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Oregon Eviction Moratorium FAQ

Moratorium on residential evictions in Oregon on the basis of nonpayment of rent or terminations without tenant cause. The following information is applicable state-wide. View Frequently Asked Questions on this page.

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Last updated September 29, 2020 to reflect that the state-wide moratorium has been extended to December 31, 2020.

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What are Executive Order 20-13, House Bill 4213, and Executive Order 20-56?

The Governor's Executive Order 20-13 created a state-wide temporary moratorium on certain evictions and terminations of rental agreements and leases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This order was signed April 1, 2020 and was in effect until June 30, 2020.

Review Executive Order 20-13.

House Bill 4213 was passed by Oregon lawmakers on June 26. This extended the eviction moratorium until September 30, 2020 and created a six-month repayment period for tenants. It also clarified the process for landlords to send a notice of outstanding balance, offer payment plans, and the use of other types of terminations without a tenant-based cause.

Review House Bill 4213.

Governor Brown issued a second Executive Order related to the eviction moratorium for residential tenancies. Executive Order 20-56 creates another eviction moratorium for the period of September 30, 2020 until December 31, 2020. It prohibits landlords from issuing termination notices due to nonpayment and most terminations without cause until December 31, 2020. This order was signed on September 28, 2020.

Review Executive Order 20-56.


How long is the moratorium in place?

The moratorium remains in effect until December 31, 2020. Tenants will have until March 31, 2021 to repay any rents or other charges accrued from April 1 – September 30, 2020.

Rents or other charges accrued from October 1, 2020 – January 8, 2021 may be deferred for Multnomah County residents under county ordinance.

Tenants outside of Multnomah County are protected from eviction for nonpayment from October 1 – December 31, 2020 through Executive Order 20-56, but do not have a repayment grace period for these rents at this time.


What circumstances qualify for rent deferral?

The moratorium and deferral applies to all residential rental properties in Oregon. All rents and charges that accrued during the effective dates of Executive Order 20-13 and the emergency period of HB 4213 (April 1 – September 30, 2020) can qualify to be deferred.

Tenants do not need to provide documentation of financial hardship.

Rents or other charges accrued from October 1, 2020 – January 8, 2021 may be deferred for Multnomah County residents under county ordinance.


If I am a tenant and cannot pay my rent, what do I need to do?

Nothing within HB 4213 relieves a tenant from the obligation to pay rent.  If you are a tenant with accrued rents, you must be sure to have accrued charges from April 1 – September 30, 2020 paid back to your landlord before March 31, 2021. Your landlord cannot charge you late fees or terminate your tenancy before this date. A structured payment plan offered by a landlord is voluntary.

If, after September 30, 2020, a landlord sends a tenant a notice to pay the outstanding balance, the tenant must notify the landlord of the intent to use the six-month repayment period by the date stated in their notice. The tenant can notify the landlord by mail or via email. A tenant’s failure to tell their landlord that they will be utilizing the repayment period could result in a penalty equal to half of one month’s rent.

After September 30, 2020, Oregon tenants are still protected from eviction for nonpayment until the end of the year. However, there is no state-wide repayment grace period at this time for charges accrued after the emergency period ends December 31, 2020.

Tenants in Multnomah County may be able to defer under county ordinance.


What type of documentation is needed from a tenant to claim rent deferral due to COVID-19?

Previously, Portland and Multnomah County tenants were required to provide documentation to their landlords.

Under all the state eviction moratoriums, no documentation of loss of income is required.

Legal Aid Service of Oregon has created an informational flyer containing guidance to help Tenants understand what is required of them. That guidance includes a helpful sample letter which tenants can use to communicate with their landlords.


Won’t deferred rent hurt a tenant’s credit score and rental history?

HB 4213 and Executive Order 20-56 prohibit a landlord from reporting a tenant's nonpayment balance as delinquent to any consumer credit reporting agency.


Is rent forgiven during this time?

Nothing in the moratorium relieves the tenants of liability for unpaid rent.  However, a landlord is not permitted to seek an eviction for non-payment of rent during the emergency period (until after December 31, 2020) or seek an eviction for nonpayment of the deferred rents (April 1 – September 30) during the six-month repayment grace period.


