Oregon Statewide Eviction Moratorium (includes Portland and Multnomah County)
The Oregon Legislature met in a Special Session in late June and passed HB 4213, which extended the COVID-19 eviction moratorium until September 30, 2020. Governor Brown issued an Executive Order on September 28, 2020 that extended the eviction moratorium yet again until December 31, 2020. However, while HB 4213 specifies that unpaid obligations accrued from April through September are not due until March 31, 2021, any unpaid obligations during the October through December extension are currently due and payable on January 1, 2021. It is highly likely that the state legislature will pass additional laws during a special session in November that will further modify the moratorium.
Summary: (Note that dates are different for Multnomah County – see section below):
- A tenant may not be evicted for non-payment of rent or other obligations (e.g., utilities) through December 31, 2020 (January 8, 2021 in Multnomah County).
- Eviction proceedings (e.g., posting a notice, filing a FED, etc.) for non-payment of rent or other obligations may not be undertaken until after December 31, 2020.
- No late charges or other penalties may be levied on the non-payment balance.
- A tenant’s non-payment balance may not be reported to a consumer credit reporting agency.
- A tenant that has accrued unpaid rent from April through September 2020 has until March 31, 2021 to pay the back rent (July 9, 2021 in Multnomah County).
- Rents are once again payable as usual starting January 1, 2021. Starting in January, a tenant that does not pay rent may be evicted for non-payment.
- Unpaid obligations that have accrued from October through December 31, 2020 are due in January 2021 (except in Multnomah County, which gives tenants until July 9, 2021 to pay all unpaid obligations).
- For cause reasons other than non-payment of rent may be used to initiate eviction proceedings.
- No-cause reasons for lease termination may only be initiated in the case of:
- The sale of the dwelling unit to a person who intends to occupy the dwelling unit as the person’s primary residence; or
- The owner or member of the owner’s family intends to occupy the dwelling unit as a primary residence.
- A landlord may provide a written notice to a tenant stating that the tenant continues to owe any rent due. The notice must include a statement that eviction for nonpayment is not allowed before December 31, 2020. See “Notice of Balance Owed” below.
- Starting October 1, 2020 a landlord can give a notice to the tenant requiring that the tenant tell the landlord within 14 days if the tenant plans to use the six-month grace period to pay back any rent owing for the period April through September 2020. See “Payment Agreement Notice” below.
- If you have a tenant in the first year of occupancy that would have terminated or will terminate during the moratorium period, the definition of “first year of occupancy,” has been extended to mean until 30 days following the emergency period (e.g., January 30, 2021).
Financial Assistance for Tenants:
Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is distributing $55,000,000 in COVID rental relief funds and $15,000,000 in Energy Assistance to local organizations statewide. To find out how to access these resources in your area visit 211info.org or call 2-1-1. The full list of Community Action Agencies, funding allocation amounts and service territories with contact information can be found here.
Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-56 may be found here.
HB 4213 may be found here.
The Notice of Balance Owed may be found here.
The Payment Agreement Notice may be found here.
City of Portland / Multnomah County
On September 24, Multnomah County passed Ordinance 1287, extending the tenant protections embodied in HB 4213 until January 8, 2021. Unlike Governor Brown’s Executive Order, the Multnomah County Ordinance includes an extension to pay ALL non-payment obligations accrued through January 8, 2020 until July 9, 2021. Further information may be found at the Multnomah County Website here.
Ordinance 1287 may be found here.
COVID-19 Rent Relief Program
The Portland Housing Bureau, the Joint Office of Homeless Services, Multnomah County’s Department of County Human Services, and regional housing authority Home Forward have banded together to deploy $29 million in rent assistance to COVID-impacted households throughout Multnomah County. Those funds include $25 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The COVID-19 Rent Relief Program (CVRRP) is dedicating state, local and federal CARES Act funding to prevent evictions caused by the financial and health impacts of COVID-19. The program will provide up to three months of rent assistance to eligible households, prioritizing rent payments due on and after Oct. 1. More information may be found here.
Those in need of assistance should call 2-1-1 or visit https://www.211info.org/multco-rent.
Federal Eviction Moratorium
The CARES act established a 120-day moratorium on evictions that expired July 24, 2020.
However, on September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a federal moratorium on residential evictions for individuals making less than $99,000 per year. This moratorium is set to expire December 31, 2020. More information may be found here. Since Governor Brown’s Executive Order arguably provides the same or greater level of public-health protection, the CDC Order may not apply to most Oregon landlords. However, landlords should be aware of the substantial penalties (up to $250,000 and one year in jail) associated with violation of the CDC Order. More information may be found here.
Mortgage Forbearance Programs
If you are unable to make your mortgage payments because you are no longer receiving income from tenants impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, you may request forbearance for these mortgage payments. You may be able to obtain forbearance for the mortgage payments on your own primary residence if your income (e.g., from rental properties) has been significantly reduced because of the emergency. Providers of all federally backed mortgages on multifamily properties are mandated to offer forbearance, with the condition that the borrower suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of coronavirus. Many other lenders are also offering forbearance programs. We recommend you contact your lender directly to determine what options you may have.