Oregon Eviction Process
November 8, 2023
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Eviction In Oregon
If you own and rent properties in the state of Oregon, you are responsible for complying with Oregon eviction laws. In this article, we break down each step of the legal eviction process in Oregon.
Eviction Process in Oregon
- Landlord serves a 24-hour to 30-day eviction notice.
- Landlord files an eviction lawsuit with the court.
- Court serves tenant a summons.
- Tenant files an answer.
- Landlord and tenant attend court hearing and receive judgment.
- Tenant gets 48 hours days to move out.
- Sheriff returns to forcibly remove the tenant.
In Oregon, tenants can be evicted for nonpayment, material violations of tenant responsibilities under Oregon law, or material violations of the rental agreement.
1. Landlord Serves a 24-Hour to 30-Day Eviction Notice
If any of the above lease violations occur, the landlord must first serve an Oregon eviction notice and state that the tenant has the appropriate number of days to remedy or cure the violation. There are several possible eviction notices a landlord may send in Oregon:
- Rent Demand Notices:
- 13 days to pay or quit. When rent is at least five days late, the landlord may send this notice stating the rent due and termination date if it is not paid (not less than 13 days) (ORS § 90.394).
- 10 days to pay or quit. If rent is at least eight days late, the landlord may deliver this notice stating the amount of unpaid rent and the date on which the lease will terminate if it is not paid (not less than ten days after receipt of the notice) (ORS § 90.394).
- Lease Violation Notice: 14 days to cure; 30 days to quit. If a tenant violates another lease term, the landlord must deliver this notice stating the breach and that the lease will terminate in 30 days if the problem is not cured within 14 days (ORS § 90.392).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit: 24 hours to quit. This notice gives no opportunity to “cure” the violation and applies if the tenant (or tenant’s guest or pet) does any of the following on the leased premises as per ORS § 90.396(1):
- Threatens to inflict personal injury to someone on the premises.
- Recklessly endangers another person on the premises by creating a serious risk of substantial personal injury.
- Inflicting any substantial personal injury on a neighbor living in the immediate vicinity of the premises.
- Intentionally inflicting substantial damage to the premises more than once.
- Intentionally providing false information on their rental application within the past year pertaining to a criminal conviction that would have been material to the landlord’s acceptance of their application (the landlord must also terminate the lease within 30 days after discovering the false information).
- Commits an act considered “outrageous in the extreme” on or within the immediate vicinity of the premises. This includes:
- Prostitution, commercial sexual solicitation, or promoting prostitution
- The unlawful manufacture, delivery, or possession of a controlled substance
- Manufacturing a cannabinoid extract without a license
- A bias crime
- Pet Violations: 24 hours to cure to quit. If the reason for the issuance of an unconditional notice to quit is because of the actions of a tenant’s pet, the tenant may cure the violation by removing the pet from the premises within 24 hours. If at any time afterwards they return the pet to the property, the landlord may terminate the rental unit and take possession after another 24 hours’ notice to quit (ORS § 90.396(2)).
- Drug-/Alcohol-Free Housing Violations: 24 hours to cure; 48 hours to quit. In a drug- or alcohol-free housing unit, if a tenant residing there for less than two years possesses or shares a substance that is prohibited in the housing unit, the landlord may deliver a 48-hour notice to quit with 24 hours to cure. If substantially the same act occurs again within six months, the landlord may terminate the lease after sending 24 hours’ written notice with no opportunity to cure (ORS § 90.398).
All eviction notices must state the date and time that it expires (Day 1 is the day after notice is given when counting). If the notice is mailed, three days should be added to the minimum time required by law. See this document for more specific instructions about notices and timings.
For all evictions, the landlord may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.
2. Landlord Files an Eviction Lawsuit with the Court
If the tenant has not cured the breach by the end of the notice period (or if the violation is uncurable and the notice period expires), the landlord can then begin a Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) action (the eviction lawsuit) by filing a Residential Eviction Complaint (downloadable here) with the clerk of either the Oregon Circuit Court or Oregon Justice of the Peace Court (ORS § 105.110).
The complaint includes:
- The landlord and tenant’s names and information
- The county, court, and case number
- The address of the rental property
- An attached copy of the initial eviction notice
- The reason for the eviction with the corresponding Oregon statute
- The landlord or agent’s signature and the date
Along with the complaint, the landlord must provide the clerk with:
- Three copies of the eviction notice, plus an additional copy for each additional adult tenant
- The address of the rental premises
- A separate mailing address for the tenant if they don’t receive mail at the rental property
- A filing fee of $88 (ORS § 105.130).
3. Court Serves Tenant a Summons
After the landlord files the complaint, the court will issue a Residential Eviction Summons (downloadable here) to be served to the tenant. The summons demands the tenant’s presence in court and informs the tenant of their rights and responsibilities. It also provides instructions and warnings that failure to appear will result in a default judgment in the landlord’s favor.
The summons will also state the date of the court hearing, which will usually be set seven to 15 days from the judicial day after the landlord files the case (ORS § 105.135). It must be served by the end of the judicial day after filing the complaint, in one of the following manners:
- Personal service by a process server: Taking a copy of the summons and complaint documents to the sheriff’s office or private process server and requesting service for a small fee. The server must complete a Certificate of Service and file it with the court.
- Personal service by a non-party: Asking any competent adult 18 years or older who is not part of the case to serve the documents. The server must be a resident of Oregon and cannot be the lawyer or employee of either party. The server must complete a Certificate of Service and file it with the court.
- Posting a copy at the unit: If personal service is not possible, the process server may post a copy of the documents at the main entrance of the rental unit.