Are utilities included in this deferral?

If the tenant pays any other fees, service or utility charges directly to the landlord (not directly to a third-party provider), those fees and charges qualify for deferral under this moratorium.  The process for deferral and timelines for payment are the same as rent.

If a tenant pays fees, service or utility charges directly to a third-party provider and cannot make these payments due to a substantial loss of income related to COVID-19, we encourage the tenant to reach out directly to those service providers to discuss options. Please see additional information below.


Does the moratorium protect residents from utility service interruptions due to nonpayment?

The moratorium does not directly protect residents from utility service interruptions due to nonpayment. However, the Portland Water Bureau stated that it will not disconnect water service for non-payment of sewer, stormwater and water bills during the declaration of emergency. Likewise, Pacific Power, Portland General Electric (PGE) and Northwest Natural have temporarily suspended service disconnections for nonpayment and will extend their services without late fees.


When does a tenant need to pay the past due rent or other charges?

Unless otherwise eligible to defer under Multnomah County Ordinance or current orders are amended, the state payment timelines are as follows:

  • Nonpayment accrued October 1 – December 31, 2020 is to be paid by January 1, 2021.
  • Nonpayment accrued April 1 – September 30, 2020 is to be paid by March 31, 2021.

Can late fees be charged on the past due rent?

No late fee may be charged or collected for rent or charges that are deferred during the effective dates of the moratoriums (April 1 – December 31, 2020).


Are tenants required to sign a repayment plan or promissory note?

A landlord may offer a voluntary payment plan for the outstanding balance, but the notice must state that the payment plan is voluntary. A tenant is under no obligation to enter into such an agreement.


As a landlord, don’t I waive my rights to terminate if I accept partial rent payments?

Many landlords worry about the legal implications of accepting partial rent payments under normal circumstances.  ORS 90.412 does not apply to a landlord that accepts a partial rent payment per HB 4213.


What type of notice can a landlord send to a tenant regarding their outstanding balance?

During the emergency period, a landlord may provide a written notice to a tenant stating that the tenant continues to owe any rent due. The notice must also include a statement that eviction for nonpayment is not allowed before December 31, 2020.

Following the emergency period, a landlord may deliver an optional written notice to a tenant with an outstanding balance only if that notice includes all of the following:

  1. The date that the emergency period ended;
  2. That if rents and other payments that come due after the emergency period are not timely paid, the landlord may terminate the tenancy;
  3. That the nonpayment balance that accrued during the emergency period is still due and must be paid;
  4. That the tenant will not owe a late charge for the nonpayment balance;
  5. That the tenant is entitled to a six-month grace period to repay the nonpayment balance that ends on March 31, 2021;
  6. That within a specified date stated in the notice given, that is no earlier than 14 days following the delivery of the notice, the tenant must pay the nonpayment balance or notify the landlord that the tenant intends to pay the nonpayment balance by the end of the six-month grace period ending March 31, 2020.
  7. That failure of a tenant to give notice to the landlord of utilization of the grace period may result in a penalty.
  8. That rents and other charges or fees that come due after the emergency period must be paid as usual or the landlord may terminate the tenancy.

Does the tenant have to tell the landlord they intend to use the six-month repayment period?

If a landlord sends a notice after the emergency period to the tenant regarding the outstanding balance, they must include information about the repayment period and a date for the tenant to respond with their intent to use the repayment period. This date must be at least 14 days from the date of the notice. In this case, the tenant must inform the landlord of their intent to use the repayment period or they could face penalty.

Failure to notify the landlord of the intent to use the repayment period by the specified date entitles the landlord to recover damages equal to 50 percent of one month’s rent following the repayment period.


Will there be financial relief for renters and homeowners once the moratorium is lifted and the six-month grace period for back payment begins?

The City and the County are taking these immediate steps to keep people housed in the midst of this outbreak to limit the spread of the disease. They are assessing all options to provide assistance to renters and homeowners once the moratorium is lifted. We will continue to publish information about relief options and assistance as information becomes available.

