Last updated October 28, 2022
➥ Please be aware many COVID-related protections have expired
The information in the FAQ is for general reference, but may no longer apply.
➥ Financial relief for tenants
Limited emergency rental assistance may still be available to tenants. Tenants should contact 211info for more information on how to access local emergency rental assistance.
Also see: Resources for Landlords and Tenants
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 the pandemic. All of these measures, except elements of SB 282, have either expired or been rescinded.
How long was 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 expired on June 30, 2021.
The state-wide moratorium for terminations based on nonpayment of rent ended on December 31, 2020 unless a tenant submitted a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord. If a tenant submitted a written declaration of financial hardship, the state-wide moratorium for nonpayment of rent was extended for that tenant until June 30, 2021.
All tenants, regardless of whether they submitted a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord, need to pay any nonpayment balance that accrued between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 by February 28, 2022.
Between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, tenants who have applied for emergency rental assistance have a safe harbor from termination or eviction due to nonpayment of rent while their application is pending. In order to be protected, tenants must provide written documentation of their application for rent assistance to their landlord.
What do I need to do if I am a tenant and cannot pay my rent?
Tenants are obligated to pay their monthly rent under the terms of their rental agreement beginning July 1, 2021. However, between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, a tenant can avoid termination and eviction for nonpayment of monthly rent if they have applied for rent assistance and have provided documentation of their application for rent assistance to their landlord. This documentation must be provided to a landlord in a reasonable manner such as personal delivery, first-class mail or sending a copy or photograph of the documentation via text message or email. Documentation can be provided by the tenant up through the First Appearance court date in an eviction case.
A landlord is prohibited from taking any further enforcement action regarding nonpayment of rent while the application is pending.
If a tenant has already applied for emergency rental assistance, they will automatically be sent a letter of verification that they can provide to their landlord. Tenants were able to use a cover letter to notify their landlord of their rights under SB 891 when providing their landlords with documentation of their application for rent assistance.
All rent and other charges that a tenant was unable to pay between April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 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.
Won’t deferred rent hurt a tenant’s credit score and rental history?
SB 282 prohibits a landlord from reporting a tenant’s nonpayment balance from April 1, 2020 through July 1, 2021 as delinquent to any consumer credit reporting agency.
SB 282 also prohibits landlords from considering an applicant’s unpaid rent, including rent reflected in court judgements, or referrals of debt to a collection agency, that accrued on or after April 1, 2020 and before March 1, 2022.
Can an eviction during the pandemic affect a tenant’s ability to find housing?
SB 282 prohibits landlords from considering any court eviction actions that occurred between April 2, 2020 and March 1, 2022 when screening an applicant, regardless of the outcome of the case and regardless of the reason for the eviction.
The law also allows tenants to apply to have any court eviction actions that arose between April 1, 2020 and March 1, 2022 removed from their record. To be eligible for removing an eviction record, a tenant must have paid off any money award that was part of the eviction judgment. In order to have an eviction record removed, tenants must file a motion with the court.
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. Tenants have until February 28, 2022 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.
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, 2020 and June 30, 2021, unless that rent remains unpaid after February 28, 2022.
Late fees may be charged to a tenant for rent that comes due on or after July 1, 2021 even if the tenant provides documentation of their application for emergency rental assistance to their landlord and is entitled to a safe harbor period from termination or evictions for nonpayment of rent.
What type of notice can a landlord send to a tenant regarding their outstanding balance?
Prior to February 28, 2022, 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 accrued between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 is not allowed before February 28, 2022.
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 not required to enter into a repayment plan.
How are utilities affected by the 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 accrued between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 qualify for deferral under the 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.
What other types of termination notices, besides notices for nonpayment of rent, were prohibited under the moratorium?
The moratorium applied to terminations related to non-payment of rent and some terminations without cause under ORS 90.427. All landlords were prohibited from terminating a tenancy for no-cause under ORS 90.427(3) and (4) until June 30, 2021.
Landlords were prohibited from terminating a tenancy for one or more of the four qualified landlord outlined in ORS 90.427(5) until different dates depending on whether the tenancy was in Multnomah County or not.
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 did not apply to evictions for any other lawful purpose.
What types of termination notices are permitted after July 1, 2021?
Starting July 1, 2021, landlords can issue all termination notices allowed under state landlord tenant law with limited exceptions as described below.
Under SB 891, if a tenant has provided written documentation of their application for emergency rental assistance, a landlord cannot serve a termination notice for nonpayment of rent from the date they were provided the written documentation until the application is no longer pending. If a tenant has not provided written documentation of their application for rental assistance, a landlord can issue a 10-day Termination Notice for Nonpayment of Rent once the rent is eight days past due.
A tenant can provide written documentation of their application for rental assistance up through the first court date in an eviction action (often called “First Appearance”). Once a landlord receives the written documentation, they must suspend all lease enforcement actions related to nonpayment of rent. If the outstanding rent outlined in the Termination Notice is not paid and the landlord has received notice the application is no longer pending, a landlord may resume lease enforcement action.
Under HB 4401, a landlord could have also served a Termination Notice Without Tenant Cause up until August 31, 2021, if the first year of occupancy ended between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021.
After August 31, 2021, a landlord may only issue a Termination Notice Without Tenant Cause beyond the first year of occupancy in the following situations:
The Termination Notice is for one of the four qualified landlord reason outlined in ORS 90.427(5); or
The dwelling unit is on the same property or in the same building as the landlord's primary residence and the property or building contain no more than two units.
Under SB 282, a landlord may not terminate a tenancy for having unauthorized guests between July 1, 2021 and February 28, 2022, in some circumstances. During this time period, a landlord may screen a guest that resides in a dwelling unit for more than 15 days in a twelve-month period, as they would a new tenant, except that they may not screen for income or credit. The landlord may also require the guest to enter into a temporary occupancy agreement. The landlord may not require the temporary occupancy agreement to end any sooner than February 28, 2021.
What if a landlord doesn’t comply with the eviction moratorium or other protections related to the pandemic?
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 violates the protections against terminations and evictions for nonpayment of rent after a tenant provides proof of their application for rent assistance in SB 278/SB 891 or fails to provide notice of a tenant’s rights under SB 278/SB 891, a tenant may have a defense in an eviction action and may obtain an emergency court order to resume their tenancy.
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.
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.
Is there relief available to landlords who do not receive rental payment from their tenants?
SB 278 directed Oregon Housing and Community Services to provide a grant to a third party to make distributions to compensate landlords who delayed termination notices or evictions upon documentation of a tenant’s application for emergency rental assistance and either the tenant’s application for rental assistance was denied or sixty days have passed since the tenant provided documentation without the landlord receiving rental assistance. This program, with some modifications, was continued through SB 891. The Oregon Landlord Guarantee Program reimburses landlords for eligible non-payment costs such as rent and late fees, incurred during the “safe harbor” period. Landlords can request assistance through the Program by calling (503) 802-8532 or going to oregonlgp.org.
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.
Additionally, landlords who rent out a single-family home with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) may be protected by a foreclosure moratorium until at least August 31, 2020. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only.
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.