An Oregon rental application is a vital tool for landlords and property owners to safeguard themselves when leasing their property. It should gather all necessary information to make informed decisions about prospective tenants while respecting their rights. Learn more about Oregon law below, and utilize our rental application template to address crucial questions effectively.
Oregon state law regarding rental application fees is nuanced. Some of the essential points that renters and landlords need to keep in mind include the following:
- Application Fee: The application fee (or applicant screening charge) cannot exceed the average cost of the screening process. Landlords must provide a receipt of any screening charges and a copy of any background check conducted.
- Screening Process: The landlord must provide the tenant with information on the cost, method, and criteria of all screening processes used in the rental application.
- Renter’s Insurance: The landlord must disclose whether renters must provide liability insurance and, if so, the amount required.
- Security and Pet Deposit: There is no limit on what a landlord can charge for a security or pet deposit in Oregon. The landlord is required to provide a receipt of the security deposit. The rental agreement must also include the deposit amount  .
Federal and State Fair Housing Laws
Landlords must abide by the Federal Fair Housing Act and Oregon Fair Housing laws, which means that they cannot ask questions about:
- The race, color, or national origin of any applicant
- The religious leanings of the applicant
- Whether the applicant has a disability
- The sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant
- The family status (including marital status) of any applicant
- The source of income of the applicant
- Whether the applicant is a victim of domestic violence
It is also essential for landlords to be aware of possible exceptions to the rules above. They include:
- Mrs. Murphy Exemption: If the owner lives in one of the units on the property and it has four dwellings or fewer, they are exempt from following specific FHA laws under the Mrs. Murphey Exemption.
- Religious Exemption: Landlords can use religion to decide who can live on the property if the property is owned and operated by a religious organization, as per 42 US Code § 3607.
- Age: If age is important to the community, such as in a senior living community, then age can be used as a part of the decision-making process  .
Other Resources for Landlords
- State Sex Offender Registry – A database that lists registered sex offenders living in the state.
- State Fair Housing Laws – Laws that prohibit discrimination in housing based on certain protected characteristics, ensuring equal housing opportunities for everyone.
Authorization for Background Check
Landlords should conduct a background check on each applicant. But, property owners must get the written consent of each applicant before running this check.
The Federal Credit Reporting Act requires this.
Our background check authorization form can be used to obtain the applicant’s consent before conducting a credit and criminal history search.
Landlords should consider providing applicants with a copy of their background check report.
Rental Application Complaint Statute of Limitations
In Oregon, residents have up to two years to file a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, per ORS 659A.875 (4).
Landlords need to be careful not to violate any areas of the Federal and Oregon Fair Housing laws.
To ensure you don’t overlook anything, use our sample Oregon rental application form to expedite your screening and review process.