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Learn About Termination Notices

If you're renting a home, apartment, or other building, the person you're renting from (your landlord) must go through several steps if they want you to move out. 

The first step is for your landlord to give you a termination notice. A termination notice is something in writing that says you must move out by a certain date. A termination notice might be a letter or a form. 

If you're living in a motel or hotel: This information applies to you if you:

  1. Have lived in the same room for more than 30 days, and 
  2. Have no other home.

No. If you don't move out by the date in the notice, your landlord must take you to eviction court before they can force you to move out. 

There are several steps in an eviction court case. Your landlord can't force you to move without going through all the steps in the eviction process. If your landlord doesn't go through these steps, and doesn't win in eviction court, they cannot:

  • Force you out, 
  • Call the police or sheriff to make you move out, 
  • Change your locks,  
  • Shut off your utilities, or 
  • Put your belongings outside.

If your landlord does any of these things, this is an illegal eviction. Learn more about illegal evictions here.

No. Termination notices do not go on your rental history report. But if you do not move out by the date on the termination notice, the landlord can use the termination notice to start an eviction case, and that will go on your rental history report.

If you want to stay in your rental and fight the eviction, go here to check if the termination notice is legal. If you think your notice isn't legal, talk to a lawyer for help on what to do next. Eviction laws are complicated. What you should do next depends on your particular case. 

  • You can move out by the date in the notice, 
  • If the notice says you did something wrong, you can try to fix the problem so you can stay (unless this is a repeat problem),
  • If the notice wasn't legal, you can stay and try to fight the eviction in court. Go here to check if your notice is legal.

If you don’t move out by the date on the termination notice, your landlord can take you to court. 

Yes. There are three kinds of notices. Each type has different rules for your landlord to follow. Learn about the different kinds of termination notices here

No. An eviction order is a written decision from a judge that tells a renter they must move out. A termination notice isn't from a court. It's just something from your landlord. 

The sheriff won't force you out based on a termination notice alone. The sheriff will only force you out if your landlord goes to court and gets an eviction order. 

Landlords that want eviction orders must file papers in court. Those papers are called a summons and complaint. The landlord must have copies of the summons and complaint delivered to you.

In Oregon, if you've lived in the same rental for more than one year, your landlord can't ask you to move out unless they have a legal reason to ask you to move. Learn more about legal reasons your landlord can ask you to move here.

If you have been in your rental for less than one year, your landlord doesn't need a reason to ask you to move, unless you signed a one-year lease when you moved in. If you signed a lease, they can only ask you to move if you don't follow the rules in your lease.

Yes! In fact, it’s best to try to work things out with your landlord instead of going to court. Do this right away, before your landlord goes to court and starts an eviction case against you. If you make an agreement, try to get your agreement in writing. 

If you can't work things out and your landlord starts an eviction court case, you must go to court on the date listed on the court papers handed to you. At court, you will have another chance to talk to your landlord and ask them not to evict you. You can learn more about eviction cases here.

Even if you can't reach an agreement, you can still win in eviction court if you have a good legal reason to fight the eviction (called a defense). You can learn more about defenses in an eviction case here.

Yes. If you have a good legal reason (called a defense), you can fight the eviction in court and ask a judge not to evict you. Here are some common defenses:

  • Your landlord didn't give you a legal termination notice,
  • You already fixed the problem (for example you're being evicted for not paying rent, but you paid all the rent you owed before going to court), 
  • Your landlord didn't make necessary repairs,
  • Your landlord is retaliating against you, 
  • You're landlord is discriminating against you,
  • You're landlord is evicting you because you were the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 

You can learn more about each of these defenses here.

You can visit the Referral Database search page to find legal help. 

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