We Represent Landlords Only

We Handle Oregon & Washington Landlord/Tenant Issues Including:

* * Nonpayment of Rent Evictions * * Fair Housing Claims
**   ** No Stated Cause Evictions **   ** Foreclosure Evictions
**   ** For Cause Evictions **  Americans with Disabilities Act Claims
*  ** Section 8 Evictions **   ** Manufactured Home Park Evictions
  ** Habitability Claims ** Floating Home Park Evictions
* * Discrimination Claims * * Commercial Properties
* * Form Creation and Reviews * * In House Trainings and Seminars
* * Notice Reviews * * Landlord Possessory Liens

 

Jeffrey S. Bennett is a partner in the Portland law firm of Warren Allen LLP. A member of the Oregon, Washington and Idaho state bars, Mr. Bennett is the head of his firm's landlord law department, a municipal judge for Maywood Park, and a Hearings Examiner for the Clackamas County Housing Authority. He has specialized in both residential and commercial landlord/tenant law for the past two decades. His articles have appeared in The Business Journal, Apartments Northwest, and in other media, and Mr. Bennett is a frequent lecturer at regional landlord/tenant seminars. Mr. Bennett represents many of the largest regional and national property management companies doing business in Oregon and Washington all the way down to owners of single family residential homes and small office complexes. The remainder of Mr. Bennett's practice emphasizes business law, real estate, commercial litigation, and a variety of general civil matters. Outside of his law practice, Mr. Bennett has been on the Board of Directors for both the East Portland and Gresham Area Chambers of Commerce and is an author of numerous books on whitewater rafting, kayaking and snowboarding.

 

Warren Allen LLP is one of the region's preeminent law firms. Warren Allen has continuously served the needs of individuals, families and businesses for more than four decades. It is a top rated law firm, has appeared on The Business Journals' Power List for Portland Metro Law Firms, and has a solid reputation for diligence, integrity and results. The members of Warren Allen are experienced trial attorneys and respected litigators. With their courtroom experience, Warren Allen's attorneys possess a keen awareness of current legal philosophies and trends. Outside of the courtroom, they use that experience in order to create "preventative law" strategies and minimize your exposure to risk. The attorneys at Warren Allen focus on your issues, listen to your needs, and devise efficient methods for achieving your goals.

 

For more information on Warren Allen LLP click here.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions
(Oregon Only)

 

General Questions


Q. Why should I hire an attorney?
Q. What happens if a tenant gets a judgment against me?
Q. Will my tenant hire an attorney?
Q. What additional amounts might I have to pay to the tenant?
Q. Is the tenant obligated to pay my fees if they lose?
Q. Will you represent me on a contingent fee basis?

 

Notices

 

No Cause Notices

Q. When can I serve a 30 Day or 60 Day No Cause Notice?
Q. Can I serve a No Cause Notice during a lease term?
Notice of Termination For Nonpayment of Rent
Q. What is the earliest date upon which I can serve a Notice of Termination For Nonpayment of Rent?
Q. Can I demand payment of a late fee in a Notice of Termination For Nonpayment of Rent?
Q. Can I accept a partial rent payment and still serve a Notice of Termination For Nonpayment of Rent?
Habitability
Q. Can I require my residential tenant to do repairs?
Q. Can I refuse to do repairs if my tenant is behind in his/her rent?
Q. What do I do if my tenant is complaining about repairs and withholding rent?
24 Hour Notices for Outrageous Conduct
Q. When can I serve a 24 Hour Notice of Termination For Outrageous Conduct?

 

Service of Notices of Termination


Q. What is the proper way to serve a Notice of Termination?
Q. Can I serve a Termination Notice simply by posting it on the tenant's door?
Q. Do any different rules apply to federally subsidized projects?
Q. May I serve a notice by certified or registered mail?

 

Entries and Inspections


Q. What do I need to do in order to legally enter my rental unit?
Q. May I enter the rental unit without notice, if I have already served a notice of termination upon the tenant, and that notice has already expired?
Q. What happens if my tenant refuses to let me in?
Q. What is the tenant's remedy if I entered the rental unit unlawfully?
Q. Do I have to serve Notices of Intent to Enter in the same manner than I serve Notices of Termination?

