2011 ORS § 90.532¹
Billing methods for utility or service charges
  • system maintenance
  • restriction on charging for water

(1) Subject to the policies of the utility or service provider, a landlord may, except as provided in subsections (2) to (4) of this section, provide for utilities or services to tenants by one or more of the following billing methods:

(a) A relationship between the tenant and the utility or service provider in which:

(A) The provider provides the utility or service directly to the tenants space, including any utility or service line, and bills the tenant directly; and

(B) The landlord does not act as a provider.

(b) A relationship between the landlord, tenant and utility or service provider in which:

(A) The provider provides the utility or service to the landlord;

(B) The landlord provides the utility or service directly to the tenants space or to a common area available to the tenant as part of the tenancy; and

(C) The landlord:

(i) Includes the cost of the utility or service in the tenants rent; or

(ii) Bills the tenant for a utility or service charge separately from the rent in an amount determined by apportioning on a pro rata basis the providers charge to the landlord as measured by a master meter.

(c) A relationship between the landlord, tenant and utility or service provider in which:

(A) The provider provides the utility or service to the landlord;

(B) The landlord provides the utility or service directly to the tenants space; and

(C) The landlord uses a submeter to measure the utility or service actually provided to the space and bills the tenant for a utility or service charge for the amount provided.

(2) A landlord may not use a separately charged pro rata apportionment billing method as described in subsection (1)(b)(C)(ii) of this section:

(a) For garbage collection and disposal, unless the pro rata apportionment is based upon the number and size of the garbage receptacles used by the tenant.

(b) For water service, if the rental agreement for the dwelling unit was entered into on or after January 1, 2010, unless the landlord was using a separately charged pro rata apportionment billing method for all tenants in the facility immediately before January 1, 2010.

(c) For sewer service, if sewer service is measured by consumption of water and the rental agreement for the dwelling unit was entered into on or after January 1, 2010, unless the landlord was using a separately charged pro rata apportionment billing method for all tenants in the facility immediately before January 1, 2010.

(3) Except as allowed by subsection (2) of this section for rental agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2010, a landlord and tenant may not amend a rental agreement to convert water or sewer utility and service billing from a method described in subsection (1)(b)(C)(i) of this section to a method described in subsection (1)(b)(C)(ii) of this section.

(4)(a) A landlord of a manufactured dwelling park built after June 23, 2011, may use only the submeter billing method described in subsection (1)(c) of this section for the provision of water.

(b) A landlord of a manufactured dwelling park that expands to add spaces after June 23, 2011, may use only the submeter billing method described in subsection (1)(c) of this section for the provision of water to any spaces added in excess of 200.

(5) To assess a tenant for a utility or service charge for any billing period using the billing method described in subsection (1)(b)(C)(ii) or (c) of this section, the landlord shall give the tenant a written notice stating the amount of the utility or service charge that the tenant is to pay the landlord and the due date for making the payment. The due date may not be less than 14 days from the date of service of the notice. The amount of the charge is determined as described in ORS 90.534 (Allocated charges for utility or service provided directly to space or common area) or 90.536 (Charges for utilities or services measured by submeter). If the rental agreement allows delivery of notice of a utility or service charge by electronic means, for purposes of this subsection, written notice includes a communication that is transmitted in a manner that is electronic, as defined in ORS 84.004 (Definitions).

(6) A utility or service charge is not rent or a fee. Nonpayment of a utility or service charge is not grounds for termination of a rental agreement for nonpayment of rent under ORS 90.394 (Termination of rental agreement for failure to pay rent), but is grounds for termination of a rental agreement for cause under ORS 90.630 (Termination by landlord).

(7) The landlord is responsible for maintaining the utility or service system, including any submeter, consistent with ORS 90.730 (Landlord duty to maintain rented space, vacant spaces and common areas in habitable condition). After any installation or maintenance of the system on a tenants space, the landlord shall restore the space to a condition that is the same as or better than the condition of the space before the installation or maintenance.

(8) A landlord may not assess a utility or service charge for water unless the water is provided to the landlord by a:

(a) Public utility as defined in ORS 757.005 (Definitions);

(b) Municipal utility operating under ORS chapter 225;

(c) Peoples utility district organized under ORS chapter 261;

(d) Cooperative organized under ORS chapter 62;

(e) Domestic water supply district organized under ORS chapter 264; or

(f) Water improvement district organized under ORS chapter 552.

(9) A landlord that provides utilities or services only to tenants of the landlord in compliance with this section and ORS 90.534 (Allocated charges for utility or service provided directly to space or common area) and 90.536 (Charges for utilities or services measured by submeter) is not a public utility for purposes of ORS chapter 757.

(10) The authority granted in this section for a utility or service provider to apply policy regarding the billing methods described in subsection (1) of this section does not authorize the utility or service provider to dictate either the amount billed to tenants or the rate at which tenants are billed under ORS 90.534 (Allocated charges for utility or service provided directly to space or common area) or 90.536 (Charges for utilities or services measured by submeter). [2005 c.619 §6; 2007 c.71 §24; 2009 c.305 §1; 2009 c.816 §6; 2011 c.503 §6]

Note: The amendments to 90.532 (Billing methods for utility or service charges) by section 6a, chapter 816, Oregon Laws 2009, become operative December 31, 2012. See section 3, chapter 479, Oregon Laws 2009, as amended by section 6b, chapter 816, Oregon Laws 2009. The text that is operative on and after December 31, 2012, including amendments by section 6a, chapter 503, Oregon Laws 2011, is set forth for the users convenience.

