Information substantially explaining requirements for mediation under subsections (3) to (7) of this section.
Mediation conducted under this section:
In addition to any process authorized under subsection (2)(a) of this section, may be initiated by the landlord or tenant’s contact with the Housing and Community Services Department in a format required by the department.
May not resolve any matters except by the agreement of all parties.
Must require that communications from all parties are held strictly confidential and may not be used in any legal proceedings.
May be used to resolve:
Disputes between the landlord and one or more tenants, initiated by any party; and
Disputes between any two or more tenants, initiated only by the landlord.
Must allow a party to designate any person, including a nonattorney, to represent the interests of the party provided that the person has the authority to bind that party to any resolution of the dispute.
Must comply with any other provisions as the Housing and Community Services Department may require by rule.
Parties must participate in mediation under this section by making a good faith effort to schedule mediation within 30 days after mediation is initiated, attending and participating in mediation and cooperating with reasonable requests of the mediator.
After mediation has been initiated and while it is ongoing under this section:
Any statute of limitations related to the dispute is tolled.
A landlord receiving rent under this paragraph has not accepted rent for the purposes of ORS 90.412 (Waiver of termination of tenancy) (2), provided that the landlord refunds the rent within 10 days following the conclusion of mediation.
Unless specifically provided for in a mediation policy established under this section, or agreed to by all parties, no party may initiate mediation for:
Reach an agreement on any or all issues submitted to mediation;
Participate in more than one mediation session or participate for an unreasonable length of time in a session; or
Waive or forgo any rights or remedies or the use of any other available informal dispute resolution process.
A mediator in a mediation under this section shall notify the Housing and Community Services Department as to whether the dispute was resolved through mediation but may not provide the department with the contents of any resolution.
A landlord may unilaterally amend a rental agreement or facility rules and regulations to comply with this section.
If a party refuses to participate in good faith in mediation with another party or uses mediation to harass another party, the other party:
Has a defense to a claim related to the subject of the dispute for which mediation was sought; and
Is entitled to damages of one month’s rent against the party. [2019 c.625 §8]