Noncompliance fees are changing and for the first time, Oregon landlords can require tenants to maintain rental insurance. It also introduces Section 8 Vouchers as a Protected Class. Renters can no longer be turned down solely due to their dependence on government assistance for housing.
Arrests for certain charges however, may still be considered in a landlord’s decision.
“A landlord may only consider an arrest if the charges are for a drug related crime; person crime; sex offense; crime involving financial fraud, including identity theft and forgery; or any other crime if the conduct is of a nature that would adversely affect the landlord’s property, a tenant or the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises,” said Lawson.
The Landlord-Tenant Omnibus Bill also benefits prospective tenants by limiting their reportable eviction history. Beginning the first of the year, Oregon will be the first state to implement a 5-year rule about reporting eviction records.
“Beginning Jan. 1, landlords in Oregon may not consider an applicant’s previous evictions if the action was dismissed, resulted in a judgment for the applicant or is five or more years before the prospective tenant submits an application,” said Lawson.
The law affects landlords and tenants, currently residing in Oregon and also pertains to applicants moving to the state. For example, if an applicant currently resides in California and submits a rental application in Oregon, the landlord may not consider an eviction that occurred six years prior.
“This is a big change for the tenant screening industry,” said Caryn Bennett, Contemporary Information Corporation (CIC) compliance manager and co-chair of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners’ Tenant Screening Committee.
“For a long time tenant screening included using an applicant’s current and previous addresses to run a report. Now, with the changes in Oregon, our filters and algorithms need to take into consideration where a prospective tenant is moving,” she added.
The algorithms and filters provide landlords with comprehensive tenant screening reports, allowing them to make informed rental decisions, while maintaining compliance with the latest legislative changes.
With the changes in Oregon legislature, it’s important to remember that federal laws preempt Senate Bill 91.
“Tenant screening customers in Oregon and elsewhere, should also continue to comply with applicable federal laws, which may affect the customer’s ability to comply with Oregon’s new time limitations, such as screening requirements for federally subsidized housing,” said Lawson.
This article originally appeared on einnews