90.532 (Billing methods for utility or service charges). (1) Subject to the policies of the utility or service provider, a landlord may, except as provided in subsections (2) to (5) of this section, provide for utilities or services to tenants by one or more of the following billing methods:

(a) A relationship between the tenant and the utility or service provider in which:

(A) The provider provides the utility or service directly to the tenants space, including any utility or service line, and bills the tenant directly; and

(B) The landlord does not act as a provider.

(b) A relationship between the landlord, tenant and utility or service provider in which:

(A) The provider provides the utility or service to the landlord;

(B) The landlord provides the utility or service directly to the tenants space or to a common area available to the tenant as part of the tenancy; and

(C) The landlord:

(i) Includes the cost of the utility or service in the tenants rent; or

(ii) Bills the tenant for a utility or service charge separately from the rent in an amount determined by apportioning on a pro rata basis the providers charge to the landlord as measured by a master meter.

(c) A relationship between the landlord, tenant and utility or service provider in which:

(A) The provider provides the utility or service to the landlord;

(B) The landlord provides the utility or service directly to the tenants space; and

(C) The landlord uses a submeter to measure the utility or service actually provided to the space and bills the tenant for a utility or service charge for the amount provided.

(2) A landlord may not use a separately charged pro rata apportionment billing method as described in subsection (1)(b)(C)(ii) of this section:

(a) For garbage collection and disposal, unless the pro rata apportionment is based upon the number and size of the garbage receptacles used by the tenant.

(b) For water service, if the rental agreement for the dwelling unit was entered into on or after January 1, 2010, unless the landlord was using a separately charged pro rata apportionment billing method for all tenants in the facility immediately before January 1, 2010.

(c) For sewer service, if sewer service is measured by consumption of water and the rental agreement for the dwelling unit was entered into on or after January 1, 2010, unless the landlord was using a separately charged pro rata apportionment billing method for all tenants in the facility immediately before January 1, 2010.

(3) Except as allowed by subsection (2) of this section for rental agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2010, a landlord and tenant may not amend a rental agreement to convert water or sewer utility and service billing from a method described in subsection (1)(b)(C)(i) of this section to a method described in subsection (1)(b)(C)(ii) of this section.

(4) Except as provided in ORS 90.543 (Utility or service charge billing for large manufactured dwelling parks) (3), a landlord for a manufactured dwelling park containing 200 or more spaces in the facility may not assess a tenant a utility or service charge for water by using the billing method described in subsection (1)(b)(C)(ii) of this section.

(5)(a) A landlord of a manufactured dwelling park built after June 23, 2011, may use only the submeter billing method described in subsection (1)(c) of this section for the provision of water.

(b) A landlord of a manufactured dwelling park that expands to add spaces after June 23, 2011, may use only the submeter billing method described in subsection (1)(c) of this section for the provision of water to any spaces added in excess of 200.

(6) To assess a tenant for a utility or service charge for any billing period using the billing method described in subsection (1)(b)(C)(ii) or (c) of this section, the landlord shall give the tenant a written notice stating the amount of the utility or service charge that the tenant is to pay the landlord and the due date for making the payment. The due date may not be less than 14 days from the date of service of the notice. The amount of the charge is determined as described in ORS 90.534 (Allocated charges for utility or service provided directly to space or common area) or 90.536 (Charges for utilities or services measured by submeter). If the rental agreement allows delivery of notice of a utility or service charge by electronic means, for purposes of this subsection, written notice includes a communication that is transmitted in a manner that is electronic, as defined in ORS 84.004 (Definitions).

(7) A utility or service charge is not rent or a fee. Nonpayment of a utility or service charge is not grounds for termination of a rental agreement for nonpayment of rent under ORS 90.394 (Termination of rental agreement for failure to pay rent), but is grounds for termination of a rental agreement for cause under ORS 90.630 (Termination by landlord).

(8) The landlord is responsible for maintaining the utility or service system, including any submeter, consistent with ORS 90.730 (Landlord duty to maintain rented space, vacant spaces and common areas in habitable condition). After any installation or maintenance of the system on a tenants space, the landlord shall restore the space to a condition that is the same as or better than the condition of the space before the installation or maintenance.

(9) A landlord may not assess a utility or service charge for water unless the water is provided to the landlord by a:

(a) Public utility as defined in ORS 757.005 (Definitions);

(b) Municipal utility operating under ORS chapter 225;

(c) Peoples utility district organized under ORS chapter 261;

(d) Cooperative organized under ORS chapter 62;

(e) Domestic water supply district organized under ORS chapter 264; or

(f) Water improvement district organized under ORS chapter 552.

(10) A landlord that provides utilities or services only to tenants of the landlord in compliance with this section and ORS 90.534 (Allocated charges for utility or service provided directly to space or common area) and 90.536 (Charges for utilities or services measured by submeter) is not a public utility for purposes of ORS chapter 757.

(11) The authority granted in this section for a utility or service provider to apply policy regarding the billing methods described in subsection (1) of this section does not authorize the utility or service provider to dictate either the amount billed to tenants or the rate at which tenants are billed under ORS 90.534 (Allocated charges for utility or service provided directly to space or common area) or 90.536 (Charges for utilities or services measured by submeter).