Mark Busch RV Question and Anwer: RV Tenants and Rent Nonpayment

Want access to MHCO content?

For complete access to forms, conference presentations, community updates and MHCO columns, log in to your account or register.

April 28, 2019
Mark L. Busch
Mark L. Busch

 

Question:  One of the residents in our RV park is ALWAYS late with the rent.  The rent is paid every month, but it is always late. We know RVs aren’t covered by the “three strikes” rent nonpayment law that applies to manufactured home tenants. Do we have any recourse to evict this tenant?

 

Answer:  Since you said that the rent is paid every month, I assume that your resident is a month-to-month tenant (as opposed to weekly or fixed-term).  If the tenant is within the first year of occupancy in the park, you can evict with a 30-day, no-cause eviction notice (MHCO Form 43 C).

(Caveat:  Portland and Milwaukie both have ordinances requiring 90-day no-cause notices to allmonthly tenants, regardless of how long they have been tenants.  In addition, Portland requires landlords to make “relocation assistance” payments to tenants evicted for no-cause, ranging from $2,900 to $4,500 – although the applicability of this requirement to RV tenants is legally questionable. Consult an attorney if you rent RV spaces in either of these cities.)

Unfortunately, due to recently enacted Senate Bill 608, you no longer have the right to evict a month-to-month tenant for no-cause afterthe first year of occupancy except in very limited circumstances that do not likely apply in your case (i.e., the RV park is being closed and converted to a nonresidential use).  Instead, Senate Bill 608 now forces landlords to primarily rely on for-cause evictions after the first year of the tenancy.

In your particular case, you should issue a 72-hour rent nonpayment notice each and every month that the tenant is late with the rent (MHCO Form 82).  If rent is due on the first day of the month, you can issue a 72-hour notice as soon as the eighth day of the month.  At some point, you may catch the tenant missing the payment deadline in the 72-hour notice, after which you can file an eviction action in court.

If allowed by the tenant’s rental agreement, you should also assess a late fee every month.  If the tenant fails to pay the late fee as required by the rental agreement, you should issue a 30/14-day, for-cause notice to the tenant requiring payment of the late fee.  Under ORS 90.392 (4), if the tenant does not pay the late fee within 14 days after delivery of the notice, the tenancy terminates 30 days after the notice was delivered.

You are correct that the “three strikes” law does not apply to an RV tenant.  Only manufactured home tenants can be evicted with a 30-day notice after receiving three or more 72-hour notices within a 12-month period.  As such, RV park landlords must rely on the strategies outlined above to evict month-to-month tenants on late rent payments.

One final strategy for the future is to consider using a fixed-term rental agreement.  Senate Bill 608 does allow a landlord to evict a tenant at the end of the fixed term with a 90-day notice if the tenant has committed three or more violations of the rental agreement within the preceding 12 months.  You must give a written warning for each violation that specifies the violation, states that three or more violations within a 12-month period may result in termination of the tenancy at the end of the fixed-term, and states that correcting the third or subsequent violation is not a defense to the termination.  While this would not help in your current situation, it could be used with future tenants if you choose this strategy of using fixed-term leases.

As usual, you should always seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney if you are unsure whether to issue an eviction notice to an RV tenant, have questions on what kind of eviction notice to issue, or need guidance to use fixed-term agreements for future residents.

 

Column Topics: 
Location Tags: