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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 and creation of a six-month repayment grace period. View Frequently Asked Questions on this page.

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Last updated on September 1, 2020 to reflect that Oregon's foreclosure moratorium has been extended to December 31, 2020.

This page has been updated to reflect House Bill 4213 for the State of Oregon. This page was previously called, "Multnomah County/City of Portland COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium FAQ."

Click here for translated resources

What are Executive Order 20-13 and 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 April 1, 2020 and was in effect until June 30, 2020.

Review the Executive Order here.

House Bill 4213 was passed by Oregon lawmakers on June 26th.  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 here.


How long is the moratorium in place?

The moratorium remains in effect until September 30, 2020.  Tenants will have until March 30, 2021 to repay any rents or other charges accrued during this emergency period.


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.


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 the full amount 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 the emergency period ends on September 30, 2020, the tenant must make timely rent payments to be protected from potential eviction.


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 the first moratorium, Executive Order 20-13, and under the current HB 4213 moratorium, 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 prohibits a landlord from reporting a tenants 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 September 30, 2020) or seek an eviction for nonpayment of the past due rent accrued during the moratorium during the six-month repayment grace period to follow.


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?

Tenants must pay their outstanding balance in full not later than 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 Executive Order 20-13 or the emergency period in HB 4213 (April 1 – September 30, 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.

Tenants must pay deferred rent, fees, service or utility charges by March 31, 2021.


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 September 30, 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.

The federal disaster relief, CARES Act, includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions, late fees and other penalties, starting on March 27.  This moratorium applies to all properties with a federally insured mortgage. It is important to understand the details of this provision.

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

The federal disaster relief, CARES Act, includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions, late fees and other penalties, starting on March 27.  This moratorium applies to all properties with a federally insured mortgage. It is important to understand the details of this provision.

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).


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.


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. Access these translated guides below:

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