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.
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.
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.