(503) 639-4478

Property Management Blog

Eviction 101: What to do When Your Portland Tenant Stops Paying Rent

Web Admin - Wednesday, December 24, 2014
What do you do when your tenant stops paying rent? The first thing I would suggest is that you give them a nice friendly phone call to remind them that you haven’t received it. There are times when it does get lost in the mail or perhaps they’re traveling and they forgot. So, an initial phone call is a good idea. Then, if you don’t get a response, you should take a close look at the terms in your lease and follow the procedure that you have spelled out there. Whatever the terms of your lease require, you’ll need to follow up with them. In Oregon, we typically provide a 72 hour notice. 

There are timelines you must observe and understand. Specific and accurate information must appear on your notice. The names of your tenants must appear correctly on the notice and match the lease. We always recommend you add three important words: “and all others.” This will cover you in case a few extra people have moved into the property that you’re not aware of. You also need to note the exact amount of rent that is due to avoid eviction. You are not permitted to include late fees on this notice. They might owe you those fees, but they can’t be evicted for not paying them. Your 72 hour notice basically says the tenants have to pay rent or the lease will be terminated.

 Then, you have to calculate the number of days that you wait until the lease is terminated. Calculate days for mailing and posting. If you don’t have that 72 hour notice filled out correctly, the judge will simply throw it out when you get to court. Make sure you are careful when you fill out those forms. In the State of Oregon, you cannot send your 72 hour notice via certified mail. It has to be sent via normal delivery mail. The theory is that if it’s sent certified, the tenant will have to sign for it, which can potentially delay their receipt of the notice. It’s important you remain unemotional during this process. 

Don’t make this a matter of being nice or feeling sorry for them. These are not your friends, this is your business. Holding their feet to the fire will reinforce the importance of following a rental contract. Don’t become emotionally involved. Remain matter of fact. You have a contract and you are asking them to abide by the terms of the contract. Once you send the notice and they still don’t respond, you’ll have to file in court.

 In Oregon, if you do that in a timely manner you will likely get a court date by the 25th of the month. Courts will ask you to mediate, which means you’ll have to sit down with your tenants in the courtroom and try to come to some kind of decision that you can both live with. You might stipulate a move out date if they can’t pay their rent or you stipulate a date by which they will pay their rent and avoid the eviction process. If you’re unlucky, the tenant can request a trial in the court. This is usually done only to buy time. A judge will usually give them a trial if it’s requested and the trial date will likely be another two weeks out. 

A professional property manager can handle all this for you, which is better than just hoping you get it right. If you have any questions about the eviction process or what to do when your tenant stops paying rent, please contact us at Moore Property Management, and we’d be happy to help you.

Portland Property Management: Is a Home Warranty Worth It?

Web Admin - Friday, December 19, 2014

Today we are talking about whether or not it’s worth it to have a home warranty on your rental property. Most of us who manage properties professionally think of home warranty companies as thorns in our sides. On several occasions, we have found that using a home warranty company actually increases an owner’s liability. We have found home warranty companies to be slow to respond to issues and work orders. They do not understand what the landlord tenant laws require in our state, so they can inadvertently violate some of those laws. That’s where greater liability can occur.

Band-Aid Fixes

Some home warranty companies really just like to put a band-aid on problems. Every time they go out to a property they get another $60, or whatever they charge for a service call. So of course they will be reluctant to spend $500 on an appliance when they can make a little fix three or four times over. The owner ends up paying for that service call several times before the problem really gets solved.

Fair Housing Laws

Many home warranty companies don’t have much of a background in fair housing. For example, if the service provider for a home warranty company shows up at a house and there’s a 12-year-old child there who happens to be home from school that day, the home warranty company can either reschedule or go ahead and do the repair while a child is at the property alone. Most of them will do that repair, which could ultimately be a huge liability for the owner.

Tenant Concerns

We have had circumstances where tenants have been so upset with home warranty companies that they vacated the property. So it’s a serious issue with tenants as well. Many times, the charge for a service call will need to be C.O.D, so your tenant has to cough up the money when the provider appears at the door. Tenants are never going to be okay with that.

Instead of a warranty, we recommend that owners set aside 15 percent of their rental income to address routine maintenance issues throughout the year. Trust your property manager to oversee the account and handle the maintenance properly.

Something else to remember: if you decide you must have a home warranty, it does not replace property insurance. You need that too. If you’re set on having a home warranty, consult with your property manager first. You may learn that your property manager had a better experience with one company over another. They can perhaps recommend a reputable company that is fair, open and honest and does understand what they are dealing with when it comes to rental properties.

If you have any questions about home warranty companies or you’d like to speak with us directly, please contact us at Moore Property Management.

How a Portland Property Manager Explains Normal Wear and Tear

Web Admin - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Today we are talking about wear and tear and how you determine what qualifies as normal wear and tear and what should be considered damage to the property. I have a few observations to share with you, based on my experience as a property manager.

If there’s just a light scratch in the hardwood floor, that’s probably normal wear and tear. But if the scratch is gouged and deep and the floor is going to require refinishing, that’s damage. A hole in the wall due to a picture hanging there is normal wear and tear. If the hole is half an inch deep and due to bolts, it will cost money to fill and repair. That’s going to be damage. Fingerprints all over the light switch is normal wear and tear but if the wall is so dirty you have to repaint it, that’s damage and you can charge for it. Burns on the countertop count as damage. A broken shelf in the fridge is damage. Burned out light bulbs are normal wear and tear but most tenants are responsible for replacing them, so if your tenants don’t replace them before moving out, you can charge.

When pets leave stains in the carpet, chew up the woodwork or leave odors behind, those situations will be damages and not just normal wear and tear. If something in the home was used in a manner that it was really not designed for, damage will likely be the result.

There are a few important things to remember. Really good record keeping is important. Know the age of different things in the home such as appliances and floor coverings. Lots of things do have a life expectancy and if you know the age of an item, you can prorate the charge to the tenant.

Also, conduct periodic inspections of your property. You will be able to identify things that are going on and if they are corrected quickly, you will save money down the road. A good resource to have on hand is a put out by the National Association of Homebuilders. It’s a study of life expectancies of different home components. Go to that resource and find it online. You will get a lot of information that will help you identify whether something is ordinary wear and tear or damage that has shortened a certain thing’s life expectancy.

If you have any questions about wear and tear, please contact us at Moore Property Management, and we’ll do our best to answer them for you.

Self Management vs. Professional Property Management in Portland Oregon

Web Admin - Thursday, December 04, 2014

Our topic today is whether you should manage a rental property yourself or have a professional property management company take care of it for you. We know many owners feel perfectly equipped to manage the property themselves, and in some cases they certainly are. In other cases, there are pitfalls they are not aware of.

Managing a property yourself is time consuming. So think about how you value your time. Do you want to spend it dealing with tenants and maintenance issues and move in and move out procedures and deposit refunds? Or, would you rather have someone else do that so you can spend your time doing other things? Many owners have difficulty understanding things like landlord tenant laws. The State of Oregon has some of the most restrictive laws in the country and it’s really important that the property owner is familiar with all those laws. Fair housing laws and federal mandates are also important in this industry. If you are managing your own property, not knowing those laws can create a lot of liability.

When issues come up with tenants, you need to have a process in place. For example, what will you do to handle lease violations? During an inspection, you might discover an unauthorized pet at the property or extra people living there. There’s also the worst possible scenario – when a tenant stops paying rent. Figure out how you will address those issues.

A professional property manager has systems in place. They know exactly what to do, and they have the proper forms. They know what information has to be put down on those forms. Property managers can address any potential situation.

We get lots of calls from owners who need recommendations on vendors when maintenance is required on their properties. They don’t have the resources we have to maintain relationships with contractors and vendors. Those connections help with maintenance issues and they are critical to address.

As we talk with owners who manage their own homes, we find they have trouble with the nuts and bolts of getting the property rented. There are marketing strategies and showings to manage. A professional property manager will have a much wider network of Internet sites and marketing avenues. They will do a more thorough job to get exposure for your property and get it rented. Then, there are the screening guidelines – property managers do a thorough job. Individual homeowners often just want to get the property rented, so they take some shortcuts, which can be damaging in the long term.

It can be difficult to assess what is damage when you’re issuing a deposit refund. It’s also vital to get that refund out to the tenant on time. Doing your own property management can increase your liability exposure. In many cases, it’s a matter of not knowing what you don’t know.

There’s a lot to this business, and any professional property manager would be happy to assist in getting your home rented to the right tenant at the right price and make the difficult decisions that homeowners typically struggle with. If you have any questions or you’d like to hear about our services, please contact us at Moore Property Management.

Should I Sell or Hold on to My Portland Rental Property in 2014 – 2015?

