COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium

Effective April 1, 2020, for at least 90 days, Oregon landlords are prohibited from issuing notices of termination for non-payment or for no cause, and prohibited from filing eviction cases for non-payment or for no cause. 

Rent is still owed!

Tenants must notify their landlords of their inability to pay within a reasonable time, and tenants must still make rent payments (or at least partial payments) to the extent they are financially able.

It is a criminal offense to violate the governor's order, which means it is now a criminal offense to fail to pay your rent if you are financially able. That part seems unreasonable to us! 

Special protections for Multnomah County

Effective March 17, 2020, the emergency rule adopted by Multnomah County (and Portland) announced a pause on "all residential evictions in Multnomah County for tenants on the basis of nonpayment of rent due to wage loss resulting from COVID-19."

Below, you can find what you absolutely need to know in order to qualify for this relief

Statewide, evictions for non-payment, and evictions for no cause are now BANNED at least through June 2020. Landlords are similarly banned from issuing termination notices for non-payment or for no cause.

Multnomah County Tenants: If you cannot pay your rent because of the pandemic:

 

    • On or before the date rent is due (usually the 1st of the month), you MUST notify your landlord of your inability to pay the rent. If you fail to notify your landlord on time, you will completely lose the protections under the eviction moratorium. Do not wait until rent is due, or until rent is "late." Use phone, email, text, and U.S. mail - a shotgun approach will lessen the chance that your landlord claims they didn't get your notice.

 

    • You should provide your landlord with documentation of a "substantial loss of income" as a result of the pandemic.  You will absolutely need this documentation in court if your landlord files an eviction, so you might as well give it to them now. Possible documentation could include:a) a letter of termination from your job
      b) notice about a business closure
      c) a statement from your employer about a reduction in hours
      d) a paystub showing reduced wages
      e) A letter of school closure (resulting in you needing to take time off work to care for a child)
      f) A letter from a client or customer citing the pandemic as a reason for cancelling business with you
      g) A letter from a doctor recommending that you stay at home, quarantine yourself, hospitalize yourself, etc.Note that these documents, by themselves, may not be admissible in court. But they may help you avoid court in the first place.IF YOU FOLLOW THE ABOVE RULES, AND YOUR LANDLORD STILL SENDS YOU A TERMINATION NOTICE FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT, OR FILES AN EVICTION CASE AGAINST YOU, CONTACT A LAWYER AT PORTLAND DEFENDER PC RIGHT AWAY - LANDLORDS WHO BREAK THIS LAW WILL OWE YOU MONEY, AND WE CAN HELP YOU GET IT.

 

    • The moratorium appears to apply not just to your, personal, loss of income due to the pandemic, but also to loss of income to a family member.

 

    • The moratorium applies not just to situations where you can't pay your rent, but also where you can't pay any utility charges or other fees you  may owe to your landlord.

 

    • Keep in mind that all of the rent you're not paying is STILL OWED. So, all this "moratorium" provides you with is time. Specifically, the new law will give you six months after the moratorium expires (that date is unknown as of mid-March 2020) to pay all unpaid rent, fees and utility charges.

 

    • Nothing on this page is an adequate substitute for advice from an attorney on your specific situation. Don't make any significant decisions about rent or eviction court without consulting with a qualified tenant rights lawyer.

 

 

 

Call Portland Defender right away at (503) 592-0606 for a free consultation.