In addition to the protections provided within HB 4213 for tenants of rental properties, the Oregon Legislature also passed HB 4204 to provide protections for mortgage holders. If you hold a mortgage and are having difficulty making payments, from decrease in rental income or otherwise, we encourage you to reach out to your lender. Here is some summary information about HB 4204:

  • During the emergency period (March 8, 2020 – December 31, 2020), a lender may not treat non-payment as a default if during the emergency period the borrower has notified the lender that they will not be able to make the payments.
     
  • If the borrower’s property has four or fewer dwelling units, they must notify their lender that they will not be able to make their payments as a result of loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
  • Deferred mortgage payments must allow the option for the borrower to pay the deferred amount at the end of the loan term.

We encourage all homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to call their loan servicer to discuss all of their options.


Will there be financial relief or support available to landlords who do not receive rental payment from their tenants? 

We understand that landlords depend on their tenants’ rent to pay for their mortgages, property taxes and repairs of their properties. The City and Multnomah County are assessing all options to provide assistance to landlords during and after the moratorium.

City of Portland and Multnomah County have deferred 2019 business income tax payments, including the Residential Rental Program fee.

In addition to the protections provided within HB 4213 for tenants of rental properties, the Oregon Legislature also passed HB 4204  to provide protections for mortgage holders.  If you hold a mortgage and are having difficulty making payments, from decrease in rental income or otherwise, we encourage you to reach out to your lender.  Here is some summary information about HB 4204:

  • During the emergency period (March 8, 2020 – December 31, 2020), a lender may not treat non-payment as a default if during the emergency period the borrower has notified the lender that they will not be able to make the payments.
     
  • If the borrower’s property has four or fewer dwelling units, they must notify their lender that they will not be able to make their payments as a result of loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
  • Deferred mortgage payments must allow the option for the borrower to pay the deferred amount at the end of the loan term.
     
  • If the borrower’s property is commercial or residential with more than four dwelling units, they must notify their lender that they will not be able to make their payments as a result of loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, send documentation of loss of income, and disclose any federal relief funds they have received.    
     
  • Additionally, if the borrower of multi-family property has a federally backed mortgage, they may qualify for other options just announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (some of the protections to tenants are overlapping to those in Oregon): https://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/FHFA-Provides-Tenant-Protections.aspx

We encourage all homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to call their loan servicer to discuss all of their options.


What about evictions for causes other than non-payment of rent?

The moratorium applies to terminations related to non-payment of rent or most terminations without cause under ORS 90.427. It does not apply to evictions for any other lawful purpose.

For more details about terminations without a tenant-based cause, see the next question.


What about no-cause terminations or terminating with a qualifying landlord reason?

With House Bill 4213, the State of Oregon has prohibited landlords from issuing a termination notice without cause. This is defined as any noticed delivered by a landlord under ORS 90.427 (3)(b), (4)(b) or (c), (5)(a) to (c), or (8)(a)(B) or (b)(B). 

For landlords and tenants residing within Multnomah County, these restrictions have been extended under a separate county moratorium

Under the new Executive Order, landlords can issue a termination under ORS 90.427(5)(c) if outside of City of Portland and/or Multnomah County. Other restrictions regarding terminations without cause remain in place until December 31, 2020.


Will evictions for mortgage foreclosure be impacted?

Yes. Under HB 4204, the courts are prohibited from hearing cases related to mortgage default during the emergency period.


What if a landlord doesn’t comply?

If a landlord violates the residential eviction moratorium in HB 4213, a tenant may obtain injunctive relief to recover possession or address any other violation and may recover from the landlord an amount up to three months’ periodic rent plus any actual damages.

If any person, business or entity is in violation of Executive Order 20-56, they may be subject to the penalties described in ORS 401.990 in addition to any other private rights of action or other enforcement mechanism that may exist in statute or at common law, or under federal law.


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Additional resources in other languages

COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium: 5-Step Tenant Protections

These translated documents, created by OHCS, are a simple resource to help people understand their rights under the current eviction moratorium. Please note these guides only reflect protections under the state-wide moratorium. Be sure to check for additional protections provided within local jurisdictions.

Access these translated guides below: