With the recent passage of Oregon’s Landlord-Tenant Senate Bill 91, a landlord may now require a tenant to obtain and maintain a renter’s liability insurance policy. The amount of required coverage however, may not exceed $100,000 per occurrence or the customary amount required by landlords for similar properties within the same rental market, whichever is greater.
Before entering into a new rental agreement, a landlord is required to let the applicant know in writing of the requirement to obtain and maintain renter’s liability insurance, the amount of insurance required and can require an applicant to provide evidence of renter’s liability insurance coverage before the tenancy begins.
For an existing month-to-month tenancy, the landlord may amend a written rental agreement to require renter’s liability insurance after giving the tenant at least 30 days written notice of the requirement. A landlord may also require evidence that the tenant maintains the renter’s liability insurance.
A landlord may require that a tenant obtain or maintain renter’s liability insurance only if the landlord has a comparable liability insurance policy and provides evidence of the insurance to any tenant who asks. The evidence of the landlord’s insurance may be provided by mail or by posting in a common area or office.
Even though the landlord can now require a tenant to obtain renter’s liability insurance, a landlord cannot:
- Require that a tenant obtain renter’s liability insurance from a particular insurance company;
- Require that a tenant name the landlord as an additional insured or as having any other special status on the tenant’s renter’s liability insurance policy; or
- Require that a tenant waive the insurance company’s subrogation rights
A landlord cannot require a tenant to obtain or maintain renter’s liability insurance if the household income of the tenant is equal to or less than 50 percent of the area median income, adjusted for family size as measured up to a five-person family, as determined by the State Housing Council based on information from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A landlord may also not require a tenant to obtain or maintain renter’s liability insurance if the dwelling unit of the tenant has been subsidized with public funds, including federal or state tax credits or federal block grants authorized in the HOME Investment Partnerships Programs.
This article is meant as general information only and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. Landlords and their tenants should always consult with their own legal advisor.