Portland, OR asked in Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Oregon

Q: I am interested in purchasing a home that the seller is indicating the existing tenants need 9 months to remove from

Property. Can a seller dictate this even though the home will be owned by me (hopefully in 2 months). I want to live in the home myself

1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: It likely is not the seller "dictating" that but rather Oregon law, particularly during Covid times. While the specifics of Oregon's eviction moratorium specifying what can and cannot be done to terminate tenancies during the Covid-19 pandemic have changed enough to currently allow for termination of tenancies due to sale of the property to a buyer who intends to occupy the dwelling as their primary residence with at least 90 days prior written notice if the landlord jumps through all the required hoops, depending upon the location, other Federal, County, or City requirements may (or may not) still block such an action. Even if it becomes allowed, if the tenants refuse to leave, a court eviction action may be required and that could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That is why most buyer's make it the seller's obligation to get rid of the tenants prior to closing as a condition of sale. Then whether it is essentially "free" or if it costs thousands of dollars, either way it is the seller's cost and headache rather than the buyers. Plus it becomes the seller's problem to determine what laws apply and how to go about removing the tenants if necessary rather than yours. IF the landlord screws anything up in the issuance of notices through final eviction, it could cost thousands of more dollars - again, better the seller deal with that possible liability than the buyer.

Good luck.

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