Researching Your Landlord

Information is for general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney

Download or view a printable pdf of our Researching Your Landlord handout

Here are some ways to screen a new landlord or find out about the owner of your building:

  • If you don’t know who the owner is, you should start by looking up the property address at the County Tax Assessors office. In Multnomah County, the number is 503-988-3326. You can also find out the addresses of other properties the landlord might own in the county.  Call the State Corporation Division to find out who is involved in the ownership and what the business address is: 503-986-2200 or sos.oregon.gov/business/Pages/default.aspx.
  • You can write to the Bureau of Development Services in the City of Portland to find out if there have been code violations reported at the property. If your landlord has rented to you without repairing the code violations, you may be entitled to claim certain damages. There is a $5 charge for this mail service. They will find the information and send it out to you within two days. Mail your request to: City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services, PO Box 8120, Portland, OR 97207-8120. Or, or free you can go to www.portlandmaps.com to research code violations. Type in the address and click on the “permits/cases” button at the top of the screen. This will tell you if there have been any complaints filed for the property and also the details of the complaint.
  • You can get information on lawsuits involving the owner from County Court records.  In Multnomah County the number is 503-988-3022.  You can also get other legal information from the civil, district and small claims court records.
  • The Oregon Real Estate Agency licenses property managers and management companies in Oregon. People and companies that only manage properties (not owners that manage their own property) need to be licensed. To qualify to be licensed, property managers must pass an exam that covers laws and administrative rules, and must satisfy continuing education requirements. You can contact the Oregon Real Estate Agency to find out:
  • If a property manager or management company is licensed: call 503-378-4170, and then press 4.
  • If there are complaints against a licensed property manager or company (the agency handles complaints that deal with financial mismanagement only. They don’t deal with deposit return disputes, unless the dispute is over a “missing” deposit): call 503-378-4170, then press 2.
  • Your neighborhood association may know something about your owner.  You can call the Office of Neighborhood Associations at 503-823-4519 to get the number for your association.
  • Talk to other tenants in the building to find out what they know.