Web Admin - Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Today we are talking about whether it’s time to sell an investment property or if it would be better to hold onto it and continue renting it out. The answer honestly depends on each owner’s personal circumstance and it may also depend on location. Values in the Portland area tend to be very local. It comes down to the neighborhood, whether you’re Eastside, Westside, North or South of Portland.

Generally, I would strongly recommend that owners continue to rent their properties. The sales market has not completely stabilized yet. About 15 percent of homeowners are still under water in the Portland area, and that has an impact here. In May of 2014, 22 percent of the listings in the sales market saw a price cut. That tells us it has been very difficult to establish true value in the list prices. They’ve had to come down. Area foreclosure rates are still higher than the national average and that also impacts the local values in and around Portland.

On the other side, rents are the highest we have ever seen, with only a slight seasonal fluctuation. We are seeing far more owners who can successfully cash flow their rental properties whether it’s a short term situation or a long term investment. Many of the owners we work with at L Moore Property Management are happy with the rents they have been seeing in the recent market.

It’s a good idea to discuss the rent values of your home in the Portland market today before you try to sell it. If you have any questions about the current market or the market we expect to see in 2015, please contact us at L Moore Property Management, and we’d be happy to talk to you.

4 Tips for New Landlords: Portland Property Management Education

Web Admin - Wednesday, September 03, 2014

In today’s blog, we wanted to give new landlords some tips on how to be a great owner of rental property. First, sit back and relax. When you hire a property manager to do the job, you can be certain that it’s going to be done professionally and successfully. Here at L Moore Property Management, we have been doing this job for 25 years, so we have it pretty well figured out. Let your property manager take care of business.

Second, a word of caution: don’t become friends with your tenant. That just makes the job much more difficult for you and your property manager. No one in our position ever wants to hear a tenant say, “The owner said it was okay to put in a hot tub.” It’s best to let your property manager handle all communication with your tenant.

Third, when you are first renting out your property, remember that neutral colors go a long way with potential tenants. Those psychedelic colors your daughter loved having in her bedroom will not be a good fit when you turn your property into a rental home. Tenants won’t find that appealing, so stick to those neutral tones. Finally, don’t hesitate to make the repairs and upgrades that are necessary and recommended by your property manager. The quality and condition of your home will affect the quality of the tenant we’re able to place for you. It’s really worth the small investment to do those things and take care of additional updates. Have your home professionally cleaned and you’ll be ready to go.

Your property manager will always make the best decisions possible for your property. It’s our job to stay on top of fair housing laws as well as federal, state and local laws and regulations. We are governed by laws, not emotions. We would be more than happy to talk with you about your rental property and how to be a successful landlord. If you’d like more information or you have any questions, please contact us at L Moore Property Management.

Why Work with L Moore Property Management

Web Admin - Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today we are talking about some very good reasons to work with L Moore Property Management. We are consistently exceptional at managing single family rental homes, and we’d like to highlight a few of the things we do best.


We have been managing properties for over 25 years, which means we have the experience required to effectively run this kind of business. There is a long term staff at our company; one employee has been here for 17 years and another has been with us for 10 years. We have developed a very strong team in each phase of the management business. You won’t find anyone more knowledgeable about property management. We take continuing education courses all the time so we can be responsive to the laws that change so quickly in this business.

Vendor Resources

Another great reason to work with us is the excellent relationships we have developed with professional vendors. The people we work with are reliable, fairly priced and they do a great job. All of the contractors we use stand behind their work.


At L Moore Property Management, we have outstanding technology behind us. We use the best technology in the industry, and that allows us to do extensive marketing so we can quickly rent your home. We’re also able to provide regular statements and information to our property owners. We can email tenants in a heartbeat and keep in touch with all our owners and investors. Technology enables us to directly deposit your rental income into your bank account electronically.

Customer Service

Most of the people we work with are comfortable with our size; they see us as being not too big and not too small. We’re like the Goldilocks of the property management business. Our property owners and our tenants are more than codes or numbers. We really care about the people we serve and the properties we take care of. We pride ourselves on providing the best service and the kind of service you would expect to find in this industry.

Let’s talk about how we can make your real estate investment best work for you, whatever your goals might be. We’d love to talk to you, so contact us at L Moore Property Management, and we’d be happy to tell you more.

