Oregon Eviction Law

Posted by Christopher Berkompas in Oregon

Note: I am not a lawyer, and this does not constitute legal advice.

What circumstances qualify a legal cause for an eviction?

In general, a landlord may not evict a tenant before the end of the lease term unless the tenant is failing to abide by the lease agreement.  Common reasons for eviction therefore include failing to pay rent or damaging the property in some way.

How does the eviction process work?

If the tenancy operates on a month-to-month, or week-to-week basis, the landlord may terminate the lease for no reason with notice equivalent to the lease period.  So, if it is month-to-month, the notice must be at least 30 days in advance, and if week-to-week, at least 10 days in advance.  When the lease terminates, a tenant has an obligation to move.  If he does not, the landlord may seek to have him evicted.

However, if the lease is for a longer period of time and the landlord seeks to terminate it prematurely, the process is significantly more complicated.  Depending on the circumstances, the landlord may be required to give differing notice periods to the tenant.  For example, if rent remains unpaid for seven (7) days, the landlord may give the tenant a 72 hour notice to pay or leave.  Using the mail to notify the tenant automatically adds 3 days to the notice period.

Once the tenant has been notified in writing, he may or may not have an opportunity to reconcile.  The notice will usually state what restitution the landlord is willing to accept, and which will forestall the eviction.

If the tenant fails to pay or leave, the landlord will file a forcible entry and detainer lawsuit to remove him.  The local sheriff will notify the tenant of the hearing date, which will usually be under a week away.  At the hearing, the court will hear both sides, or, if the tenant does not appear, decide for the landlord automatically.  If the landlord wins, the court will order the tenant to leave, and will force him to do so if he still remains.


If the cause for eviction can be resolved by making repairs or paying damages is the landlord required to give the tenant a certain period of time to fix the problem?

Generally, yes.  Except in cases of repeated violations in a particular area, the landlord must give the tenant the notice period to fix the problem.

Can a landlord evict a tenant for having a pet?

Yes, but only if keeping one is a violation of the rental agreement.  In this case, the reason is not so much because of the pet itself, but because the tenant is breaching the lease.

What happens after a tenant contests and wins and eviction case in court?

He will be allowed to remain on the premises for the remainder of the lease term as specified by the lease agreement.

Can a tenant be evicted if the landlord wants to use the unit himself?

A tenant cannot be evicted capriciously, without following the rules of due notice and going through the court system.  The fact that a landlord wishes to use the unit for his own purposes will not allow him to get out of any of the normal requirements for terminating a lease.

Is it legal for a landlord to demand unpaid rent for the remainder of the lease term?

He may only request the court to do so.  In eviction proceedings, the landlord cannot do anything against the tenant without the court's approval, including demanding rent for the remainder of the term.


  1. Oregon State Bar article


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