September 2022

President's Message

Tia Politi, ORHA President

The new Forms Manual is out this month

It’s been a wild ride over the past two-and-a-half years, with ever-changing regulations, but we have finally finished the new Forms Manual! Local chapters can begin placing orders through Wild Apricot. Thank you all for your patience, it’s been a grueling project, made more challenging by our new numbering system, but we’re finally ready. Read ORHA Technology Chair, Cloud Miller’s outline of the new system later in this newsletter. 

Welcome back – What’s new?

Hope everyone had a chance to get some R & R in during August, because now it’s time to get back to work. I continue to be amazed at the progress being made by our ORHA Office Manager Ben Seamans with the help of Technology Chair Cloud Miller. At our last Executive Committee meeting, Ben unveiled another technological advance for our chapters regarding the monthly membership reports. What has been a challenging process for all of our chapters but especially the smaller groups is now streamlined and incorporated into Microsoft Teams. The new system allows...

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Office Update

Benjamyn Seamans

Hello all, I look forward to seeing the group for our September meetings in Bend! On Friday September 16, 2022, ORHA will be having their committee meetings – If you are a delegate and would like to join a committee meeting, please email for the schedule and virtual links (this notice was emailed out last month). Friday evening, ORHA will be hosting their Leadership Dinner and this invite was emailed out last month.

Additionally, on Saturday September 17, 2022, ORHA will be having their September board meeting – If you are a delegate and would like to join the board meeting, please email for the meeting link and required NDA. Board Members, please keep an eye out in your email during the week of 09/12/2022 for the board packet...

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New Forms Numbering System
Cloud Miller, ORHA Technology Chair

For years, the ORHA Forms Committee has numbered our forms sequentially and just kept adding new numbers to new forms, regardless of what the form was used for. This year marks a big change for us; we are implementing a system that will group the forms in a logical order that we hope will help our members keep track of what forms serve which purpose during the tenancy. 

The new form numbers will always start with a letter indicating group they belong to:
Screening Forms = S
Move-in Forms = M
Operational Forms = O
Violation Forms = V
Termination Forms = T

There are, however, some forms that belong to more than one group, for example, the Reasonable Accommodation and Verification Form. Because it can be used both at move-in and operationally during the tenancy, it is numbered MO1 (Move-in / Operational #1).

For forms that overlap categories, we have combined letters to indicate that:
MO – for Move-in and Operational
MT - for Move-in and Termination
VT – for Violation and Termination

Portland-specific forms are designated with a PD suffix as well as the group code and number. For example, Portland has its own screening forms so the form Application Screening Guidelines – Landlord Choice, is labeled S6PD (Screening, #6, Portland-specific). Also...

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Mind Your Business: Tia's Tips for Better Rental Management
When Disaster Strikes: Navigating the Tricky Realms of Accidents, Acts of God and Acts of Tenants

Many things can happen to make a rental property partially or fully uninhabitable, either short- or long-term, and landlord-tenant law doesn’t provide much specific guidance for landlords on how to manage truly disastrous problems. Depending on the severity of the damage, the landlord may need to initiate a claim on their rental property policy, require the tenants to do the same, or even initiate a claim under a tenant’s renter’s insurance policy, if they have one and refuse to initiate a claim themselves for damage they caused. Factors that can play into that decision include the amount of each party’s insurance deductibles compared to the extent of the damage, the cooperation or lack thereof of the tenant’s household, the anticipated timeliness of repairs, and the ability to assess fault for the damage. The nature of the problem and its severity, along with attribution of fault, will help determine the landlord’s responsibilities.

If the condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent actions of the tenant or a guest, there are different liability concerns than if the damage was caused by the negligence of the landlord, a failure of one or more components of the unit, an accident not the tenant’s fault, or an Act of God.

Statutes require a landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition, but when that duty becomes impossible, the landlord may still have some duty to act. As the provider of shelter in a business relationship, it is the landlord’s duty to ensure that the tenants have secure shelter either in the property or elsewhere, even if that means paying for a hotel room for a couple of nights while the details get sorted out. With residents whose insurance covers substitute housing and replacement of personal property, the landlord’s obligations will be easier to manage. If tenants are displaced by a disaster, and have no renter’s insurance, the Red Cross will usually step in to help those who lack available resources to help themselves, but for a very short time.

If the fault is that of a random third party, say a drunk driver crashes into the rental unit, rendering the property unsecure and partially uninhabitable, both parties can make claims on their insurance policies to cover their areas of responsibility and the insurance companies can subrogate against the responsible third party. Landlords should still act immediately to secure the property and ensure the tenant’s safety.

If the fault is an Act of God, do what is reasonable and act in good faith. During the ice storm of 2016, many residents were without water and power for almost a week. Trees and limbs fell onto houses, causing substantial damage for many. In cases like this, landlords were not willfully withholding essential services and may not have been able to safely get to the property to secure it, remove hazards and repair the property. For months afterward, tree service operators were behind on storm clean-up, and contractors were behind on repairs. It seems reasonable to...

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ORHA Survey Committee Update
Alex Wilkens, ORHA Survey Committee Chair

We're tooling up to send out our second survey to all ORHA members, with this one covering the third quarter of 2022. Please consider filling it out when it hits your inbox in early October! Survey questions will be similar to those we sent out in March. By taking a few minutes to complete the questionnaire, you'll help us detect trends and, more importantly, better represent YOU with our legislature. 

Housing Provider Tip of the Month
Rick Newton, CCROA

With the weather starting to cool, for many it is the time of year when the chipmunks and mice look for places to build a comfy nest to lay around in.  I was told, and it seems to work, they do not like mint oil.  I put a cotton ball with mint oil on it into each of the drawers of my large tool box, and it works.  And, the mint small is way better than the smells the little buggers had left for me before.

Upcoming Events

Lane ROA

The Move-In Process

09/15/2022 | 11:00 am

Salem RHA 

Fair Housing

09/20/2022 | 12:00 pm


September Educational Meeting

09/20/2022 | 06:00 pm


Acts of God and Other Disasters

09/27/2022 | 05:00 pm

More Classes

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The articles in this newsletter are intended to inform the membership and are not intended to convey legal, accounting or other advice. Articles are the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily the official positions and/or the views of Oregon Rental Housing Association. The editor and ORHA assumes no liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the material provided in this Newsletter. Appropriate legal, accounting or other expert assistance should be sought from competent professionals.