Oregon Court of Appeals Limits Cure Right for Tenants

On May 18, 2023 the Court of Appeals affirmed the tri­al court’s evic­tion judg­ment for the land­lord in a case involv­ing the require­ments of a for cause ter­mi­na­tion notice.  Ore­gon law requires that a land­lord pro­vide a ten­ant with a right to cure (fix the prob­lem) if the for-cause rea­son for ter­mi­nat­ing a ten­an­cy “can be cured by the ten­ant by a change in con­duct, repairs, pay­ment of mon­ey or oth­er­wise[.]” ORS 90.392(4)(a).  This case decid­ed that the land­lord makes the call if a ten­ant can cure a rea­son for ter­mi­na­tion.  In this extreme case, the Court found that the repairs, cost­ing some­where between $20,000 and $100,000 could not have been com­plet­ed by the ten­ant with­in the 14 days.  Time will tell whether this opin­ion is appealed.  The Court of Appeals read a require­ment for the land­lord to assess whether the cure can hap­pen with­in the 14 day min­i­mum time peri­od, but the statute con­tains no such lim­i­ta­tion.  Unless and until con­trary prece­den­tial opin­ion, the opin­ion will stand: land­lord are able to decide, in good faith, whether or not a ten­ant would be able to cure a for cause rea­son for ter­mi­na­tion with­in 14 days and, if not, may issue a for cause notice of ter­mi­na­tion with­out pro­vid­ing any notice or abil­i­ty for a ten­ant to cure.

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