4. Tenant Files an Answer
After the tenant receives the summons, they need to file a written answer with the court on the day of the hearing. The answer may state a legal reason why they should not be evicted (e.g., the landlord never delivered the notice, wouldn’t accept the rent, etc.).
The answer can either be filed via paper copy or the tenant can e-file using an interactive form on the Oregon Courts website. The landlord will be served a copy of this written answer on the day of the hearing (ORS § 105.137).
The tenant may also request a two-day continuance at maximum, unless either of the following applies:
- The tenant gives an undertaking to the landlord with sufficient security for any rent that will accrue if the tenant loses the case.
- The court orders the tenant to pay rent into the court as it becomes due.
5. Landlord and Tenant Attend Court Hearing and Receive Judgment
On the day of the eviction hearing, the landlord should bring copies of the lease agreement, the eviction notice with proof of service, the complaint, and any evidence of the lease violation. Both the landlord and tenant will present their cases and any evidence to the judge. The landlord and tenant may also have an opportunity at this time to work out the issue with mediators. If successful and the landlord and tenant make an agreement (e.g., that the tenant may continue living in the unit by paying rent or repairing damages), the court will issue an order or judgment to that effect (ORS § 105.145(2)).
If mediation is unsuccessful, the trial will continue, and a judgment will be issued. If the judge rules in the landlord’s favor, the court will render judgment for the restitution of the property and all court costs and fees (ORS § 105.145(1)).
6. Tenant Gets 48 Hours to Move Out
Once the judgment is entered, the court will issue a Notice of Restitution (downloadable here) to be served and mailed to the tenant. This document is the tenant’s last warning to move out of the rental unit. The tenant now has four days to move out of the property (including all personal property). The landlord may be able to request longer than four days for the tenant to move out (ORS § 105.151(1-2)).
7. Sheriff Returns to Forcibly Remove the Tenant
If the tenant has not moved out by the end of the four days, the clerk of the court will issue a Writ of Execution of Judgment of Restitution (downloadable here), which the sheriff will also serve to the tenant. The writ of execution will direct the sheriff to enforce the judgment after service by removing the tenant from the property and restoring possession to the landlord (ORS § 105.151(1-2)).
Evicting a Squatter in Oregon
A squatter is a person who moves into a vacant or abandoned property without getting permission from the owner or paying rent. Squatters can usually be charged as criminal trespassers and be evicted like any other tenant. However, some squatters can receive the right to possession by meeting certain state-determined criteria. In Oregon, squatters must have lived in the property for ten continuous years to invoke Oregon squatters rights and claim right of possession (ORS § 105.620). Their possession must also be:
- Hostile/Adverse—The squatter must not have a valid lease with the owner
- Actual—The squatter must be actively residing on the property
- Open and Notorious—The squatter is openly and obviously living there.
- Exclusive—The squatter does not share possession of the property with anyone else.
- Continuous—The squatter must hold continuous and uninterrupted possession.
While relatively rare, if a squatter meets all these criteria, they have “color of title”: the right of legal ownership without having a written deed to the property. They can file an action for adverse possession in Oregon to legally obtain the title to the property. However, in most cases, a squatter will not meet the criteria and can be removed. If you think a squatter is living in your vacant property in Oregon, you should:
- Call local law enforcement.
- Determine whether the person is a trespasser or a squatter.
- If the person is a trespasser, they can be removed immediately by a police officer.
- If the person is a squatter, you must contact the sheriff’s office.
- Send the squatter an eviction notice as per Oregon eviction law.
- If the squatter does not vacate the premises by the end of the notice period, file for eviction and follow the typical eviction process.
- Only the sheriff can physically remove a squatter from your property. You cannot do so, and neither can a police officer.
Oregon Eviction Cost Estimates
This chart shows estimates of the approximate cost of an eviction in Oregon, according to civil procedure in the state and iPropertyManagement. A highly accurate estimate of an eviction is impossible to provide, as cases and circumstances vary so widely. Remember to factor in other losses due to an eviction as well, such as lost rent, time, and stress.
|Action||Approximate Cost (Circuit Court)|
|Trial fee||$139-$250, depending on the size of the jury|
|Service of court summons by sheriff||$45|
|Issuance of writ of execution||$47|
|Service of writ of restitution||$45|
|Average locksmith fees||$160|
|Storage fees for abandoned property||Varies|
|Tenant turnover costs||Varies|
Oregon Eviction Time Estimates
The chart below shows an estimate of the duration of each part of the Oregon eviction process timeline. Keep in mind that the length of eviction cases varies widely depending on the complexity of the eviction, the court’s current caseload, and whether or not the tenant contests or appeals the lawsuit.
|Eviction notice period||24 hours to 30 days|
|Service of summons||By end of the judicial day after case is filing|
|Eviction hearing||7-15 days|
|Issuance / service of writ of restitution||Unspecified|
|Time to quit after writ is posted||4 days|
- Residential Eviction Complaint
- Residential Eviction Summons
- Notice of Restitution
- Notice of Restitution (Noncompliance with Court Agreement)
- Writ of Execution of Judgment of Writ of Restitution
- Oregon Judicial Branch: Landlord and Tenant Forms Center – This page includes hyperlinks to the various forms a landlord or tenant might need in eviction court.
- Residential Eviction Information for Landlords – Instructions for landlords filing an eviction case from the Oregon judicial branch.
The eviction process in any state can be long and complex, so hiring an eviction attorney is advised in most cases. It’s also important to note that municipalities and local governments often have stricter laws and requirements for landlords, so be sure to check local statutes as well as state ones. However, by reviewing the legal procedures and Oregon laws on eviction, you can feel more confident pursuing an eviction in this state.
Innago does not provide legal advice. The content and materials provided in this article are for general informational purposes only and may not be the most up-to-date information.