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Couch Potatoes: When is a Tenant Not a Tenant under Oregon’s Landlord-Tenant Law?


We came across another useful legal research resource for those frequently asked couch-potato questions:

* Can I throw my brother-in-law out of my apartment?

* My sister tells me that under the 3-days-on-the-couch rule, she’s now a tenant and I can’t throw her sorry self out and change the locks.

* My father wants to move in with me now that my mother-in-law has divorced him. Help!

* How do I get my lazy, good for nothing bum of a step-son out of my guestroom?

A chapter in an October 2, 2009, Oregon State Bar CLE (“Elder Law Issues and Answers”), “Removing The Outlaw Inlaws,” by Susan Ford Burns, might be a good place to begin your research into these types of problems, though I also highly recommend that you, as landlord, speak to a lawyer. [Note: this article and CLE are not online. You’ll need to contact the Oregon State Bar or a law library to find a copy.]

Of course, as that diligent, risk-averse landlord, you might want to develop a relationship with a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law. Periodic consultations with your lawyer before you write that lease, before you start tearing your hair out over frequently late rental payments and dog-barking complaints, and before you call the plumber for the 4th time can save you oodles of aggravation, time, and money.

Law libraries have other useful self-help legal research resources for landlords, but Oregon Landlord-Tenant law is complex and not a little tricky and it helps to turn to professionals.

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