5 TENANT TIPS
Be prepared. If certain rental properties are in high demand and
are selective in renting or leasing to applicants, you will gain a
competitive edge by having the following information with you: a
completed rental application; written references from landlords,
employers, friends and/or colleagues; and a current copy of your
What you should know
2 Carefully review all the important conditions of the tenancy before you sign on the dotted line. Your lease or rental agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable, such as
restrictions on guests or pets, design alterations
or running a home business.
3 Purchase renters’ insurance to cover your valuables. Your landlord’s insurance policy
will not cover your losses.
4 To avoid misunderstandings, keep copies of any correspondence with the landlord and follow up any oral agreements with a letter, outlining your understanding. For example, if you ask your landlord to make repairs, put your request in writing and
keep a copy for yourself. If he or she agrees orally, send a letter confirming this fact.
5 Learn whether the building and neighborhood you are considering are safe. Get copies of any state or local laws that require safety devices such as deadbolts and window locks; check out the property’s vulnerability to intrusion by a criminal, and learn whether criminal incidents have already occurred.
100 PORTLAND RELOCATION GUIDE – SUMMER | FALL 2018
also avoid cooking too close to your
building, or beneath overhanging eaves and
When entertaining guests outdoors — in
community spaces or on private patios
— renters should refer to their lease for
regulations on the number of people
allowed and the activities that might be
Tenant Rights: Property owners are
responsible to you, the renter, for the
safety and livability of your home. Your
apartment must be in good living condition
when you move in; your unit must be free
of pests and there must be proper wiring,
plumbing, and heating.
It’s the landlord’s responsibility to maintain these aspects of your apartment,
throughout your time there. If maintenance work must be done for upkeep to the
plumbing, wiring, or heating, the landlord
is responsible for covering those costs.
Landlords in Portland may charge a secu-
rity deposit before move-in, to cover any
potential damage during your time living
there. When you move out, the landlord
is required to return your security deposit,
provided nothing was damaged beyond
normal wear and tear, within 31 days.
Even though your landlord owns the property, renters have the right of exclusive
possession, which means that you have the
right to your privacy within your rented
property. Landlords may not enter without
at least 24 hours’ notice.
Month-to-month rental agreements are
not uncommon in Portland. These can be
convenient for renters who are not ready
to make a full-year commitment on a property. Renters can leave their lease without
any kind of fine if they provide 30 days’
notice, but renters should also consider that
a month-to-month agreement gives landlords the option to terminate a lease with a
30-day notice as well.
It’s the tenant’s responsibility to know their
rights before they sign a lease. Be sure to
read your lease thoroughly before entertaining into a legal relationship with your
landlord or management company.l
Photo by ZeroGravity 360 Productions courtesy of YARD