Update – Eviction Moratorium Ends

Oregon’s eviction moratorium ends on June 30, 2021. Beginning on July 1, 2021, residential tenants must begin paying their monthly rent going forward, together with any other charges authorized under the rental agreement (i.e., utilities, service charges, and applicable monthly late fees). However, there are important caveats on both the state and federal level.

On the state level, the Oregon Legislature passed and the governor signed Senate Bill 278, which provides some continued protection for tenants. Under SB 278, landlords must put a 60-day “hold” on any nonpayment evictions IF the tenant has provided to the landlord “documentation that the tenant has applied for rental assistance.” The term “documentation” includes an email, a screenshot, or other written or electronic documentation from a rent assistance provider verifying the submission of an application for rental assistance. SB 278 will remain in effect until

March 1, 2022.

If a landlord has received any such documentation from a tenant, the landlord cannot issue a rent nonpayment notice to that tenant until 60 days after the tenant provided the documentation. If a tenant has not provided any documentation, the landlord may issue a nonpayment notice, but it must include exact statutory language informing the tenant about the availability of the temporary protection period. If a nonpayment eviction case has already been filed in court, the court must postpone the case for 60 days if the tenant provides the documentation to the landlord prior to or at the first appearance hearing. SB 278 also contains other provisions on how nonpayment court cases must be handled, depending on whether the landlord followed the notification requirements, subsequently received rental assistance covering the amount owed, or unreasonably failed to participate with a rental assistance program.

It is important to note that tenants will still owe rent and other charges beginning on July 1, 2021. SB 278 only provides a temporary, 60-day delay in the eviction process to allow tenants to apply for and receive rental assistance. It is also important to remember that tenants have until February 28, 2022 to repay any and all amounts owed to the landlord that accrued between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 (except late fees, which are waived). Finally, the usual 72-hour nonpayment notice is now a 10-day nonpayment notice through the end of February 2022, so make sure you are using an up-to-date nonpayment eviction notice form.

A final complicating factor is that the US Supreme Court has left in place the CDC nationwide nonpayment eviction moratorium that was recently extended through July 31, 2021. Under the CDC order, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for nonpayment if the tenant has provided a declaration specifying certain facts, including a good faith attempt to obtain government assistance, qualifying income levels, and loss of income, among other factors. Because of the overlap between the CDC order and Oregon legislation, in most nonpayment cases the CDC order will likely be a moot point. However, it is possible in some circumstances that the CDC order could apply to no-cause evictions as well, so consult with an attorney before issuing any no-cause eviction notices to tenants.

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