 

Occupancy Limits


Q. Can I limit the number of people who live in the rental unit?

 

Section 8 and Subsidized Tenants


Q. May I refuse to rent to section 8 tenants?

 

Evictions (FED's)


Q. Can I lock my tenant out of the premises if he fails to pay rent?
Q. Can I file an FED in Justice Court?
Q. Can I file an eviction action myself?
Q. What happens if I file an eviction action based upon a defective notice?
Q. What happens after I file the eviction action?
Q. Are tenants bound by settlement agreements entered into at the time of the First Appearance?
Q. What happens if the tenant does not comply with the settlement agreement?
Q. What happens if I cannot reach a settlement agreement with my tenant?
Q. Is a tenant entitled to a jury trial in an eviction matter?
Q. How long does it generally take to get possession once I have filed an eviction action?

 

Abandoned Property


Q. Can I throw out the tenant's personal property, without notice, after he/she vacates the premises?

 

Small Claims


Q. How do I recover the money a current or former tenant owes me for rent, late fees or other damages?
Q. Are attorneys allowed in Small Claims court?
Q. Is there a limit on the amount of money I may seek in Small Claims court?
Q. Can I bring a Small Claims action against a current tenant?
Q. How do I get paid on a judgment against the tenant?
Q. Can the tenant request a jury trial or remove the case from Small Claims court?
Q. Are there other steps I must take to enforce the judgment?

 

Our Practice


Q. In what parts of Oregon do you handle cases?

Q. Do you represent commercial clients?

Q. Do you handle matters pertaining to manufactured dwellings (mobile homes) or floating homes?

Q. I've heard that you provide lectures at a variety of forums. Where can I see you speak?

 

How To Retain Us


Q. Do you charge a retainer fee?
Q. I do not like to travel downtown, so where are you located?

 

Our Affiliations

 

Q. Are you affiliated with any landlord organizations?

 


 

General Questions

 

Q. Why should I hire an attorney?

A. Tenants, and their attorneys, will take advantage of any error (however small) you have made in the preparation and service of your Notice of Termination, filing of your case, and/or other matters pertaining to your landlord/tenant relationship. If your tenant prevails in a lawsuit, then your tenant will be entitled to a judgment against you for attorney fees, court costs and a prevailing party fee. Your tenant may also be entitled to a judgment for damages. We have seen hundreds of scenarios in which a half hour of legal consultation would have saved landlords hundreds or thousands of dollars.
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Q. What happens if a tenant gets a judgment against me?

A. If a tenant obtains a money judgment against you, then the tenant can garnish your income or bank accounts, lien your property(ies), or pursue any other methods for legally collecting the debt you owe.
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Q. Will my tenant hire an attorney?

A. Many tenant's attorneys will represent tenants for free! Many of these attorneys solicit tenants (in person or by mail) after you have filed an eviction action. (In Multnomah County, tenant's attorneys actually go to the courthouse, get the names of all tenants involved in eviction matters, and send letters offering free legal services!) Tenants perceive that they have nothing to lose and so are overjoyed at the prospect of beating the ""mean landlord"" at little or no cost to them. These attorneys depend on Oregon landlords making mistakes and prey on unrepresented landlords. If they can show that you prepared a bad notice, served it wrong, filed on it wrong, etcetera, they will win and you will be obligated to pay their attorney fees! This is why we recommend that you obtain legal advice, at the very least, before filing the eviction action.
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Q. What additional amounts might I have to pay to the tenant?

A. If you lose a case filed by or against your tenant, a judgment will be entered against you for the tenant's court fees and prevailing party fee (in addition to any other damages or attorney fees found to be owing). Further, if the court determines that you acted egregiously or in bad faith, the court may award your tenant an enhanced prevailing party fee (up to $5,000.00).
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Q. Is the tenant obligated to pay my fees if they lose?

A. Technically, yes. However, you'll first receive a judgment for those fees, and then have to attempt to collect them. Many — if not most — tenants are financially unable to pay off the judgment you may ultimately obtain against them.
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Q. Will you represent me on a contingent fee basis?

A. No. For the reasons mentioned above. We cannot afford to work for free. If we successfully help you obtain a judgment against the tenant, you will be entitled to any money actually collected from your tenant.
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Notices


No Cause Notices

 

Q. When can I serve a 30 Day or 60 Day No Cause Notice?

A. In month-to-month tenancies, the landlord may serve "No Cause" Notice of Termination. That Notice, must be 30 days long, if all tenants occupying the premises have lived there less than one year, or 60 days long if they have lived there more than a year. (Caveat: A landlord can serve a 30 day no stated cause Termination Notice to a month-to-month tenant, regardless of the length of their residency, upon the sale of the rental property, if the buyer will be occupying the dwelling as their primary residence.) Month-to-month tenants are only required to give the landlord a 30 day notice of their intent to move out of the rental property. Note that different rules apply to fixed term tenancies.
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Q. Can I demand payment of a late fee in a Notice of Termination For Nonpayment of Rent?

