ORS Chapter 90 Park and Marina Tenant Laws are Nearly Identical…with a Few Exceptions
Chapter 90 of the Oregon Revised Statutes covers residential tenancies. The second half of Chapter 90 offers additional protections for park and marina tenants who own their homes and rent their spaces.
But it is important to know and understand that NOT EVERY ORS 90.505 – 875 law applies to marina tenants. This is helpful to understand as you read through this site.
This is largely because floating home owner tenants were largely absent from participation in the legislative process until Angela Garvin, our OSTA Floating Home Communities Director, led the charge for marina resident protections and began advocating for major legislative changes and marina tenant protections in 2017.
If you do not participate in the process, you lose the opportunity to gain rights and protections.
Following is a brief summary of the ways in which the laws for floating home tenants differ from those of manufactured dwelling parks.
Space Improvements Prior to Move-In
There is no regulation of any required space improvements prior to moving in. ORS 90.512-90.518 does not apply to a floating home moorage slip.
There is no special assessment plan for payment of submetering costs. ORS 90.543 does not seem to be an issue for floating homeowners.
Allows Tenant an Extended Time to Repair a Float
Typically, a landlord can serve a termination notice to a tenant when their home is in disrepair, but since float contractors are limited and the nature of the repairs are costly and take certain current conditions to perform, tenants have 10 extra months to repair their property beyond what park residents receive, if the repair is related to a float.
- ORS 90.632: Termination of tenancy due to physical condition of manufactured dwelling or floating home
Park Converted to Subdivisions
There are no protections for tenants whose parks are converted to subdivisions under ORS 92.830– 92.845 (Subdivisions and Partitions) and ORS 90.643 Conversion of manufactured dwelling park to planned community subdivision of manufactured dwellings (NOTE: Subdivision conversions are not allowed for marinas so these laws do not apply).
Provisions regarding park closure should a landlord choose to repurpose the land, including required landlord payments to displaced tenants and a $5,000 state tax credit for residents who are displaced due to park closure. ORS 90.645 – 90.660. Marinas operate under the pre-2007 law. ORS 90.671. It is not likely that a marina would repurpose the leased waterfront for something more profitable to them than a floating house marina and boat slips, so there is not a sense of urgency to make changes to this. However, laws do exist which direct marina landlords what to do in such a case (ORS 90.671 – Closure of marina) and those directives are grossly inadequate and could bankrupt floating home owners at that marina should the event occur.
Hazard tree provisions. ORS 90.727 – Maintenance of trees in rented spaces (NOTE: Floating home slips do not have trees in them.)
Habitability - Hazard Tree Maintenance
For parks owners, there is a landlord habitability duty to maintain the surface of the space under the home in ORS 90.730 (3) (g) – Landlord duty to maintain rented space, vacant spaces and common areas in habitable condition.
Landlord Registration and Continuing Education
NEW starting in January 1, 2022 via SB 586!: Currently, park landlords are required to register with the state and take continuing education courses to stay current on laws and park management issues. Beginning in 2022, marina landlords will be required to register with the state and take continuing education classes or else they will be fined a civil penalty.
Park Purchase Incentives
As of 2020, park and marina tenants now operate under the same laws regarding the process to purchase their parks and marinas.
However, marina tenants still lack some of the financial tools available for park purchases and incentives for park landlords to sell to tenants. We pursued this in the 2019 legislative session but could not get it passed without placing the entire package of marina tenant rights (SB 586 bill) at risk of failing because of the extra legislator support and time required in the Oregon Ways and Means Committee.
Marina residents lack the capital gains break for landlords who sell to the residents or a Nonprofit Cooperative and the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit. An equivalent to the Manufactured Dwelling Park Nonprofit Cooperative, ORS 62.800 – 62.815 does not exist.
- ORS 90.840: Park purchase funds, loans
- ORS 456.581: Uses of Manufactured Dwelling Parks Account
- ORS 317.097: Lending institution loans for housing – Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit for Park Owner who Sell to Tenants
- Capital Gains Break for Landlords who sell to tenants: The law provides a capital gains exemption for owners of manufactured dwelling parks who sell their parks to their residents, a nonprofit, or a local housing authority. This provision for parks has been in Oregon law since 2005. (HB2664)
- ORS 316.792 (Personal Income Taxes)
- ORS 317.401 (Corporate Taxes)
- The capital gains exemption is premised on an assumption that many Manufactured Housing park residents are low income and/or seniors on fixed incomes, thus the exemption exists for park sales to nonprofits and housing authorities which serve those populations. In addition, the other tools that are commonly used to help park residents (or nonprofits) buy their parks are clearly limited to low-income folks (OHCS funding grants, the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit, the Manufactured Dwelling Park Nonprofit Cooperative Corporation).
The largest barrier to marinas being included in the financial incentives and tools laws is that there is no existing data about incomes of marina residents.
- Floating home owners in rented slips are often retirees on fixed incomes. But no mechanism exists to determine how much income is available for marina residents to purchase their marina.
- To make this work, the qualifying sale would have to be limited to a special floating home resident co-op. Nonprofits and housing authorities are not going to do this for marinas. In the MH park setting, we created a special manufactured dwelling park nonprofit cooperative corporation which can benefit from the capital gains exemption. This was necessary to avoid having the residents benefit from this special tax treatment and then dissolve the co-op corporation and sell the marina for a profit. (ORS 62.800 – 62.815) (This, BTW, was a tough sell with the Oregon Department of Consumer Business Services (DCBS), which wanted to treat the co-op shares as a security, which would have triggered significant additional transactional costs.
- a. So, in order to get this passed, we would need significant Oregon legislator support. And we could get the support we needed only if there is some form of “means-testing” (regarding income) of the marina residents who want to qualify for this exemption and if the buyer is a nonprofit, housing authority, or the equivalent of the Manufactured Dwelling Park Nonprofit Cooperative Corporation (ORS 62.800 – 62.815). It is difficult to imagine that a nonprofit or housing authority would be interested in acquiring ownership of a marina. And creating the equivalent of the Manufactured Dwelling Park Nonprofit Cooperative Corporation co-op statutes would be very difficult to write and even more difficult to sell to the Oregon Department of Consumer Business Services (DCBS) Division of Financial Services, which was extremely resistant when we created this entity for MH parks in 2007 and revised it in 2009. We just did not have adequate time to work on this, and we were not willing to risk the whole coalition bill on this issue.
- b. Attempting to do #a above will mean a fiscal impact and will require a subsequent referral to Ways and Means.
Temporary Relocation of Floating Home (Dredging)
This law allows a landlord to temporarily relocate a floating home for certain limited conditions such as dredging and prescribes the process, duration, and conditions that must be followed, along with penalties for non-complaince.
Marina Landlords Prohibited from Charging Parking Violation Fees
This law prohibits a marina landlord from charging a marina tenant a parking violation fee. A landlord is required to provide 2 parking spaces for every floating home. But, unlike parks, marina residents park in a common parking lot on land and walk to their homes which float on water. There is no “safe zone” for parking resident vehicles such as a driveway or carport area, etc. So, every time a resident, their guests, or their service providers come to visit a resident, the resident is at risk of someone violating the parking rules. With the passing of SB 586, we removed language in the law which stated that a tenant can be evicted for ANY rule violation (including a guest parking violation) and, instead, agreed to allow landlords to charge a small $50 fee for the second non-compliance of certain violations. But since marina residents have much less control over their parking situations than do park residents, the law prohibits marina landlords from charging tenants for parking violations to avoid potential abuse of parking fees.
If you would like to get involved and fight for laws to improve living at your marina, join us!
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