you share the desire to keep our members’ interest paramount. Please encourage them to only use the most updated forms.