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Oregon Landlord-Tenant Law: Habitability Questions


From the Washington County (Oregon) Law Librarian:

Rental property Habitability questions can be separate from Repair questions for landlord and tenants, but the two can overlap, as you might imagine.

Habitability questions we hear in the law library can be a broad as: what does a habitable apartment looks like? Or, as specific as: does an apartment have to have a window large enough for me to climb out?
There are a number of excellent sources of information on Oregon landlord-tenant law, online (e.g. this from the Oregon State Bar (OSB) and these) and in print (note: the OSB link has been fixed.) The latter print resources include Janay Haas’s “Landlord/Tenant Rights in Oregon,” which most public and law libraries have (unless their copies have been stolen – sigh) and some other landlord-tenant resources not online but available at your county law library.

Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO) also has information about landlord-tenant issues.

But what about some of those habitability questions?

Among other remedies, you may also want to contact your jurisdiction’s code enforcement office. There are state laws on many landlord-tenant issues but a lot of habitability laws also depend on the local jurisdiction.

For example, if you live in Gresham, you might remember the big fracas a year or so ago about the condition of a lot of Gresham’s rental housing stock. As a result their mayor and city council enacted some tough rental property inspection laws that have become model laws for other cities.

Or, if your apartment is in unincorporated Washington County, you would contact the Washington County’s code enforcement office.

Good luck with your research!

The information provided on this blog is for research purposes only. We do not provide legal advice, nor do we endorse any person, product, or company.

It is against state law for library staff members to engage in any conduct that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law (ORS 9.160, 9.166 and 9.21). They may not interpret statutes, cases or regulations, perform legal research, recommend or assist in the preparation of forms, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights. They may, however, assist patrons in locating materials or links that would aid in individual research.

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