Oregon Landlord-Tenant Law Expanded for Marina Tenants…

Floating home owners who rent their slips in marinas have enjoyed many of the protections of ORS Chapter 90 that park tenants enjoy, but with some key restrictions. But, as of January 1, 2020, The Manufactured Housing Park Landlord-Tenant Coalition (aka The Coalition) and OSTA Director Angela Garvin, who represents a group of floating home tenants from Gresham to St. Helens, negotiated with landlords and worked for two years on Senate Bill 586 to grant additional rights to floating home owner tenants.

Marina Subcommittee of The Coalition Negotiated Senate Bill 586

The landlords and tenants of the Coalition and its Marina Issues Subcommittee (comprised of only marina landlords and tenants) worked to negotiate changes to the existing laws to bring marina tenants up to a similar level of protection that park tenants enjoyed.  Their work became SB586 and was voted into law in 2019, nearly unanimously.

New Marina Legislative Protections

While most of these laws became effective on January 1, 2020, marina landlord registration and continuing education (#2 & #3 below) will not become effective until 2022 in order to allow adequate time for the state to communicate these laws to the marina owners, giving them time to comply with the laws, before fines and penalties are assessed, as well as to ensure that they allow enough time to properly develop any marina-specific educational programs for landlords.

The SB586 additional laws and protections for floating home owners:

  1. Oregon will include marina tenants and landlords in the program coverage of the Manufactured Communities Resource Center (MCRC).  The MCRC will change its name to reflect the inclusion of marina tenants – it will become the Manufactured and Marina Communities Resource Center (MMCRC). (ORS 456.403)
  2. Oregon will require every marina landlord to register with the state and submit owner contact data to the MMCRC.  This repository of information is helpful to tenants when they need to find out how to contact their marina owner when a manager won’t provide ownership information. (ORS 90.732)
  3. Oregon will require marina landlords to take continuing education courses regarding marina landlord-tenant laws so that every marina landlord or manager knows what the laws are and will have a harder time claiming that they violated tenants’ rights because they weren’t aware of the laws. (ORS 90.734)
  4. Oregon will fine marina landlords or owners who fail to keep up on the bi-annual education requirement. (ORS 90.736)
  5. Oregon created the Manufactured and Floating Home Communities Account to collect fees, assessments, and fines from landlords who violate certain laws. (ORS 456.414)
  6. Oregon will provide no-cost mediation through the MMCRC to help resolve disputes between marina landlords and tenants, and between two tenants.  This mediation is considered mandatory for both parties once initiated and will “pause” the timeline in a termination notice in order to allow both parties to meet, talk, listen and negotiate before filing an eviction case. (ORS 90.767)
  7. When marina residents organize to form a tenants’ group, your landlord will be required to meet with the tenant’s group at least one time per year to discuss issues at the marina and, if they fail to do so, penalties may be assessed (ORS 90.600).
  8. Marina tenants joined the “Opportunity to Purchase” statutes that park tenants-only previously enjoyed in order to assist marina tenants in purchasing their marinas, including:
    • The marina owner must notify the tenants when they are considering selling the marina, as well as the MMCRC who can assist with making sure landlords legally comply with the process. (ORS 90.842)
    • The marina owner must provide marina financials, asking price, insurance information, rents, and income information for the marina tenants to review when considering purchasing the marina (ORS 90.844)
    • If the landlord does not comply with the Opportunity to Purchase laws, the tenants may obtain injunctive relief to stop the sale or recover damages. (ORS 90.846)
  9. Landlords who issue a 60-day notice of disrepair for a tenant’s home (the law allows a landlord to terminate a tenancy if your home is in disrepair if you do not fix it within the 60-days allowed on the notice) must give an additional 10 months if the disrepair is related to float work before they can terminate a tenancy.  (ORS 90.632)
  10. When a marina landlord terminates a tenancy, they must allow the floating home owner up to 12 months to leave the home in place (tenant must continue to pay rent) whiel the home is on the market to be sold to a new tenant or in preparation to move the home out of the marina. Previously, floating home owners had to remove the home or transfer ownership to a new tenant within about 30-60 days of tenancy termination or else the landlord could take legal possession of the home and “the tenant …shall…have no further right, title or interest to the personal property and may not claim or sell the property. So, thank you to everyone involved who helped revise this a law to allow 12 months to sell your home in place before the landlord can take possession.  (ORS 90.675)

Those are some REALLY BIG tenant protections that floating home owners won!  The passing of SB586 was an incredible win for floating home owner tenants.