A. No. The nonpayment of rent notice may not require your tenant to pay a late fee in order to avoid termination.
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Notice of Termination For Nonpayment of Rent

 

Q. What is the earliest date upon which I can serve a Notice of Termination For Nonpayment of Rent?

A. You cannot serve a Notice of Termination For Nonpayment of Rent any earlier than the 8th day of the rental period (i.e., if rent is due on the 1st, you may serve the Notice on the 8th).
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Q. Can I demand payment of a late fee in a nonpayment of rent notice?

A. No. The nonpayment of rent notice may not require your tenant to pay a late fee in order to avoid eviction.
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Q. Can I accept a partial rent payment and still serve a Notice of Termination For Nonpayment of Rent?

A. In most instance, the answer is, "no." However, some limited exceptions may exist.
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Habitability

 

Q. Can I require my residential tenant to do repairs?

A. No.
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Q. Can I refuse to do repairs if my tenant is behind in his/her rent?

A. No.
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Q. What do I do if my tenant is complaining about repairs and withholding rent?

A. Get immediate legal advice before doing anything. Your tenant may be setting you up.
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24 Hour Notices for Outrageous Conduct

 

Q. When can I serve a 24 Hour Notice of Termination For Outrageous Conduct?

A. The 24 Hour Notice of Termination For Outrageous Conduct may be used when the following violations occur on or near the premises:

  1. Prostitution on the premises;
  2. Manufacture of a controlled substance;
  3. Delivery of a controlled substance;
  4. Burglary;
  5. Racial intimidation;
  6. Causing serious personal injury to another tenant; and
  7. Serious threats to immediately cause serious injury to another tenant.
  8. Any other act which is outrageous in the extreme.
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Service of Notices of Termination


Q. What is the proper way to serve a Notice of Termination?

A. You may serve any eviction notice in one of three ways. (a) personal delivery to the tenant; (b) first class mail to tenant; or (c) if a written rental agreement so provides, both first class mail and attachment to a designated location. Note that mail and attachment rules are quite complex. Accordingly, many landlords mistakenly post and mail Termination Notices.
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Q. Can I serve a Termination Notice simply by posting it on the tenant's door?

A. No. Posting alone is never good service for Termination Notice. However, you may have the right to serve an eviction notice by "post and mail." Your rental agreement must do all of the following in order to give you this right:

  1. It must give your tenant the right to serve you by posting and mailing notices;
  2. It must give your tenant a physical location (not a post office box) at which the tenant can physically attach a notice addressed to you.
  3. That location must be available to the tenant 24 hours a day. In other words, it cannot be in a locked or secure building or in a post office.
  4. That location must be reasonably located in relation to the tenant. For example, it cannot be in Salem if the tenant is in Portland.
  5. You must also specify in the rental agreement where the tenant is to mail the notice. This can be the same or a different location than the address to which the tenant may attach the notice to you.


* Different rules apply to tenants in federally subsidized projects or who receive Section 8 certificates.

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Q. Do any different rules apply to federally subsidized projects?

A. Federally subsidized projects and tenancies (such as Section 8 or Low Income Housing Tax Credit Properties) are governed by additional laws. These laws may modify, add to, or supercede obligations created under Oregon state laws.

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Q. May I serve a notice by certified or registered mail?

A. No. The Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act (the "ORLTA") prohibits you from serving notices solely by certified or registered mail. Mailed Noticed must be served via first class mail only. If you want a record of having mailed the notice to your tenant, you may obtain a Certificate of Mailing. This is merely a receipt, which comes with a postmark, and shows that you mailed something to your tenant on a certain date. Certificates of Mailing are very different from certified or registered mail. (Note: If your rental agreement requires service of notices by certified or registered mail, then you must do that type of service in addition to service by regular first class mail.)
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Entries and Inspections


Q. What do I need to do in order to legally enter my rental unit?

A. In most cases, you must give your tenant at least 24 hours notice of intent to enter (by "actual notice") prior to entering the dwelling unit. That same notice may be required, in some instances, before you can enter exterior portions of the premises (such as a yard).
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Q. May I enter the rental unit without notice, if I have already served a notice of termination upon the tenant, and that notice has already expired?

A. If the tenant still occupies the premises, then you must typically serve a 24 Hour Notice of Intent to Enter prior to making any such entry.
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Q. What happens if my tenant refuses to let me in?

