Unlawful Landlord Entry
Even though you are a home renter, rather than a home owner, you still have privacy rights in your home. Oregon has strict laws about when and how your landlord can come into your home (or even onto the area surrounding your home).
Landlords ignore these laws all the time - but when they do, Portland Defender helps tenants enforce their rights. We can even help tenants sue their landlords for money when landlords come into a home illegal.
Even though you are a home renter, rather than a home owner, you still have a right to privacy in your home, including privacy from your landlord. Oregon has strict laws about when and how your landlord can come into your home (or even onto the area surrounding your home). Landlords ignore these laws all the time - but when they do, Portland Defender helps tenants enforce their rights. We can even help tenants sue their landlords for money when landlords come into a home illegally.
Does a landlord need to tell me before they enter my home?
Yes - almost 100% of the time, a landlord must give you at least 24 hours advance notice before they enter your home. The notice does not need to be in writing - it can be verbal.
The only exceptions to this rule are if you and the landlord have made a special agreement about a specific entry, if there is an emergency (for example, if the home is on fire), or if you have made a written repair request (see below for a further discussion).
No matter what, a landlord cannot give you a notice of a planned entry if that entry would be at an unreasonable time. Tenants always have the right to refuse unreasonable entries.
Does a landlord need a reason to come into my home?
Yes - there are only five reasons that give your landlord a right to enter your home.
- to inspect the premises
- to make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements
- to supply necessary or agreed services
- to perform agreed yard maintenance or grounds keeping
- to show the home to purchasers, renters, workers or contractors.
If your landlord wants to enter the home for a reason not listed above, the law does not give them that right.
What can I do if my landlord unlawfully enters my home?
If your landlord ignores the law and comes into your home without proper notice, or for an improper reason, there are several things you can do:
- You can sue your landlord for at least the value of one month's rent;
- You can get a court order forcing your landlord to stop;
- You may be able to terminate your tenancy and move out.
Are the rules different if I have written to my landlord requesting repairs?
Yes - if you give your landlord a written repair request, this gives your landlord additional rights to enter your home. Your written repair request can specify allowable entry times. But if your request is silent on that topic, the landlord can enter at any reasonable time within seven days, or as long as the repairs are in progress and the landlord is making a reasonable effort to complete the repairs in a timely manner.
What are the rules on the landlord coming into my yard?
Oregon's law covers a landlord's entry into your home, but also onto "any portion of the premises under the tenant’s exclusive control." This means for places like your front yard and back yard,the rules apply just as much as they do to your actual indoor home.
Can an Oregon tenants rights lawyer help me if my landlord enters illegally?
Yes - a lawyer from Portland Defender can help you stop abusive landlord behavior, help you feel secure in your own home, and even help you break your lease or get cash compensation from your landlord.
(photo by Brad Montgomery)