Querin Law

Phil Querin Q&A: Three Questions on Temporary Occupants

Question 1 

The law and MHCO ocupancy agreement both state that a landlord can screen an occupant for conduct or criminal history but not for credit history or income level.  If after screening a temporary occupant, the findings reveal that they have civil case(s) and/or eviction matters relating to previous rental history where the derogatory rental reference is financial (not necessarily bad personal conduct). Can this be grounds for denial? 


Answer 1

Not in my opinion.  The temporary occupant agreement concept is that the person is notgoing to be a “co-renter”. They are being permitted to come onto the space as an accommodation by the landlord to the current resident who wants them there.  If they are to become a temporary occupant, but your background check inadvertently reveals derogatory references related to financial information, and that concerns you, then limit the amount of time they can remain there, and take things a month, or six months, at a time.  You might consider having tenants fill out a form in advanceexplaining exactly why they want the temporary occupant there. If a tenant wants them there to share the rental obligation then you should know that beforeoffering the temporary occupant status.  If that is the case, then have them apply as a tenant.  If they don’t pass the financial background check, then reject them on that basis.       


Phil Querin Q&A: Assistance Animals Vs. Comfort Animals

Question.I have a question about the Pet form. The term “assistance”  animal is used throughout. We are  in a disagreement with HUD over a comfort animal versus a “service” animal.  (one state document does use the term assistance and classes that as service in a footnote)  


Our defense is that the terms are very specific in the laws, or agency guidelines, both state and federal.   A landlord is specifically released from any responsibility to accept any animal that is not certified as “service.” HUD says they are not bound by another agency’s rules. Isn’t it important for our forms to be specific by using the term “service?”.


Phil Querin Q&A - Extending 30 Day Notices During Court Closing

Question:  We need clarification on 30- day notices.  Assuming courts are closed for longer than 2 weeks - this could become 2 months. What should a landlord do who has a tenant  problem that warrants issuance of a 30-day notice?  If the landlord gives a 30-day notice now, he/she has two possible choices: (a) Accept no rent for the second month the 30-day notice spans; or (b) or accept only a portion of the second month’s rent prorated through the last day of the “Deadline” (i.e. the last day in the Notice for the tenant to cure the default). Is there a way around this, so the landlord can collect the entire month’s rent for the second month?


Answer. Accepting rent for the period beyond the Deadline means that the tenant is entitled to occupy the space even after the failure to cure within the 30-day cure period. Yet the failure to cure is the event after which the landlord may file for eviction; the tenant has no legal right to remain on the space. Accepting rent for that period creates a waiver of the right to treat the failure to cure as a default upon which the eviction may be filed.


There are perhaps three ways to prevent that from happening, so that a landlord may receive rent for the entirety of the second month, notwithstanding the fact that it covers a period beyond the Deadline.


1. The preferred way in my opinion, is to extend the cure period in the notice. When it is issued, extend the 30-day cure period so that it goes through the 30thor 31stday (as applicable) of the second month.


EXAMPLE:If a 30-day notice is mailed on March 19, normally, the time to cure would end 33 days hence, i.e. starting with March 20 being the first day, and ending at midnight April 21stas the end of the cure period. In that case, the landlord can either take no rentfor April or take rent proratedthrough the 21 days of April. 


But if the cure period in the notice is extended through April, and ends  at midnight (end of day) on April 30ththe L could accept rent for the entire month of April. If the tenant pays the rent for April andcures the violation by April 30, the problem has gone away.  


Of course, there still is a problem if the tenant does not cure and does not pay any rent, if the courts are still closed and no eviction (either for the failure to cure, or failure to pay after issuance of a 72-hour notice) can be filed.


2. Another alternative is to unilaterally extend (in writing) the cure period for another 30 or 31 days on condition rent was paid, to span the following month. Can a landlord do that? In my opinion yes – it does not reduce a tenant right, but expands it. Of course, a judge could see it differently.


3. Lastly, the landlord can try to enter into a written agreement with the tenant (after issuance of the 30-day notice) that acceptance of rent for the balance of the second month shall not be construed as a waiver. But what’s in it for the tenant?


The only time this seems feasible is where the tenant is cooperative about curing within the 30 days, and agrees in writing that if landlord accepts the full rent for the second month it will not constitute a waiver.

Phil Querin Q&A: Resident Builds Carport Now Selling/Moving Home - Status of Carport?

Question:  I have a resident who was given permission to build a permanent carport.  Most all of the carports in my park are free standing and permanent which is my preference. However, he constructed the permanent carport by boring holes in the ground and filling them with concrete and inserting metal mounts to which he fastened 4x4 uprights for the carport.  Building it this way, in my opinion, made it part of the real property.  I was there when construction started but was absent when it was completed. 


What now complicates matters is that he recently decided to sell the manufactured home, including the carport.  This would not have been an issue had the buyer is now planned on moving the home.  I believe that since the carport is now permanently affixed to the ground, it cannot be sold as personal property along with the home.  He also attached the carport to the manufactured home which may complicate things, as well.  What are my rights here?

Phil Querin Q&A: System Failures in Manufactured Housing Communities

Question:Our park is having plumbing issues. One resident says a sewage pipe may be collapsing that is obstructing sewage flow. Another resident complains that their tap water is discolored, and says they have to install an expensive filtration system.


My question is “Where is the line between resident responsibility and landlord responsibility for park systems – from well water, public water, septic, public sewer, and electrical systems, etc.”?



Phil Querin Q&A: Lease Renewal


Question:  I have recently revised all of our lease agreements including Oregon, where I have made substantial updates and changes. I understand that by law I have to give renewal notices 60 days in advance of a lease expiration if I want the tenant to continue on the newly proffered lease.I understand that pursuant to ORS 90.545, I am supposed to identify what is different in the new lease from the old one. Due to the number of changes I’ve made, it would be very difficult to identify and list them all. 

I’m wondering if I can just inform the residents that the new lease has numerous updates and that they should read it as if it were a completely new edition. 


The only other real option is to offer a redline version which would be so marked up it would be difficult  to read and understand. Can you check to see what would meet the requirements of the notice?



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