- Court: Oregon Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Landlord Tenant
- Date Filed: 02-21-2020
- Case #: S066301
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Balmer, J.; Nakamoto, J., Flynn, J; Duncan, J; Nelson, J; & Baldwin, S.J. pro tempore.
- Full Text Opinion
Tenants appealed their habitability counter-claim against Landlords arguing that Landlords had not maintained the premises in a habitable condition. The Court of Appeals held that Tenants had failed to act in good faith for purposes of ORS 90.130 and their counterclaim was barred. "'[I]f the landlord neither knew nor reasonably should have known of the condition that constituted noncompliance,’ and the ‘tenant knew or reasonably should have known of the condition and failed to give actual notice to the landlord in a reasonable time prior’ to the damage, the tenant is not ‘entitled to recover damages’ for the landlord’s noncompliance with the habitability requirements.” ORS 90.360(2). ORS 90.370(1)(a) requires a tenant to “prove that[,] prior to the filing of the landlord’s action[,] the landlord reasonably had or should have had knowledge or had received actual notice of the facts that constitute the tenant’s counterclaim.” The Court found that neither ORS 90.360(2) nor ORS 90.370 required written notice as a prerequisite for a tenant’s counterclaim under ORS 90.360(2), but rather actual notice could be given verbally or by any “other method reasonably calculated to achieve actual receipt of notice.” ORS 90.150(1), (4). Therefore, the trial court’s reliance on the understanding that written notice was required to determine that Tenants had acted in bad faith was erroneous. Reversed and remanded.