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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 statewide. View Frequently Asked Questions on this page.

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Last updated February 1, 2021

Protections that are unique to tenancies in the City of Portland or Multnomah County are also covered in this FAQ. This includes information about the need for a tenant to complete a written declaration of financial hardship to be protected from eviction for nonpayment of rent.

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What protections have been passed related to COVID‑19 housing protections?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, there have been numerous emergency measures taken by state and local governments to protect renters from eviction during this time of emergency. All of these measures except HB 4401 have either expired or been rescinded. The below list outlines the emergency measures that were taken either locally or state-wide since April 1, 2020 to present.

Oregon lawmakers passed House Bill 4401 (“HB 4401”) on December 21, 2020. This Bill extended the emergency period under HB 4213 until December 31, 2020 and extend the eviction moratorium in certain circumstances to June 30, 2021. The Bill also created a Landlord Compensation Fund, and allocated money for tenant-based rental assistance.
Review House Bill 4401.

The following protections have expired or been rescinded but are available for reference here:

  • Multnomah County Ordinance 1287 was adopted on September 24, 2020 to protect Multnomah County tenants. This Ordinance provided some additional protections than Oregon’s House Bill 4213 and 4401. It was rescinded on February 1, 2021.

  • The City of Portland adopted Ordinance 190156 to expand Multnomah County’s eviction moratorium to all areas of the city, including those in the legal boundaries of Portland but outside of Multnomah County. This Ordinance expired on February 1, 2021. 

  • On September 28, 2020, Governor Brown signed Executive Order No. 20-56 which extended the state moratorium until December 31, 2020. This Executive Order did not create a new repayment grace period for rent that accrued between October 1 and December 31, 2020.
    Review Executive Order 20-56.

  • Oregon lawmakers passed House Bill 4213 (“HB 4213”) on June 26, 2020.  This Bill extended the eviction moratorium until September 30, 2020 and created a six-month repayment period for deferred rent and other charges. 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 tenant cause. 
    Review House Bill 4213

  • 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 on April 1, 2020 and was in effect until June 30, 2020.
    Review Executive Order 20-13.

How long is the moratorium in place?

The City of Portland and Multnomah County moratorium, providing additional protections, ended on February 1, 2021.  

The state-wide moratorium for termination notices for no cause expires on June 30, 2021. The state-wide moratorium for terminations based on nonpayment of rent ended on December 31, 2020 unless a tenant submits a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord.  If a tenant submits a written declaration of financial hardship, the state-wide moratorium for nonpayment of rent is extended for that tenant until June 30, 2021.  

A tenant that has been financially impacted during this state of emergency should submit a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord to receive the most protections during this time. 

For tenants who submit a written declaration to their landlord: Tenants are protected from termination for nonpayment of rent until June 30, 2021. Tenants also have until July 1, 2021 to repay any rent or other charges accrued between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Tenants will need to begin paying monthly rent under the terms of their rental agreement on July 1, 2021. 

For tenants who do not submit a written declaration to their landlord: Tenants are protected from termination for nonpayment of rent that was deferred between April 1 and December 31, 2020 until March 31, 2021. Tenants must pay back any deferred rent or other charges by March 31, 2021. Tenants in the City of Portland or Multnomah County must begin paying monthly rent under the terms of their rental agreement on February 1, 2021. Tenants outside the City of Portland or Multnomah County must begin paying monthly rent under the terms of their rental agreement on January 1, 2021. Failure to pay monthly rent can result in the tenant receiving a termination notice for nonpayment of that month’s rent.


What do I need to do if I am a tenant and cannot pay my rent?

All rent and other charges that a tenant was unable to pay between April 1 through December 31, 2020 qualify to be deferred. Tenants do not need to provide any documentation of financial hardship to their landlord to defer rent or other charges that accrued during this period. 

In order to defer rent and other charges that accrue between January 1 through June 30, 2021, a tenant must submit a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord. The written declaration requires the tenant to declare that they have experienced financial hardship on or after March 16, 2020 due to one of the following: 

  • Loss of household income; 
  • Loss of work or wages; 
  • Increased medical expenses; 
  • Increased child care responsibilities or responsibilities to care for a person with a disability or a person who is elderly, injured, or sick;  
  • Increased costs for child care or caring for a person with a disability or a person who is elderly, injured, or sick; or  
  • Other circumstances that have reduced income or increased expenses. 

The written declaration must be provided to a tenant’s landlord in a reasonable manner such as first-class mail or sending a copy or photograph of the declaration via text message or email.


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

HB 4213 prohibits a landlord from reporting a tenant’s nonpayment balance from April 1 through December 31, 2020 as delinquent to any consumer credit reporting agency until April 1, 2021.

If a tenant submits a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord, HB 4401 also prohibits a landlord from reporting a tenant’s nonpayment balance that accrued between January 1 though June 30, 2021 as delinquent until July 1, 2021.


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

Nothing in the moratorium relieves the tenants of liability for unpaid rent. When a tenant needs to pay the past due rent or other charges depends on whether the tenant has submitted a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord.  

For tenants who submit a written declaration to their landlord: Tenants have until July 1, 2021 to repay any rent or other charges accrued between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Tenants will need to begin paying monthly rent under the terms of their rental agreement on July 1, 2021. 

For tenants who do not submit a written declaration to their landlord: Tenants have until March 31, 2021 to repay any rent or other charges accrued between April 1 and December 31, 2020. Tenants in the City of Portland or Multnomah County must begin paying monthly rent under the terms of their rental agreement on February 1, 2021. Tenants outside the City of Portland or Multnomah County must begin paying monthly rent under the terms of their rental agreement on January 1, 2021.


Can late fees be charged on the past due rent?

No late fee may be charged or collected for rent  that was deferred between April 1 through  December 31, 2020.  