A. You may not enter, without a court order, if your tenant denies you access. However, in some circumstances, you may be able to terminate the tenant''s tenancy and exercise other rights.
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Q. What is the tenant's remedy if I entered the rental unit unlawfully?

A. The tenant may recover up to one month's rent for each unlawful entry.
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Q. Do I have to serve Notices of Intent to Enter in the same manner than I serve Notices of Termination?

A. No. You can serve Notices of Intent to Enter by "actual notice." Actual notice may be made by (a) attachment to the tenant's front door, (b) a message on the tenant's answering machine, (c) fax, or (d) first class mail (with three additional days for mailing). The legal method of actual service is often fact dependent.

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Occupancy Limits

 

Q. Can I limit the number of people who live in the rental unit?

A. Yes. However, the limits may be fact dependent. For example, the occupancy limit must also be reasonable. Reasonableness is determined on a case by case basis considering the size of the bedrooms, the overall size of the unit and any discriminatory impact on protected classes.
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Section 8 and Subsidized Tenants

 

Q. May I refuse to rent to section 8 tenants?

A. Yes. Although you are not allowed to discriminate against applicants on the basis of the source of their income, there is an exception for section 8 recipients. This is because renting to a section 8 applicant would require you to accept the regulatory requirements of the section 8 program. However, you may not discriminate against someone if they receive their income from legal means outside of employment (e.g., welfare or social security).
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Evictions (FED's)

 

Q. Can I lock my tenant out of the premises if he fails to pay rent?

A. No. You cannot lock a tenant out of the premises without complying with FED procedures. Limited exceptions apply in domestic violence scenarios.
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Q. Can I file an FED in Justice Court?

A. Yes. However, the tenant can appeal Justice Court decisions and obtain a new trial in Circuit Court.
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Q. Can I file an eviction action myself?

A. Yes. However, the negative consequences associated with losing an eviction case may be quite severe. Accordingly, you should procure sound legal advice prior to an eviction action.
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Q. What happens if I file an eviction action based upon a defective notice?

A. Your case may be dismissed and the tenant may procure a judgment against you for court costs, attorney fees, prevailing party fees, and/or damages.
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Q. What happens after I file the eviction action?

A. The court will set a date for a first court appearance (a.k.a., a "First Appearance"). First appearance take place no sooner than eight days after the eviction action is filed. At a first appearance, you may procure a default judgment (if the tenant doesn't appear), a settlement agreement (if you and the tenant enter into such an agreement), or set your case for trial (if both parties appear, but can't settle the case).
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Q. Are tenants bound by settlement agreements entered into at the time of the First Appearance?

A. Yes, so long as the terms and conditions set forth in the settlement agreement are legal.
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Q. What happens if the tenant does not comply with the settlement agreement?

A. You can submit a Declaration of Noncompliance to the court and seek a Judgment of Restitution (awarding you the right to possession of the premises). However, the tenant can request a hearing to challenge your right to possession.
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Q. What happens if I cannot reach a settlement agreement with my tenant?

A. The case will typically be set for trial.
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Q. Is a tenant entitled to a jury trial in an eviction matter?

A. Yes, but only if they ask for one.
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Q. How long does it generally take to get possession once I have filed an eviction action?

A. The eviction process can take as little as three weeks from the time a case is filed to the date the sheriff assists you with locking the tenant out of the premises. However, many factors can — and often do — delay the process.
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Abandoned Property

 

Q. Can I throw out the tenant's personal property, without notice, after he/she vacates the premises?

A. No. Prior to disposing of personal property, you must first serve a valid Abandoned Property Notice. If you fail to comply with the abandoned property statutes, then (a) your tenant can sue you for twice the value of the abandoned property (plus attorney fees and court costs), and (b), you will forfeit any claims you may otherwise have against the tenant for back rent and most damages.
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Small Claims

 

Q. How do I recover the money a current or former tenant owes me for rent, late fees or other damages?
A. Often, a Small Claims action provides the most cost-effective way to obtain a judgment against former tenants who still owe you money. Small Claims actions typically cost less than Circuit Court actions and are heard on a more expedited basis.
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Q. Are attorneys allowed in Small Claims court?

A. Rarely. The Small Claims statutes specify that attorneys are allowed to appear only with judicial. However, corporations and public entities may appear through attorneys.
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Q. Is there a limit on the amount of money I may seek in Small Claims court?

