Landlord and Tenant Laws in Oregon on Renter's Insurance

The Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act is codified in the Oregon Revised Statutes Sections 90.100 to 90.875. The act has been in effect since October 5, 1973, and it covers all residential landlords and tenants. The Oregon Insurance Division is responsible for ensuring that all residents comply with the state's insurance laws. Oregon law does not require that landlords purchase mandatory rental insurance to cover their losses or their tenants' losses.

The Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act does not cover hotels and guests, lease-to-buy options, private or public nonprofit charitable organizations, fraternities and sororities and agricultural workers who live on their owners' farms. The act allows landlords to use written or oral lease agreements, as long as their oral leases are for terms of less than one year. Landlords may also not discriminate against their tenants or prospective tenants in violation of the federal and Oregon fair housing laws.

Discriminatory and Nondiscriminatory Insurance Provisions

Oregon landlords are permitted to use mandatory rental insurance provisions in their leases, requiring their tenants to purchase rental insurance to cover their losses. Landlords cannot use mandatory rental insurance provisions that violate the fair housing laws. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits rental discrimination based on family status, race, religion, gender, national origin or disability. The Oregon fair housing laws further prohibit rental discrimination based on financial status and sexual orientation. Oregon landlords cannot require that a disabled tenant purchase rental insurance to cover damages to his apartment while not requiring it for other tenants. However, Oregon landlords can require that their tenants purchase renters' insurance if they have pets to cover property damage and damages from injuries without requiring it for non-pet owners.

Impermissible Insurance Provision

Oregon law prohibits landlords from requiring that their tenants purchase rental insurance to cover their landlords' negligence. Landlords are responsible for covering any incidental damages caused by their own negligence or failure to provide necessary services, in violation of the Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act. Furthermore, landlords cannot require that their tenants purchase renters' insurance to use their common areas and facilities.

Mandatory Insurance Disclosure

The Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act requires landlords to provide notice of all rentals located on a 100-year flood plain, as established by the National Flood Insurance Program. Landlords must provide this notice to all prospective tenants, and if they fail to provide the mandatory notice, tenants can sue their landlords for subsequent flood damage if their rental insurance did not cover their damages. Oregon law allows courts to award damages equal to two months of rent or their actual damages, whichever is less.


About the Author

Jill Stimson has worked in various property management positions in Maryland and Delaware. Stimson worked for the top three property management companies in the commercial industry and focuses her career on property building logistics and tenant relationships. She holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science in psychology.