Oregon Statutes - Chapter 90 - Residential Landlord and Tenant - Section 90.365 - Failure of landlord to supply essential services; remedies.

(1) If contrary to the rental agreement or ORS 90.320 or 90.730 the landlord intentionally or negligently fails to supply any essential service, the tenant may give written notice to the landlord specifying the breach and that the tenant may seek substitute services, diminution in rent damages or substitute housing. After allowing the landlord a reasonable time and reasonable access under the circumstances to supply the essential service, the tenant may:

(a) Procure reasonable amounts of the essential service during the period of the landlordís noncompliance and deduct their actual and reasonable cost from the rent;

(b) Recover damages based upon the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit; or

(c) If the failure to supply an essential service makes the dwelling unit unsafe or unfit to occupy, procure substitute housing during the period of the landlordís noncompliance, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of the landlordís noncompliance. In addition, the tenant may recover as damages from the landlord the actual and reasonable cost or fair and reasonable value of comparable substitute housing in excess of the rent for the dwelling unit. For purposes of this paragraph, substitute housing is comparable if it is of a quality that is similar to or less than the quality of the dwelling unit with regard to basic elements including cooking and refrigeration services and, if warranted, upon consideration of factors such as location in the same area as the dwelling unit, the availability of substitute housing in the area and the expense relative to the range of choices for substitute housing in the area. A tenant may choose substitute housing of relatively greater quality, but the tenantís damages shall be limited to the cost or value of comparable substitute housing.

(2) If contrary to the rental agreement or ORS 90.320 or 90.730 the landlord fails to supply any essential service, the lack of which poses an imminent and serious threat to the tenantís health, safety or property, the tenant may give written notice to the landlord specifying the breach and that the rental agreement shall terminate in not less than 48 hours unless the breach is remedied within that period. If the landlord adequately remedies the breach before the end of the notice period, the rental agreement shall not terminate by reason of the breach. As used in this subsection, ďimminent and serious threat to the tenantís health, safety or propertyĒ shall not include the presence of radon, asbestos or lead-based paint or the future risk of flooding or seismic hazard, as defined by ORS 455.447.

(3) For purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a landlord shall not be considered to be intentionally or negligently failing to supply an essential service if:

(a) The landlord substantially supplies the essential service; or

(b) The landlord is making a reasonable and good faith effort to supply the essential service and the failure is due to conditions beyond the landlordís control.

(4) This section does not require a landlord to supply a cooking appliance or a refrigerator if the landlord did not supply or agree to supply a cooking appliance or refrigerator to the tenant.

(5) If the tenant proceeds under this section, the tenant may not proceed under ORS 90.360 (1) as to that breach.

(6) Rights of the tenant under this section do not arise if the condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant or a person on the premises with the tenantís consent.

(7) Service or delivery of actual or written notice shall be as provided by ORS 90.150 and 90.155, including the addition of three days to the notice period if written notice is delivered by first class mail.

(8) Any provisions of this section that reasonably apply only to a structure that is used as a home, residence or sleeping place does not apply to a manufactured dwelling, recreational vehicle or floating home if the tenant owns the manufactured dwelling, recreational vehicle or floating home and rents the space. [Formerly 91.805; 1995 c.559 §21; 1997 c.577 §20; 1999 c.603 §22; 1999 c.676 §14; 2007 c.508 §8]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008