Q: We own a house just outside city of Milwaukie, OR. Renter now over $12k behind and has stopped paying altogether.
Does Oregon law allow us to sell the property during COVID crisis? We know penalties for selling may be stiff but have not been able to find out what they may be in our area. Tenant has lived over one year and annual lease is up on June 30, 2021.
A: When you say your rental property is "just outside of city of Milwaukie", I am interpreting that to mean it is not within the Portland city limits (Portland rules are different). You are free to sell your home anytime, regardless of Covid. If the buyer wishes to use it as investment property, nothing changes for your renters except they have a new landlord. If, however, you wish to get the tenants out so a new buyer can move in, you are free to do that as well, as long as you jump through the proper hoops. Although you can give a courtesy notice to the tenants so they know what's going on, you have to wait until after you have accepted an offer on the property and then give the tenants a 90 day termination of tenancy notice, along with showing them a copy of the sales paperwork. The buyer must also certify that they intend to occupy the property as their primary residence. If you own more than 4 residential rentals in Oregon, you would also owe the tenants a month's rent as relocation assistance. The lease will automatically convert to a month to month tenancy if no new lease is entered into and at least currently tenants will be subject to being evicted if they do not pay current rent after June 30. They will not be able to be evicted for not paying past due rent in Multnomah County for at least 6 months after the pandemic emergency ends. Whether you can sue them for the past due rent before then is currently unclear.
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