A. Yes, the most you may demand in a Small Claims action is $7,500.00 If you wish to obtain a judgment for an amount greater than $7.500.00, then you must file your action in Circuit Court.
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Q. Can I bring a Small Claims action against a current tenant?

A. Yes. In fact, it occasionally makes sense to sue your tenant while you can still find him. (You must obtain valid service of a Summons and Complaint before you can obtain an enforceable judgment against a current or former tenant)
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Q. How do I get paid on a judgment against the tenant?

A. Unfortunately, you or someone on your behalf, may be required to collect the judgment through garnishment or other means. Unless your tenant has a good paying job or significant assets, it may be difficult to collect on your judgment. Accordingly, we generally advise our clients to choose the least expensive method for obtaining judgments (i.e., Small Claims). If your tenant has a solid job, then a Circuit Court action may be desirable. The best strategy will ultimately be determined by your facts and goals.
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Q. Can the tenant request a jury trial or remove the case from Small Claims court?

A. Yes, in some circumstances. This is another scenario that could drive up your litigation expenses (to unanticipated levels).
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Q. Are there other steps I must take to enforce the judgment?

A. You may need to record the Small Claim judgment in the Circuit Court docket. You may also need to record a Notice of Lien in the county in which the debtor owns real property. Additional steps may be necessary to preserve the judgment for future collection.
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Our Practice

 

Q. In what parts of Oregon do you handle cases?

A. We represent landlords throughout Oregon. We also represent landlords throughout Washington.
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Q. Do you represent commercial clients?

A. Yes. We handle a variety of matters for commercial landlords, including lease negotiations, lien foreclosures and evictions.

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Q. Do you handle matters pertaining to manufactured dwellings (mobile homes) or floating homes?

A. Yes. We represent landlords with all aspects of these types of tenancies.

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Q. I've heard that you provide lectures at a variety of forums. Where can I see you speak?

A. We provide lectures throughout the year at a variety of forums. Check in with us regularly for calendar updates.

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How To Retain Us

 

Q. Do you charge a retainer fee?

A. Depending upon the nature of our legal service, we may request a retainer. The retainer may vary, depending upon the amount of anticipated work and each client's financial status.

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Q. I do not like to travel downtown, so where are you located?

A. Our office is located near the intersection of I-84 and I-205, in the heart of Portland's Gateway District. Access to our office is easy, and we provide free parking. Since many of clients prefer to handle their affairs electronically (and avoid unnecessary travel), we are able to assist you remotely via telephone, e-mail and fax.
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Our Affiliations

 

Q. Are you affiliated with any landlord organizations?

A. Yes. We are members of, and strongly support, the landlord organizations listed on this website. If you are not a member of one of these organizations, then we strongly recommend that you join one.
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This site was formerly owned by Hummel & Barnhouse, P.C. Both Holly Hummel and Amy Barnhouse have retired. Warren Allen, LLP has acquired their website and now represents many of their former clients.

Formerly the site of Hummel Barnhouse, P.C.




Contact Us



Jeffrey S. Bennett
Attorney at Law

(Admitted in Oregon and Washington)

 

850 NE 122nd Ave., Portland, Oregon 97230

 

(click here for: map / directions)

 

Phone: (503) 228-7569 or (503) 255-8795

Fax: (503) 224-0225 or (503) 255-8836

Email: bennett@warrenallen.com




Landlord Organizations
(listed alphabetically)

 

 

Manufactured Housing

Communities of Oregon

Phone: (503) 391-4496

Web: www.mhco.org

 

 

Metro Multifamily Housing Association

Phone: (503) 213-1281

Web: www.metromultifamily.com



National Association of

Residential Property Managers

Web: www.narpm.org



Oregon Landlord Support Association

Phone: (503) 362-2023



Rental Housing Association

of Greater Portland

Phone: (503) 254-4723

Web: www.rhagp.org

 

 

 

 

 

spacerPractice Areas

 

 

  • Residential & Commercial Evictions:

    • Nonpayment of Rent Evictions
    • No Stated Cause Evictions
    • For Cause Evictions
    • Section 8 Evictions
    • Foreclosure Evictions
    • Manufactured Home Park Evictions
    • Floating Home Park Evictions

  • Claims Defense:

    • Habitability Claims
    • Discrimination Claims
    • Fair Housing Claims
    • Americans With Disabilities Act Claims
    • Employment Claims

 

  • Related Matter:

    • Real Estate Transactions
    • Business Formation
    • Forms Creation
    • Training and Seminars
    • Employment Matters
    • Bankruptcy
    • Estate Planning
    • Contractor Disputes