Q: Can a landlord legally charge you more in rent, if you have legal dealings against them, and call it a "penalty fee"?
This is regarding lot space rent in a mobile home park.
My landlord sent out a notice of rent increase, exceeding the allowed 7% per annual legal maximum. In the letter, they stated that we could have a $20 "discount" if:
1. paid within 5 days
2. have a current month-to-month signed lease
3. comply with certain unlawful rules
4. you don't have/take any legal dispute against them
A: First, the maximum rent increase in 2021 in Oregon is 9.9% - the 7% is the base cap but you have to still add the annual cost of living percentage as determined by the Federal government every year. That said, a landlord in Oregon may only charge fees specifically listed and approved in the statutes. Any other, non-listed fees are not permitted and the tenant may be entitled to damages if a landlord tries and no, calling it a discount will not likely save the landlord. Consider reviewing it all with a local landlord-tenant attorney to learn your specific rights and options. Good luck.
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