Where to Find Tenants in Portland: The Selection Process

Web Admin - Wednesday, June 05, 2013

When it comes to finding the best tenants in Portland, the Internet is a must for landlords who want to get their properties rented. At Moore Property Management, we have a company website, but if you don’t have a website of your own, you can still get your home for rent listed in many great online locations. Start with Craigslist. This is a major source for finding good tenants. In addition to Craigslist, you can put your listing on Zillow, Trulia, Rentals.com, RentalsHomePlus.com and other major rental websites that will take listings from independent homeowners.

Relocation companies are often looking for great properties they can offer their clients. We market all our appropriate listings to relocation companies who are moving people to Portland. If you live close to a community center, or a university or a hospital, you should take advantage of the bulletin boards that are often posted there. If you create a nice flyer with pictures and detailed information, you can get your property in front of people who pass by. It’s a great way to get additional exposure for your rental home.

Many property management companies offer individual owners the service of finding tenants. At Moore Property Management, we offer a marketing service to owners who plan to manage their own properties in the long term. We handle all of the marketing and advertising, as well as the showings. We negotiate the leases, execute the leases and do the move-in reports. Once a tenant is located and the lease is signed, we hand over the owner’s contact information so the property owner can take over from there as the manager. You might want to consider a service like this if you have found that getting your property rented has been a stumbling block for you.

Once you market your property to a large pool of potential renters, you want to make sure you select the best tenant you can. The screening should be thorough, and you should have a list of criteria that you expect will be met before you choose a tenant. We always look at the credit reports, criminal reports, landlord references for at least two years back and employment references. We require documentation as well, including copies of pay stubs and copies of a driver’s license. After we gather all of this information, we look at credit scores and other indicators of what will make a good tenant. It’s important for owners to choose the right tenant for the right house at the right time.

If you need help finding the best tenants in Portland, please contact us at Moore Property Management. We’d be happy to help make the process a little easier for you.

Landscape Maintenance and Rental Properties

Web Admin - Tuesday, June 04, 2013
While residents want to rent a nice looking home, they often have no interest, time, or knowledge on how to maintain the property. They may agree to landscape maintenance in the rental contract but it can be difficult for a property manager or owner to enforce. The owner can charge the tenant for maintenance or include landscape maintenance but it is not always practical to increase the rent with the full cost, particularly if the landscaping on the property is extensive.

Portland Investment Property How To: Upgrades and Rent Value

Web Admin - Thursday, May 30, 2013

Property owners often wonder about the value of doing upgrades in rental properties to maximize rental income. There are many upgrades you can do that are simple and affordable, and will lead to better income and more desirable tenants.

The first upgrade I encourage you to consider is your front yard. If you want to market your property, it has to be appealing from the street. Create some curb appeal and make sure the lawn is trimmed neatly and edged. If you have flower beds, they should be free of weeds and perennial flowers should be appropriately groomed. You might want to add a few annuals near the front of the house to create an interesting visual and add a little spice and color.

A fresh coat of paint around the front door will make your home extra appealing. Prospective tenants will want to see a clean, attractive and functional entryway and the way your front yard looks will have a huge impact on what they think and how much rent they are willing to pay.

When it comes to the interior of your house, pay attention to the kitchens and bathrooms. These are the most important spaces for renters. You do not need to completely remodel, or go wild with granite and stainless (unless the Spirit moves you to do that), but at least have clean, neat countertops that renters will feel good about. Look at your light fixtures and make those inexpensive upgrades. Your faucets are also inexpensive to replace, and if you do that in both the kitchen and the bath, you will show the best of your home in those details.

If you have hardwood floors, make sure they are well finished and nicely presented. You don’t want them scuffed up or looking scratched. Open concept homes are more appealing to tenants than homes with very small, closed off rooms. If you have some extra funds to invest, consider creating that open concept. Tenants want anything that makes the home feel new to them. Focus on new carpet, new paint and new fixtures. All these things will help your home rent faster. You’ll be able to attract a higher quality tenant, and charge a little more rent. When your home looks upgraded and attractive, your tenants will be happy and they will stay longer. Finding that great tenant who will rent from you in the long term is the goal of any investment property owner.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at Moore Property Management if you have any questions about what should be upgraded to make your rental home more appealing.

Copyright © L. Moore Property Management Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Property Management Website powered by FreeRentalSite.com  |   Sitemap

L. Moore Property Management Inc.

18676 Willamette Drive, Suite 100
West Linn, OR 97068
Phone: (503) 639-4478
Fax: (503) 639-0577