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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 January 14, 2021


What are Executive Orders 20-13 and 20-56, and House Bills 4213 and 4401?

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.

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 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 tenant cause.

Review House Bill 4213.

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, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Review Executive Order 20-56.

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.


How long is the moratorium in place?

The state-wide moratorium remains in effect until December 31, 2020 unless a tenant submits a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord. If a tenant submits a written declaration, the moratorium is extended for that tenant until June 30, 2021.

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 30, 2021 to repay any rents or other charges accrued between April 1 and December 31, 2020. Tenants will need to begin paying monthly rent under the terms of their rental agreement on January 1, 2021.


What circumstances qualify for rent deferral?

The moratorium and deferral applies to all residential rental properties in Oregon. All rent and other charges that accrued during the effective dates of Executive Order 20-13, the emergency period of HB 4213 (April 1 – September 30, 2020), Executive Order 20-56 (October 1 – December 31, 2020), and HB 4401 (April 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) can qualify to be deferred.

Tenants do not need to provide documentation of financial hardship to their landlord to defer rent or other charges that accrued between April 1 and December 31, 2020. However, in order to defer rent and other charges that accrue after December 31, 2020, tenants must submit a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord.


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

The first thing a tenant needs to do is submit a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord. The declaration must be in a specific format and contain specific information. The declaration can be found at www.courts.oregon.gov. The written declaration must be provided to the 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.

Nothing within the moratorium relieves a tenant from the obligation to pay rent. However, the law does protect tenants from being charged late fees and from being terminated for nonpayment of rent or other charges during the moratorium. When a tenant will need to pay back any deferred rent and other charges depends on whether the tenant has submitted a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord.


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

Executive Orders 20-13 and 20-56, and HB 4213 do not require documentation of loss of income in order to be protected under the moratorium from April 1 through December 31, 2020. To be protected under the moratorium from January 1 though June 30, 2021, a tenant must submit a written declaration of financial hardship to their landlord.

The declaration must be in a specific format and contain specific information. The declaration can be found at www.courts.oregon.gov. The written declaration must be provided to the 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 as delinquent to any consumer credit reporting agency until the end of the grace period (March 31, 2021). HB 4401 also prohibits a landlord from reporting a tenant’s nonpayment balance that accrued between January 1 though June 30, 2021 as delinquent to any consumer credit reporting agency until July 1, 2021 if the tenant submits a written declaration of financial hardship.


Is rent forgiven during this time?

Nothing in the moratorium relieves the tenants of liability for unpaid rent. The moratorium allows for rent and other charges to be deferred and for tenants to be protected from eviction based on nonpayment during the moratorium.


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?

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.

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 30, 2021 to repay any rent or other charges accrued between April 1 and December 31, 2020. Tenants will need to 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 is deferred during the effective dates of Executive Orders 20-13, 20-56 or the emergency period in HB 4213 (April 1 – 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 – June 30, 2021.


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

A landlord may offer a voluntary payment plan for any 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. 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.


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 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 – 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.

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.


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.

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.

In addition to the protections provided within HBs 4213 and 4401 for 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 defaultifduring 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.


Is there financial relief for homeowners?

In addition to the protections provided within HBs 4213 and 4401 for 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.


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?

The State of Oregon has prohibited landlords from issuing a termination notice without cause. Under HB 4213, this is defined as any notice 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). Under HB 4401, this is defined as any notice delivered by a landlord under ORS 90.427 (3)(b), (4)(b) or (c), or (8)(a)(B) or (b)(B).


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 a landlord violates certain provisions of HB 4401, 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.


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: