Rental Owners Association

Lane County


A Message from your ROA President

Tia Politi

  • April 07, 2021 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    The 2021 Legislative Session is in full swing with lots of opportunities to get involved. Thank you so much to those of you who are responding to the calls to action being issued by ORHA Legislative Director, Jason Miller. Now more than ever, our rights are under assault in ways unimaginable before the pandemic. And there’s more coming.

    The proposed changes range from the reasonable to the preposterous. We need to continue to provide well-reasoned arguments against the more extreme parts of these bills. We may not be able to stop the legislative boulders rolling down the hill toward us, but with your help we may be able to nudge the boulder in a slightly different direction.

    You can sign up to testify in person by phone or video, or submit written testimony on any bill. Go to https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/citizen_engagement/Pages/bill_actions_list.aspx to get tips on submitting testimony and to sign up for email alerts about specific bills, specific committees and specific legislators. I signed up and selected my local and state reps, and the housing committees for both the House and the Senate.

    Another way we can support our leaders as they work to persuade legislators to not unreasonably burden housing providers is to donate to the ORH Key-PAC. Donating funds to specific legislators helps us get our foot in the door and hopefully influence the direction of proposed legislation away from the absurd. Donations up to $50 per individual and $100 per couple filing jointly can be claimed as a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. That’s free money people!

    Contributions can be made online at:  https://oregonrentalhousingpac.org/, or by mailing a check to: Oregon Rental Housing Key PAC - 89286 Cranberry Lane, Bandon, Oregon 97411.

    ROA webinar workshops are popping up just like spring flowers!  Get ready for the line-up this month:  April 8th: Tenant Screening, on 4/15: The Move-in Process, on April 22nd: Tenant Non-compliance and Delivery of Notices, and on 4/29:  The Move-out Process & Final Deposit Accounting.   Webinar workshops run from 11am-1pm and include TWO continuing education credits for each 2-hour workshop.  Did you know…when you register for a webinar class, you automatically receive a recording a day or two after the class took place – this recording is valid for you to review for approximately a week. Register for classes online at
    www.laneroa.com.  See page 5 for more info on upcoming ROA workshops.
  • March 01, 2021 12:58 PM | Anonymous

    The system for rent assistance available as part of HB 4401 is off and running with Oregon Housing & Community Services (OHCS) overseeing the distribution of rent assistance resources from the state:  https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/housing-assistance/Pages/landlord-compensation-fund.aspx. The website contains instructions and an FAQ, as well as a copy of the webinar presentation conducted in February.

    The fund will pay out 80% of past due rents, with the housing provider (HP) agreeing to forgive the other 20%. Property owners may not access the fund for renters who are part of their immediate family as defined in ORS 90.427. OHCS has created a point system that will prioritize smaller property owners with the highest balances. HPs may reapply every month during the open application process.

    To apply for rent assistance, housing providers (HPs) must fill out an application available on the website in mid-February, as well as provide:

    • A W-9 for each ownership entity
    • A spreadsheet listing all the HP’s rental units within each ownership entity, including the units where rent is current, and the renters contact info only for the units with unpaid rent.
    • A signed Declaration of Financial Hardship by at least one lawful tenant from each household the HP is seeking assistance for. The form is available on the Lane ROA website:  www.laneroa.com. Similar forms are also available on the OHCS website, the ORHA website, the OJD website and the Oregon Law Center website. If the renter will not communicate or sign the declaration willingly, the HP may serve 10-day notice for non-payment of current rent but must include a copy of the Notice of Eviction Protection and the Declaration of Financial Hardship. If the renter provides the signed form at any time, up to and including the first appearance in eviction court, they get the full grace period through June 30, 2021 to pay back moneys owed. It will either result in a successful eviction or give the HP the declaration they need from an uncooperative renter to seek rent assistance through OHCS. HPs can continue to submit monthly requests until funds run out.

    During the pendency of the application the HP agrees not to serve a notice of termination without cause, including for any of the four Qualifying Landlord Reasons (demolish or convert the unit to another use; property owner or immediate family member need to occupy the unit as their primary residence; renovation of the unit that will render the unit unsafe or unfit for occupancy; accepted offer to purchase property from buyer who will occupy as their primary residence). Remember that all first-year notices to terminate without cause – including no-cause AND non-renewal of lease – are prohibited until July 1, 2021. If HP receives rent funds intended to cover any part of the distribution amount, they are obligated to repay those to the state.

    There is a lot we still don’t know. How long will it take to get funds distributed? Will there be additional funding through this program? Will renters have to pay taxes on the forgiven 20%? Possibly, unless they are insolvent. HP’s should be prepared to send a 1099 C – Cancellation of Debt to the renter by January 31, 2022 in accordance with tax laws – www.irs.gov. Cancellation of debt reporting:  https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc431. Cancelled debt taxation laws:  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4681.pdf

    Property owners are not required to participate in this program and may not want to as other federal funding will be distributed to community service organizations that have been helping qualified renters all along by paying 100% of the past-due rent. $25 billion from the past administration stimulus to the states for rent assistance, and likely the same amount from the current administration’s proposed stimulus.

    Senate Bill 330, if passed, will allow qualified HP’s to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for rent forgiven during the emergency period (April 1, 2020-June 30, 2021). This could be a significant piece of solving the non-payment problem. The current iteration of the bill states, “The credit allowed under this section shall equal the total amount of items of non-payment originally due during the emergency period, and owed by tenants to the landlord at the close of the tax year…” indicating that it will allow the credit to be applied to moneys owed other than rent. Remember, though, bills can change and morph as they go through the legislative process and the bill may not pass at all. Thank you for responding when we issue a call to action regarding specific legislation. Stay tuned for more as we navigate this long legislative session.
        

    I will be teaching Landlord Boot Camp BASIC TRAINING webinar classes this month.  The original class (a full day) has been divided into FOUR 2-hour webinar sessions. As you register and complete each session, a recorded copy of the class will be emailed to you once it’s over.  Please register at www.laneroa.com for each session separately, and for all of you that register, you are eligible to receive the Landlord Boot Camp Manual for only $15 – incredible reference material.  Non-registrants can order and purchase the Boot Camp Manual before the last class has taken place for $40.  Don’t miss out!

  • February 01, 2021 12:13 PM | Anonymous

    In Memoriam - Michael Steffen – 1956-2020

     I’m am devastated to report that the year 2020 came to an even more dismal end with the loss of long-time board member Michael Steffen. Board member, Pat Costello, recalls how instrumental Michael was in helping Lane ROA become a viable independent entity during a tumultuous transition more than 10 years ago, and how he spent many hours helping the office staff recover after a vicious ransomware attack on our computer systems. “Michael had the rare ability to be positive and constructive in difficult times, stepping up to provide critical advice and invest the time to ensure a positive outcome when most needed,” said Pat.

     Back in 2014 when the Housing Choice Act passed, many of us felt that the classes being sponsored with grant monies were subpar at best. The board of the Oregon Rental Housing Association (ORHA), thought it would be a good idea for us to develop a new non-profit dedicated to seeking grants and paying instructors to produce quality classes. Michael took the reins and started the non-profit now known as ORHA Education, Inc., serving as President until this year. The group received its first grant in 2019 and taught more than 40 classes around the state to educate housing providers and residents on the impacts of Senate Bill 608, and the group is still going strong!

     ROA Board Treasurer, Dennis Chappa recalls how Michael stepped up to serve as ORHA President through a difficult financial period and ORHA came out of it stronger and more committed than ever, and looked back fondly on the hours of discussion when they commuted to ORHA meetings together. Jim Straub remembers Michael as a private individual who didn’t relish the limelight, but was a quiet but powerful force with a very astute business sense, and he too remembers fondly the lively conversations he had while commuting to ORHA meetings.

     Michael was my personal guide and mentor in my transition to ROA President – a position he would have held if his work life had allowed. I always felt more secure when he was present to provide his quiet, humorous, thoughtful guidance and looked to him for answers when I didn’t know proper protocol. He wasn’t one to speak up unless he had something relevant to contribute and when he did, he was articulate and spot on. With his many years of service, his historical knowledge of both groups was invaluable in moving us all forward, and it always seemed his lot in life to lead us through rocky times.

     In recognition of his considerable contributions to Lane ROA and ORHA, we will be awarding Michael a Lifetime Service Award posthumously, as well as providing the lifetime membership to ROA to his beloved wife, Mary Rouen, that comes along with this honor. I’m sad we couldn’t have presented it in person

     Rest in Peace, Michael, you are and will continue to be greatly missed.


     

Rental Owners Association
205 W 10th Ave
Eugene OR 97401
541-485-7368

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