Lack of Address in Move Notice Invalidates Eviction

Crown Prop­er­ty Man­age­ment, Inc. v. Cot­ting­ham, 299 Or App 553 (2019), is a case that reaf­firms the very tech­ni­cal nature of some of the require­ments of being a land­lord in Ore­gon.  In this case, the land­lord had the prop­er lan­guage in the rental agree­ment to allow the ser­vice of notices (such as an ter­mi­na­tion of ten­an­cy notice) to be done by “nail and mail” – a process of post­ing the notice to the door of the rental unit and mail­ing a copy to the res­i­den­tial rental address.  These require­ments include stat­ing in the rental agree­ment a place for the ten­ant to use “nail and mail” to serve notices to the land­lord.  The land­lord moved offices and pro­vid­ed a notice to all the ten­ants telling them that they could find the office at a cer­tain build­ing.  Even though the ten­ant agreed that he knew where the new office was, the fact that the notice failed to con­tain an updat­ed mail­ing address for the land­lord, the Court found that the ten­ant was unable to take advan­tage of “nail and mail” ser­vice.  Because the ten­ant was not afford­ed “nail and mail,” the land­lord could not use it either.  The ben­e­fit of “nail and mail” is that it allows notices to be deliv­ered in a man­ner that avoid an oth­er­wise addi­tion of three days to any notice peri­od on mail ser­vice (72 hour notices become 72 hour plus 3 days).  Because then the landlord’s notice did not pro­vide the ten­ant with as much time as is required by law, the notice was defec­tive.  This meant that the evic­tion was not based on a valid notice.  There­fore, the ten­ant could not be evict­ed and the land­lord was sub­ject to an attor­ney fee request by the pre­vail­ing tenant.

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