Justia Landlord - Tenant Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Oregon Supreme Court
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In this case, after defendants (tenants) were sued for collection of unpaid rent, they alleged a counterclaim for damages under ORS 90.360(2) on the ground that plaintiffs (landlords) had not maintained the premises in a habitable condition. The trial court dismissed that counterclaim, reasoning that tenants had failed to provide landlords with written notice of the alleged violation and had acted with “unclean hands.” The Court of Appeals affirmed on somewhat different grounds, concluding that, in light of the trial court’s findings, tenants had failed to act in good faith for purposes of ORS 90.130 and that their counterclaim was therefore barred. The Oregon Supreme Court reversed, finding that neither ORS 90.360(2) nor ORS 90.370 required written notice as a prerequisite for a tenant’s counterclaim under ORS 90.360(2). The trial court’s contrary view was erroneous. Moreover, the Supreme Court found the record from the hearing demonstrated that the trial court relied heavily on its erroneous understanding that written notice was required when it determined that tenants had not acted in good faith for purposes of ORS 90.130. Because it could not conclude that the trial court would have reached the same conclusion as to good faith even if it had correctly applied ORS 90.360(2), the matter was remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. View "Eddy v. Anderson" on Justia Law

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Leonard and Judith Peverieri and Peverieri Investments, LLC (landlords) appealed a trial court’s judgment confirming an arbitration award in favor of Couch Investments, LLC (tenant). Landlords argued that the arbitrator exceeded his powers when he found not only that landlords were liable for the cost of storm water drainage improvements required by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), but also ordered remedies. Landlords argued on appeal that the trial court erred in denying their petition to vacate the arbitration award, and that the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s judgment. After review, the Supreme Court affirmed the outcome, but on different grounds from the Court of Appeals. View "Couch Investments, LLC v. Peverieri" on Justia Law