Portland No-Cause Notice, For-Cause Notice and Eviction — What’s the difference?

No-Cause Notice [Terminate Tenancy]

A no-cause notice is what a landlord or property manager could give to a tenant at the end of their lease term to notify the occupants the lease is not being renewing. Often this is sent wel in advance, between 30 days for short term tenants, 60 to 90 days depending on location. The tenant agreed by contract to live in the home for a certain period of time. When the time comes for a lease period to end, often owners of rental property can chose not to renew the lease, and use the vacant home to make repairs, upgrades, or use the property for their personal desires, often including the sale, or moving-in of family/friends.

However, this no-cause notice is often referred to by advocates for rent stabilization as an “eviction notice.” Unfortunately, an Eviction is something entirely different, and using the wrong name by detractors is a politically motivated, emotion evoking title to convey abuse or misuse to rent paying tenants.

A No-Cause Notice does not adversely impact a tenant’s rental history. It is not an Eviction.


For-Cause Notice to Terminate Tenancy

A for-cause notice is what a landlord or property manager would issue to a tenant violating the terms and conditions of the rental contract. These are issued to provide a tenant with rights to remediate the cause over a series of days. An example may include a loud party during quiet hours – solution, stop partying during quiet hours. These notices specifically list the problem, the remedy, and the consequences of non-compliance. However, if a tenant chooses not to adhere to the rules, they can move-out of the unit. When the tenant of this situation chooses to move instead of complying with the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, the tenant may have a blemished rental history. However, there will NOT be an eviction on their record.  

Tenants are warned and given the opportunity to perform or move. Again, this is not an Eviction.



A true eviction only occurs when you have a tenant who fails to adhere to the terms and conditions of their rental agreement, and fails to comply with a notice to move because of their actions. A formal court resolution is declared by a judge, and at this point, the tenant is officially ‘Evicted.’ There is always a cause as declared by the judge signing the orders.  

We would refer to these tenants as having a status of being ‘Under Eviction’ through the court process. It only becomes an Eviction if the judge signs the order to force the tenant’s out. If the tenant still refuses to move, it becomes a ‘Sheriff’s Lock-out’ or ‘Forced Eviction.’

An Eviction has lasting and negative consequences to a tenant’s rental history when signed by a judge. True evictions always come from a court, and are always with proven cause. Using the made-up term ‘No-Cause Evictions’ is a dangerous title that serves to confuse and scare many tenants and property owners who both renting homes as mutually agreed.



Why No-Cause Notices Are Under Fire

For several reasons, tenant advocates have long been against the no-cause notices. Families living in rental homes may receive these notices and not be prepared to move. Moving comes with expenses that are high, and used to be a major consideration of individuals renting homes. Historically, individuals would save for the one day a move would be necessary. Tenants historically liked the ability to remain mobile, and the opportunity it afforded them to be so flexible for job markets, hobbies and/or education.

However, telling anyone to save up money, or how to live, is not appropriate. Many reasons why a tenant’s feels a no-cause notice could lead them to believe they’re a victim is because they were not prepared to factor in the potential eventuality of a termination of their lease when renting. The flexible draw of tenancy has changed to a more permanent arrangement [by some], and tenants are seeking protections from being asked to move for any reason. Unfortunately for the investor and tenants both, locking down the property by removal of the no-cause notice will have unexpected consequences.

Landlords and investors believe tying a property up for this length of time will lead to deferred maintenance, dangerous living conditions and poorly served tenants in the long run, as challenges with certain types of maintenance in occupied units just can’t easily be performed. Likewise, when tenants do get tired of living in a place, the availability of local housing in their area will be much more limited to just tenants looking to move at the same convenient time they’re seeking to move. Often, the owners of both properties could decide at that time to finally exercise their rights, and sell the homes, removing both from the rental supply. Now both tenants have fewer options in the area.


How a good property management company helps you navigate rent stabilization in Portland

We pride ourselves in being able to appropriately navigate all of the legalise of these policies (including news updates, such as: the City of Portland admitted using bogus statics to slow down a program designed to help Portland Renters). If you’re dealing with a rent stabilization issue and have questions, please reach out for a free consultation with one of our expert property managers.

When navigating these murky waters, it is our goal to stay in constant communication with you, as a property owner and investor, so that you always understand how the marketplace is shifting.

Owning investment property is not a large-profit margin investment vehicle, and we understand that. Often, the limited cash flow is used to support a family member or previous homeowner who is no longer capable to generate regular income. This limited cash flow from a rental only supplements other means of living in an investment nest egg. Locking down the property owner rights in the use of their property must be a factor for new landlords considering the renting out of their homes. It may be in their best interest to sell the property, or hold it unoccupied until the market is right for an exchange. We can provide our customers with advice and recommendations based on their needs and goals.     


Our Relationship with Property Owners Like You

At InterWest Properties, Inc. we will help you assess the rental market and make sure that you’re making wise rental increases that keep your property profitable without having to incur extra fees or legal trouble.

Our relationship with you is about providing you with the education and information you need to make smart decisions when it comes to the future of your property. We make sure that you have all of the proper documentation and follow the correct procedures so that when you do need to make changes to your property portfolio, you can do so with ease.

If you have further questions about rent control or rent stabilization in Portland, OR, we’d love to jump on a call with you.

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Posted by: InterWest Properties on July 7, 2017
Posted in: Property Management