Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oregon DMV Law Changes Providing Food For Thought for Oregon Landlords

by Andy Hahs, Attorney at Law.

Recent changes in DMV law has made it difficult for some people to obtain driver's licenses because they must provide a Social Security number and other documents to obtain a new license or for renewal of an existing license. This new requirement can be difficult for some people who don't have easy access to documentation, or who have none at all.

Although you can require driver's licenses for the purpose of leasing an apartment, you are not required to do so. Oregon law does not require that landlords determine whether an individual is in the country legally for the purposes of obtaining housing. But most landlords want to conduct some kind of reference/background check. As long as you treat everyone equally, you have the option of broadening the application process by requiring any one or more of these items:
1) Passport
2) Driver's License
3) Social Security Card
4) Work Visa
5) ID from a sponsoring nonprofit

If you don't have a written policy that you and/or your leasing staff are following or would like to have yours reviewed, I can certainly help you with that and answer any questions you might have.

Andy Hahs is a partner of Bittner & Hahs, P.C. in Lake Oswego and has been practicing law for over 25 years. Andy is one of the leading authorities on Oregon's landlord-tenant law and represents a large share of the major residential property management companies in the Portland/Vancouver metro area. You can reach Andy directly at 503-445-4302.