Beaverton, OR asked in Landlord - Tenant for Oregon

Q: We are landlords in Oregon and had a tenant refuse to renew a 1 year lease and the tenancy reverted to month to month.

We received an email 30 day termination notice from the tenant on the first of the month stating they were moving out the second week of the following month(40 day notice). The tenant is demanding that we refund the last 20 days of the month that they prepaid with a last months rent deposit since they only occupied the dwelling for the first 10 days of the month.

Are we required to prorate the rent or does the tenant owe for the full month?

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

A: Your tenant is correct that rent accrues and is prorated on a daily basis so they would be entitled to a refund of their prepaid rent for the balance of the month. However, that all is based upon their providing you with at least 30 days advanced written notice of their termination of tenancy. Legally, email is NOT written notice and if it is the only form of termination notice they provided, and they restored possession to you on September 10, then legally speaking, they provided no notice and likely owe you rent through October 10. That said, while that position is exactly what the statutes say (and in the past is how courts ruled) of late there seems to be an increasingly tenant favorable approach to things and such tenant errors are now often, but not always, overlooked and the landlord has become disfavored regardless of the lack of legal support for such rulings. If it goes to court, the winner will get a Judgment against the loser for their court costs and attorneys fees. Attorneys fees can be $10,000 - $15,000 or more, plus the loser's own attorneys fees (likely in a similar amount) so it can be a very expensive gamble for both sides. However, a tenant is likely to be able to collect from the landlord while if the landlord wins, they will have a Judgement against the tenant but good luck in actually collecting it. Not fair but it is the current system. All in all, a negotiated resolution is likely the most practical thing if possible.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.