Guide to Finding the Right Legal Services for You

There are numerous marina and manufactured dwelling park owner/landlord attorneys out there – there is plenty of money to be made representing that side.  With 1,000 park owners and approximately 35 marina owners doing everything they can to protect their business interests and also, considering that most of the 60,000 manufactured home park residents are low-income or elderly, living in retirement communities, it’s no surprise that there aren’t many lawyers serving the tenant side.

While we cannot offer legal advice of any kind on this site, we offer common sense advice for manufactured and floating home owners.
  1. Try to avoid an eviction notice.
  2. If you are having problems with your landlord, try to work it out – court can be costly.
  3. If you have an issue, resolve it quickly – the statute of limitations on all of the floating home landlord-tenants laws is 1 year.  So, know your rights before you encounter a problem.  Often, when a manufactured or floating home owner’s rights are violated, it’s well over a year before they learn about their rights and the specific law that the park marina owner violated.  By then, it is typically too late to make a claim, but ask your attorney’s advice given your set of specific circumstances.
  4. Join OSTA so that you know and understand your rights before you encounter a problem.
  5. When seeking legal advice, choose an attorney who is REALLY familiar with ORS 90.505 – 90.830 from the tenant side.  And before you give that attorney any information about who you are, ask them if they (or anyone in their firm) has ever represented your landlord/marina owner.  This niche area of law is small – you’d surprised how many of these attorneys already represent the very people you might be considering litigating against.  And, because of the small pool of expert lawyers in this area, it may be necessary for you to leave Portland to find a good attorney who knows these laws.

When the Issue Gets Too Big to Handle by Yourself

Sometimes, the issue is too big, the timeline is too short, or you need to call in the reserves. Legal services can often provide you with the negotiation support you need to get through a logjam with your landlord.

Legal help can be expensive, but a landlord violating your rights can also be costly, sometimes, more costly than if you had hired a qualified attorney.

 There are also low-cost legal services available to low-income tenants that qualify.

Options for Initiating Legal Services

Even if you are unsure whether you need to speak with a lawyer, it can be helpful to initiate a call to one of the options below.  Many of the options below can help you figure out what kind of assistance you may need and give you more information about other government and community service programs that may be able to assist you.

It is always a good idea to use our website Search Tool to learn as much as you can about your issue prior to calling an attorney.

It is tough to find a good attorney who is versed in park/marina law who doesn’t already represent the park or marina owners. OSTA maintains a list of private attorneys that we know or whose work we are familiar with, and whom we consider to be park/marina tenant-friendly lawyers.

These attorneys do charge for their services. Some of them may offer brief free initial consults or may be able to direct you to another resource which may better suit your particular needs.

Search Our Resources Page

The Oregon State Bar offers a lawyer referral program where they will hear your issue and then provide you with the contact information of a lawyer who may be able to help you with your legal matter and who is close to you or the location where assistance is needed.

If you contact the lawyer they referred you to within 2 business days, then you are entitled to an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes for a maximum fee of $35. After the initial consultation, lawyers may charge their normal fee.  The Lawyer Referral Service does not have any free or pro bono lawyers.

Learn More About The Lawyer Referral Service

Oregon lawyers created the Modest Means Program to help moderate-income Oregonians find affordable legal assistance. The program is intended to help those who earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but who cannot afford traditional legal fees. Modest Means lawyers have agreed to charge reduced rates for legal work provided to clients referred to them through the program. There is no grant, fund or subsidy that makes up the difference between the lawyers’ regular rates and the Modest Means Program rates. The lawyers agree to charge reduced rates because they believe in the mission of this program and want to help.

Learn More About The Lawyer Referral Service

Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO) provides legal help to low-income Oregonians via regional offices, hotlines, and programs. One of their highest priority legal needs includes access to safe, affordable housing.

LASO provides a range of services – including legal assistance and representation, self-help information, free legal clinics, and pro bono assistance – that help guide them through complicated legal proceedings to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families.

Learn More About Legal Aid Services of Oregon

OSTA fought for the enforcement of existing laws with SB 586 and the legislature adopted a law that provides a program four-year pilot program that will provide free legal representation to help low-income tenants when their landlords violate ORS Chapter 90 laws.

This is a new program beginning January 1, 2020 and is not fullly operational at this time.  But the Oregon Housing and Community Services Dispute Resolution Committee is working to fill the attorney position and get the program running.

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Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.

Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist

We win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party.

Mahatma Gandhi, Activist and Peaceful Protestor

Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.

Alexander Hamilton, American Founding Father and Lawyer

Do you work in legal services and would like to get involved with OSTA?

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