If a tenant submits a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord, HB 4401 prohibits a landlord from assessing a late fee for rent that is deferred between January 1 through June 30, 2021.


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

The type of notice that a landlord can send to a tenant regarding their outstanding balance depends on whether or not a tenant has submitted a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord. 

If the tenant has submitted a written declaration of financial hardship: Prior to June 30, 2021, 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 of rent, charges or fees is not allowed before June 30, 2021. 

If the tenant has not submitted a written declaration of financial hardship: Before March 31, 2020, a landlord may deliver a written notice to a tenant that: 

  1. States that the tenant continues to owe any rent due;
  2. Includes a statement that eviction for nonpayment of rent, charges or fees accrued between April 1 through December 31, 2020 is not allowed before March 31, 2021; and
  3. Includes a copy of the written declaration of financial hardship for the tenant to complete and return to the landlord.

In addition to the written notice regarding the tenant’s outstanding balance, a landlord may offer a tenant a voluntary payment plan for any outstanding balance. The notice must state that the payment plan is voluntary. A tenant is under no obligation to enter into a repayment plan.


How are utilities affected by this moratorium? 

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. 

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.


What other types of termination notices, besides notices for nonpayment of rent, are prohibited under the moratorium? 

The moratorium applies to terminations related to non-payment of rent and some terminations without cause under ORS 90.427. All landlords are prohibited from terminating a tenancy for no-cause under ORS 90.427(3) and (4) until June 30, 2021.  

Effective February 1, 2021, a landlord can serve a tenant with a termination notice for any of the four qualified landlord reasons outlined at ORS 90.427(5). However, prior to the passage of HB 4401, the different emergency measures allowed for varying levels of protections for tenants from termination for a qualified landlord reason. Whether a prior termination notice for a qualified landlord reason was lawful at the time it was served on a tenant depends on where the tenant lived and when the notice was served.

For tenants in the City of Portland or Multnomah County:  

  • April 1 - June 30, 2020: No termination for any qualified landlord reason were permitted.

  • June 30, 2020 – February 1, 2021: Only termination notices for one qualified landlord reason were permitted. A landlord could terminate a tenancy if they had accepted an offer to purchase the dwelling from a person who intended to occupy the unit as their primary residence. A termination notice for any other qualified landlord reason was prohibited.   

  • February 1, 2021 – present: All lawful termination notices for a qualified landlord reason are permitted.

For tenants outside of the City of Portland or Multnomah County: 

  • April 1 - June 30, 2020: No termination for any qualified landlord reason were permitted. 

  • June 30 – September 30, 2020: Only termination notices for one qualified landlord reason were permitted. A landlord could terminate a tenancy if they had accepted an offer to purchase the dwelling from a person who intended to occupy the unit as their primary residence. A termination notice for any other qualified landlord reason was prohibited.   

  • September 30 - December 20, 2020: Only termination notices for two qualified landlord reason were permitted. A landlord could terminate a tenancy if they had accepted an offer to purchase the dwelling from a person who intended to occupy the unit as their primary residence. A landlord could also terminate a tenancy if the landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family intended to occupy the dwelling as their primary residence. 

  • December 20, 2020 – present: All lawful termination notices for a qualified landlord reason are permitted.

Tenants who receive/received a termination for a qualified landlord reason in the City of Portland may be entitled to mandatory Relocation Assistance under both Portland City Code and state law. For more information on mandatory Relocation Assistance in the City of Portland please refer to Mandatory Renter Relocation Assistance. Tenants who receive/received a termination notice for a qualified landlord reason outside of the City of Portland may be entitled to relocation assistance under state law. 

The moratorium does not apply to evictions for any other lawful purpose.


What if a landlord doesn’t comply with the eviction moratorium?

If a landlord violates the residential eviction moratorium in HB 4213 or HB 4401, a tenant may obtain injunctive relief to recover possession or address any other violation, have a defense to an eviction action, and may recover from the landlord an amount up to three months’ periodic rent plus any actual damages. 

If a landlord violated Multnomah County Ordinance 1287 (September 24, 2020 through February 1, 2021), 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 20-13 (April 1 through June 30, 2020) or 20-56 (September 28 through December 31, 2020) 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.


Is there financial relief for renters during the moratorium?

HB 4401 allocated money for tenant-based rent assistance to be applied for by a tenant and paid directly to the tenant’s landlord. This rent assistance will be distributed through community action agencies and culturally specific providers. Tenant should contact 211info for more information on how to access this financial assistance.  


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. The waiver provisions outlined at ORS 90.412 do not apply to a landlord that accepts a partial rent payment per HBs 4213 and 4401. 


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

For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, Multnomah County has increased the tax rate for the Business Income Tax from 1.45% to 2.00%; increased the gross receipts exemption from less than $50,000 to less than $100,000; and increased the maximum owner’s compensation deduction from $108,000 to $127,000. 

HB 4401 created a Landlord Compensation Fund to help landlords with the financial impact of deferred rent. The Fund will be administered by Oregon Housing and Community Services and will allow landlords to apply for compensation for all rent deferred by their tenants from April 1, 2020 to the time of application. Compensation from the fund will be 80% of the total past-due rent of qualified tenants. Landlords utilizing the Fund must agree to forgive the remaining 20% of the unpaid rent due from qualified tenants.  

Additionally, if a landlord has a FHA-insured loan or a mortgage backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, they may be protected by federal foreclosure moratoriums. Federal Housing Authority (FHA) insured single family mortgages are subject to a foreclosure moratorium until March 31, 2021. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae backed mortgages are subject to a foreclosure moratorium until February 28, 2021.  

In addition to financial assistance, there may be mortgage relief for federal and private mortgage holders. For more information on mortgage relief, see Federal and Private Mortgage Relief.


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: