2015 ORS 90.449¹
Landlord discrimination against victim
  • exception
  • tenant defenses and remedies

(1) A landlord may not terminate or fail to renew a tenancy, serve a notice to terminate a tenancy, bring or threaten to bring an action for possession, increase rent, decrease services or refuse to enter into a rental agreement:

(a) Because a tenant or applicant is, or has been, a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

(b) Because of a violation of the rental agreement or a provision of this chapter, if the violation consists of an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking committed against the tenant or applicant.

(c) Because of criminal activity relating to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in which the tenant or applicant is the victim, or of any police or emergency response related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in which the tenant or applicant is the victim.

(2) A landlord may not impose different rules, conditions or standards or selectively enforce rules, conditions or standards against a tenant or applicant on the basis that the tenant or applicant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

(3) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2) of this section, a landlord may terminate the tenancy of a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking if the landlord has previously given the tenant a written warning regarding the conduct of the perpetrator relating to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking and:

(a) The tenant permits or consents to the perpetrator’s presence on the premises and the perpetrator is an actual and imminent threat to the safety of persons on the premises other than the victim; or

(b) The perpetrator is an unauthorized occupant and the tenant permits or consents to the perpetrator living in the dwelling unit without the permission of the landlord.

(4) If a landlord violates this section:

(a) A tenant or applicant may recover up to two months’ periodic rent or twice the actual damages sustained by the tenant or applicant, whichever is greater;

(b) The tenant has a defense to an action for possession by the landlord; and

(c) The applicant may obtain injunctive relief to gain possession of the dwelling unit.

(5) Notwithstanding ORS 105.137 (Effect of failure of party to appear) (4), if a tenant asserts a successful defense under subsection (4) of this section to an action for possession, the tenant is not entitled to prevailing party fees, attorney fees or costs and disbursements if the landlord:

(a) Did not know, and did not have reasonable cause to know, at the time of commencing the action that a violation or incident on which the action was based was related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; and

(b) Promptly dismissed tenants other than the perpetrator from the action upon becoming aware that the violation or incident on which the action was based was related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. [2007 c.508 §4; 2011 c.42 §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/­ors090.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 90, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano090.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
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.