Seeking Lawyer - Landlording Laws 101

3 Replies | Portland, Oregon


I'm looking for a resource to learn about the Portland landlord laws for small scale landlords. I have heard that there are some lawyers who will charge a flat fee of $250, meet with you to explain the rental rules, and provide some hard copy resources. We also have a specific question about 1 part of our house that isn't quite up to code, but we aren't sure if it is a big deal or if we need to dish out some cash to fix it. I know that most items are grandfathered in if you live somewhere, but once you rent it out then the property is held to higher standards. 

I'm wondering if we didn't fix the code issue would umbrella insurance cover it or do they typically deny those types of claims because the item isn't up to code. The issue isn't like live wires sticking out of a wall. It's more like ceiling height is too low and someone bumps their head kind of thing.

Does anyone know any lawyers who do this kind of thing? Or are there any other resources that people know of? I want to make sure I understand the rental laws in Portland, but I also don't want to spend the time combing through the City code so I'll pay a bit to get the knowledge from someone.


Hey Brandon, 

My brother and I own and manage hundreds of houses in Portland many of which are extremely old and do not meet today's code.  We have been in business for the past 12 years in Portland.  We haven't had any claims for properties not being up to code.  We manage about 600 units in Portland and haven't seen that claim yet.  Knock on wood.

Just figured I share our experience with you.


Hi Brandon,

If you're looking for a good resource with the most recent regulations I would recommend the Multifamily NW 2020 Oregon Statute Reference Guide. They compile all of the pertinent regulation into one place. As a person who's read ALL of this regulation many times I can confirm it's a great resource. Multifamily NW and the Rental Housing Alliance also provide summaries of rental regulations both in Portland and Oregon on their sites. If you get connected with a landlord/tenant attorney the better ones will provide a memo of any updates to regulations as they happen. 

In Portland you'll want to have a handle on Senate Bill 608 (Oregon's Statewide Rent Control), HB 4401 (the current evictions moratorium regulation), Portland Rental Relocation Assistance (city-wide rent control and mandatory renter assistance for no-cause evictions), and the FAIR Ordinances.

I'm teaching a class via Investor Lab in May on this regulation so DM me if you want info.


Kurt Lane | Chroma Property Management