2015 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 (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 before 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 for ORS 84.001 to 84.061). If the landlord includes in the notice a statement of the rent due, the landlord shall separately and clearly state the amount of the rent and the amount of the utility or service charge.

(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). A landlord may not give a notice of termination of a rental agreement under ORS 90.630 (Termination by landlord) for nonpayment of a utility or service charge sooner than the eighth day, including the first day the utility or service charge is due, after the landlord gives the tenant the written notice stating the amount of the utility or service charge.

(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). [2005 c.619 §6; 2007 c.71 §24; 2009 c.305 §1; 2009 c.816 §§6,6a; 2011 c.503 §§6,6a; 2013 c.443 §14]

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.