Phil Querin Q&A: Resident Refuses to Pay Rent Increase for Last 6 Months

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Phil Querin

Question - A rent increase notice of $20 was sent out last year and became effective October 1, 2015. A resident has refused to pay this increase, and has tendered rent for the pre-increase amount. Can I give her a 72 Hour Notice (MHCO Form 42) for the past six months for not paying the additional $20?

Answer: The answer lies squarely in ORS 90.394 (Termination of rental agreement for failure to pay rent.) In summary, the statute provides as follows:

  • You deliver to the resident 72 hours' written notice of nonpayment. You would use MHCO Form 42.
  • You serve or mail the notice no sooner than the eighth day of the month (assuming rent is due on the first of the month).
  • The Notice would specify the amount of rent that must be paid, i.e. the six months' unpaid rent increase sum, which, at $20/month, equals $120.
  • You would specify the date and time by which the resident must pay the rent to cure the nonpayment of rent default.
  • Payment by a tenant who has received a notice under this section is timely if mailed to the landlord within the period of the Notice.
    • If the Notice is to be personally served on the resident, payment is timely if made within at least 72 consecutive clock hours immediately following service, as provided in ORS 90.155 (1)(a);
    • If the notice is sent by first class mail and attachment, payment is timely if made by 11:59 PM, 72 hours or 144 hours, as the case may be, after the time started to run at 11:59 on the date the Notice was both attached and mailed, as provided in ORS 90.155 (1)(c);
    • If the Notice is mailed via regular first class mail, payment is timely if made within by 11:59 PM on the sixth calendar day following the date of mailing the Notice (i.e. 72 hours plus three additional days for mailing) as provided by ORS 90.155 and ORS 90.160.
  • If the resident does not pay the $120 after proper service of the 72-hour notice, your only alternative is to file for eviction under ORS 105.105 et seq. I imagine if it comes to that, the matter will be settled in the hallway at the first appearance when the resident comes to understand you mean business.

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