Tenancy and Evictions

Bank representatives, realtors from other agencies, and the police may come to your house to try and kick you out. Only police can legally remove you from your home, and if you are a resident, the police cannot remove you without an order from the legal owner.
Establishing your status as a legal (although potentially unwelcome) resident and moving outside the police departments “legal” purview, is relatively simple. In most cases a party who is not on a written lease, but appears to have legitimately established residency, and has possessions e.g., clothing or personal items, in the residence, is considered to have established residency and is therefore a tenant. Police will often be unaware of the “legal” status of the house and at the very least be confused when you show you live there.

Proof of residency moves your legal standing as a squatter from the criminal realm to the civil realm, and is supposed to fall outside the jurisdiction of the PPD. In this case, the best thing you can do is try and get a legal eviction. The landlord must hand-deliver the eviction notice, mail it to your address, or, in some cases, put the notice on your door and mail you a copy.


Essentially you have no rights as a holder of free real estate in Portland, but if you are threatened with eviction there are things you can do to postpone eviction or even negotiate settlements to stay. Only the owner or a representative of the owner has the legal right to evict you, so don’t be intimidated by cops, or neighbors. It’s important to try and talk with the evictors; evictions have been stopped.
You should decide before the initiation of the eviction process if you are going to fight it. If you’re fighting the eviction in court, it would be a good idea to seek out legal advice. Contact a National Lawyers Guild lawyer, or try getting in contact with local tenant rights folks.  You might argue that although there is no written agreement between you and the property owner, the vacancy of the building as you found it, as well as the work you have done to fix up the building, demonstrate an implied contract. You could further argue that under this implied contract you traded manual labor, structural, and/or aesthetic improvements, as well as securing the property from theft and vandalism.

Another line of defense might be to organize a group of supporters to physically block the eviction process, on the day of the eviction. Although this might lead to other legal matters, it gives the group a change to engage in overt political protest and/or confrontation.

Keep camcorders, tape recorders, cameras and notepads, any way to document legal and police events in the building. If you are unable to do this, make sure to have them available if you plan on doing any type of  resistance, it is a good idea to have people who are not part of the action there to watch the police. It will help deter police harassment, and provide documentation.

The best thing you can do is try and get a legal eviction. Taking your case to court can give you more time on the land, and time to come up with a plan to defend it.

Landlord/tenant law and eviction vary according to state laws. To find out more specific details on eviction, search for landlord/tenant law in oregon online.The landlord must hand-deliver the eviction notice, mail it to your address, or, in some cases, put the notice on your door and mail you a copy. If the notice is handed to you the notice period starts to run immediately. If it is mailed to you, the landlord must add 3 days to length of notice time and state in the notice that three days have been added for mailing. If it is posted and mailed (24-hour and 72-hour notices where the written rental agreement allows this kind of service), the notice starts to run when the landlord mails the notice.

What happens if I don’t move out after getting an eviction notice?

The landlord must go to court to legally force you to move. The landlord will file a lawsuit called an FED, forcible entry and detainer. The sheriff or someone serving the court papers (FED Summons and FED Complaint) will hand them to whoever answers the door at your home or will tape them to the door and mail a copy later. The papers will tell you when and where to appear for court for what is called first appearance. The date will be less than 7 days away in most counties. Call the legal services office as soon as you get the papers. Tell the person answering the phone that you have court papers.


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