ORS 90.537¹
Conversion of billing method for utility or service charges

(1) A landlord may unilaterally amend a rental agreement to convert a tenant’s existing utility or service billing method from a method described in ORS 90.532 (Billing methods for utility or service charges) (1)(b) to a submeter billing method described in ORS 90.532 (Billing methods for utility or service charges) (1)(c). The landlord must give the tenant not less than 180 days’ written notice before converting to a submeter billing method.

(2) A landlord must give notice as provided in ORS 90.725 (Landlord or agent access to rented space) before entering a tenant’s space to install or maintain a utility or service line or a submeter that measures the amount of a provided utility or service.

(3) If the cost of the tenant’s utility or service was included in the rent before the conversion to submeters, the landlord shall reduce the tenant’s rent upon the landlord’s first billing of the tenant using the submeter method. The rent reduction may not be less than an amount reasonably comparable to the amount of the rent previously allocated to the utility or service cost averaged over at least the preceding six months. Before the landlord first bills the tenant using the submeter method, the landlord shall provide the tenant with written documentation from the utility or service provider showing the landlord’s cost for the utility or service provided to the facility during at least the six preceding months.

(4) During the six months following a conversion to submeters, the landlord may not raise the rent to recover the costs of installing, maintaining or operating the utility or service system or of new lines or submeters. Except as part of the rent, a landlord may not charge the tenant for the cost of installation or for any capital expenses related to the conversion to submeters or for the cost of maintenance or operation of the utility or service system. As used in this subsection, "operation" includes, but is not limited to, reading the submeter.

(5) A rental agreement amended under this section shall include language that fairly describes the provisions of this section.

(6) If a landlord installs a submeter on an existing utility or service line to a space or common area that is already served by that line, unless the installation causes a system upgrade, a local government may not assess a system development charge as defined in ORS 223.299 (Definitions for ORS 223.297 to 223.314) as a result of the installation. [2005 c.619 §9]

Chapter 90

Notes of Decisions

The prevailing party in an ac­tion brought under this Act is entitled to attorney fees. Executive Manage­ment v. Juckett, 274 Or 515, 547 P2d 603 (1976)

Damages for mental distress are not recoverable under this Act. Ficker v. Diefenbach, 34 Or App 241, 578 P2d 467 (1978), as modified by 35 Or App 829, 578 P2d 467 (1978)

Where tenant terminates residential tenancy but then holds over wrongfully, landlord need not give any notice to tenant as prerequisite to maintaining ac­tion for pos­ses­sion. Skourtes v. Schaer, 36 Or App 659, 585 P2d 703 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

Landlord may waive statutory right to 30 days' written notice from tenant. Skourtes v. Schaer, 36 Or App 659, 585 P2d 703 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

This act does not provide for recovery of punitive damages. Brewer v. Erwin, 287 Or 435, 600 P2d 398 (1979)

As this act is not penal, it is not subject to attack for vagueness. Marquam Invest­ment Corp. v. Beers, 47 Or App 711, 615 P2d 1064 (1980), Sup Ct review denied

Distinc­tion in this act between residential and nonresidential tenancies is not irra­tional, arbitrary or unreasonable under United States or Oregon Constitu­tion. Marquam Invest­ment Corp. v. Beers, 47 Or App 711, 615 P2d 1064 (1980), Sup Ct review denied

Residential Landlord and Tenant Act does not supersede common law in all aspects of per­sonal injury liability. Bellikka v. Green, 306 Or 630, 762 P2d 997 (1988)

Where jury returned general verdict for defendant and court refused to award defendant attorney fees, defendant has right, absent "unusual circumstances," to receive attorney fees for damages for prevailing on per­sonal injury claim. Steininger v. Tosch, 96 Or App 493, 773 P2d 15 (1989), Sup Ct review denied

Where tenants counterclaim for injunctive relief and damages after landlord sent 30-day, no-cause evic­tion notice, before awarding attorney fees, district court must determine whether landlord or tenants have right to pos­ses­sion of house and whether tenants' right to assert counterclaim is provided by statute. Edwards v. Fenn, 308 Or 129, 775 P2d 1375 (1989)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Private process server in a forcible entry and detainer ac­tion, (1975) Vol 37, p 869; ap­pli­ca­bil­i­ty to university housing and properties, (1976) Vol 37, p 1297

Law Review Cita­tions

56 OLR 655 (1977); 16 WLR 275 (1979); 16 WLR 835 (1980)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 90—Residential Landlord and Tenant, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­090.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 90, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­090ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.
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