Question: My landlord has decided that he is going to begin enforcing the rules. About 6 months ago, my sister passed away and left me her dog. The dog weighed 30 lbs and there is a 20 lb weight limit on dogs in my community. At the time, the landlord verbally agreed that I could could take in the dog, but I have nothing in writing. Now, I received a Termination Notice that dog needs to go within 30 days or I will have to go because I am violating the rules. Can he really evict me if I don’t find a new home for my dog?
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It is important to understand that laws change. This information is not intended to be legal advice and it is not intended to replace the work of an attorney.
Answer: No. Oregon Revised Statues 90.412 (Waiver of Termination of Tenancy) addresses this question. The landlord waived the rule by accepting rents for three or more months with knowledge of the tenant having a dog that did not conform to the rules.
- What the law states:
- 90.412(2): Except as otherwise provided in this section, a landlord waives the right to terminate a rental agreement for a particular violation of the rental agreement or of law if the landlord (a) During three or more separate rental periods, accepts rent with knowledge of the violation by the tenant; or (b) Accepts performance by a tenant that varies from the terms of the rental agreement.
- What the law means:
- In law, to “waive” means to “give up a known right”. Chapter 90.412 says a landlord waives (gives up) the right to terminate a rental agreement for a rule or a law violation if during three or more separate rental periods following notice of the violation, he accepts your rent even though he knows you are still breaking the rule.
Here is another example: Waiver means that, if your rental agreement or rules say you can’t park your RV on the street and the landlord knows you’re parked on the street and takes your rent for three months, you can continue to park your RV on the street and your landlord cannot evict you for violating that rule.
Waiver means if you keep your kayak on your deck when the rules say you’re not supposed to and the landlord accepts your rent for the next three months, you can continue to keep that kayak on the deck.
What about my neighbors? I see them breaking rules and the Landlord didn’t send them a Termination Notice.
Look around your community. How many people have been getting away with breaking a rule or provision of their rental agreement for over three months and still show no sign of moving? Probably the landlord has waived the rule for them. That doesn’t mean the rule is waived for you, however. These waivers come on a one-by-one basis.
Exceptions to the Waiver of the Right to Terminate
There are exceptions, so be careful.
- Refunded rent: If the landlord refunds your rent within 10 days of your paying it, that doesn’t count as waiver. If you bounce the rent check or tell the landlord you won’t break the rule anymore, those do not constitute waiver, either. [ORS 90.412(3)]
- The Landlord gave proper notice of the alleged violation before 3 months have passed: If your violation concerns your conduct and before the three months have passed, the landlord gives you a written warning about the violation and the right to cure it, he hasn’t waived his right to evict you.
- If the conduct is ongoing and continuous violation, such as parking your RV on the street, the warning notice is good for 12 months and can be renewed. [ORS 90.412(4)(b)]
- The violation involves non-payment of fees, deposits, damages, or utility charges: The landlord does not have to waive the right to terminate if you have failed to pay what you owe the landlord, if he has given you proper notice of what is owed and how to correct the violation. [ORS 90.412(4)(c)]
- Disrepair or deterioration of our property: If the violation concerns disrepair or deterioration of your manufactured or floating house under ORS 90.632 (Termination of tenancy due to physical condition of manufactured dwelling or floating home), a failure to dispose of garbage, waste, filth, rodents, etc., or failure to water, mow, or prune the rented space, or care for trees as required by ORS 90.740 (Tenant obligations) (2), (4)(b) and (4)(h) and (i), the waiver doesn’t count and the landlord hasn’t waived his right to terminate your rental agreement. [ORS 90.412(4)(d)]
- Wreckless endangerment or violence: If the violation concerns acts that are serious, such as seriously threatening substantial injury to the manager, selling drugs, soliciting, or having a vicious pet (ORS 90.396 Acts or omissions justifying termination 24 hours after notice), all bets are off and you’re outta there in 24 hours. [ORS 90.412(4)(e)]
- Paying a last months rent at move-in: If you paid the last month’s rent when you moved in, that doesn’t count as one of the three rental periods. Nor will it if you pay a month’s rent ahead of time. [ORS 90.412(4)(f)] and [ORS 90.414 Acts not constituting waiver of termination of tenancy (2)(a)]