Putting Knowledge into Action

The law gives you rights, but it is up to you to exercise them.

If you feel that your tenant rights have been breached and you want to do something about it, OSTA can support you by providing a variety of tools, resources, and next steps to help you empower yourself and those in your community.

Which should we start – an OSTA Chapter, a Residents Committee of Seven, or a Tenants’ Association?

Landlord-tenant laws protect residents who wish to gather and meet for any legal purpose.  In fact, the law protects your desire to have all three groups at your park or marina.  But each group serves a different primary function.

An OSTA Chapter is tenant association within a park or marina that works to educate residents about their rights and provide support to individuals in their interactions with park or marina management. It is also part of a large state-wide organization that actively works to educate, empower and advocate park and marina residents on a statewide and national level.  OSTA gathers information about issues our members are experiencing at the OSTA Chapter level and influences the state legislature by participating in The Coalition that writes legislation affecting park and marina residents.  OSTA also participates regularly in discussions with other similar advocacy groups from around the country and provides training to its OSTA Chapter Chairs on the laws and organizing and advocating for residents.

OSTA Chapter members know their rights, have built a community with neighbors, and they generally have a better relationship with their landlords. An OSTA Chapter adds value to the community.

Learn More About Starting an OSTA Chapter

The Residents Committee of Seven is a group of individual tenants who meet to try to resolve park-wide or marina-wide issues with their landlord.  The formation, rights, and duties of a Committee of Seven are controlled and defined by the Oregon Residential Landlord and Tenant Act [ORS 90.600(9)]. Up to seven tenants can be elected by the residents to serve on the Committee and the Committee gets to meet with the landlord/owner or a representative up to twice a year to discuss the tenants’ non-rent concerns. Committee members can afterward write up a summary of the issues and concerns and the landlord must reply within 60 days. If the landlord doesn’t meet with the Committee or fails to respond to the summary the Committee is entitled to mandatory mediation or informal dispute resolution. Finally, if the landlord fails to participate in the informal dispute resolution, the Committee can sue to force the landlord to participate.

Learn More About Starting a Residents Committee of Seven

A Tenants or Homeowners Association is generally a social club in the community. It can be as formal or informal as the residents want. It can organize yard sales, pitch-in dinners, river clean-ups, or it can be politically active in resolving issues together. Rules regarding membership, elections, officers, dues, meetings, and the role of a Tenants Association (TA) or Homeowners Association (HOA) is up to the people who form and run it. TA’s can be an effective vehicle for organizing, informing, and independently advocating for tenants’ rights or just for helping each other out by organizing bake sales, card games, a newsletter, or volunteer to help those in need in the community. The law requires that landlord furnish prospective tenants with a one-page summary about the Tenants Association at the time of application.

It is not unusual, in well-organized communities, to have an OSTA Chapter,  a Residents Committee of Seven, and a Tenants’ Association. The membership of the OSTA Chapter Board and the Committee of Seven often overlap and cooperate in their efforts to make residents feel connected and better protected.

Notify Your Landlord in Writing

It is imperative that you document in writing all important communication between you and your landlord.  Having a written record is the best way to assert your rights and ensure that there is a trail of evidence should a dispute arise.

To make things easy for you to communicate in writing to your landlord, we have developed a series of sample letters for you to fill in the details according to your situation.  Topics include Notices of:

  • Intent to Repay Rent after 6-Month Grace Period due to COVID-19
  • Invalid Termination Notices
  • Illegal Entry
  • Invalid Rent Increase
  • Invalid Rule Change
  • Habitability Issues
  • …and more!
View Sample landlord letters

Start an OSTA Chapter

Unlike a Residents Committee, the main goals of the OSTA Chapters are to educate residents about their rights, empower them to work together to solve issues, and advocate for one another with the very real possibility of raising their issues up for legislative consideration to improve the lives of all park and marina tenants in Oregon.


Start a Residents Committee

OSTA fought for the laws to protect an organized committee of residents who work together to resolve landlord-tenant issues at their individual parks and marinas.


Purchase your Marina or Park

One of the best ways to add stability to your housing situation is to purchase your marina or park.

Learn more about Park and Marina Purchase

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi, Nonviolent Independence Leader

You have no rights unless you exercise them.

John W. Whitehead, Defender of Civil Liberties & Human Rights

There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

Margaret J. Wheatley, Organizational Behaviorist

“There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs.” – Madeline Sheehan