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  • Tim O'Donnell

Oregon Eviction Moratorium Extension

Kate Brown is expected to sign House Bill 4401 which extends the eviction moratorium signed into law earlier this summer. This extension requires tenants to execute a declaration in order to receive the extension and also sets up a fund for landlords that are owed rent. More information about these changes are summarized below:

1. Eviction Moratorium Extension

The bill extends the moratorium for evictions based on nonpayment of rent to June 30, 2021. The big change with this moratorium is that landlords are required to deliver a notice and declaration form to tenants whenever delivering an account balance statement, termination notice based on nonpayment of rent or an eviction summons. If a tenant receives this notice and declaration but does not fill it out, the landlord could proceed with an eviction. However, the tenant has up until the time of the first appearance hearing to execute the declaration and the landlord is not allowed to challenge it in eviction court or request supporting documentation for the statements made in the declaration. With these requirements, it will be a rare case when a landlord can actually proceed with a nonpayment of rent eviction before June 30, 2021.

2. Unpaid Rent Fund for Landlords

The bill also sets up a fund to pay landlords 80 percent of the rent they are owed. The program will be managed by the Housing and Community Services Department and there are unanswered questions about how exactly the program will be run and which landlords will qualify for assistance. As the bill is right now, HCSD is responsible for setting up an online application portal and will adopt further rules about which landlords will qualify for the assistance. The bill also states that landlords with fewer units and a higher percentage of unpaid rent will be prioritized.

In order to apply for the funds, the landlord must have delivered and received a declaration from a tenant that they are unable to pay rent. And if the landlord qualifies to get the funding , they are required to forgive the other 20 percent owed.

3. Other Changes

Here are a few other changes HB 4213 makes:

· Landlords are again permitted to evict based on major renovations, demolitions and owner/family move-ins.

· The time period for 72 and 144 hour nonpayment notices have been changed to 10 and 13 days respectively.

· The penalty for a tenant not invoking the right receive a grace period for repayment has been eliminated. The initial moratorium allowed landlords to charge tenants a penalty of up to ½ the rent if a tenant did not inform the landlord they needed the grace period to pay back rent.

Please note that this article is not intended to be legal advice. The governor still needs to sign this bill and there may be additional changes. This bill is also currently being challenged as unconstitutional in federal court. Please contact my office for the latest updates.

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