Governor’s Executive Order 20-13
Governor Brown has placed a 90-day moratorium, subject to further extension, on all residential and commercial evictions throughout Oregon.
During the moratorium, landlords are prohibited from terminating any rental agreement, taking any action to evict a residential tenant, or interfering with the tenant’s right to possession of the premises because of nonpayment of rent.
A tenant does not need to demonstrate any financial hardship to qualify for the moratorium. However, they must notify their landlord as soon as reasonably possible if they will be unable to pay the full rent, and also are required to make any partial rent payment to the extent they are financially able to do so.
During the moratorium, rent still accrues; this is not a rent freeze. Late fees and any other penalties resulting from nonpayment, however, cannot be imposed.
Terminations and evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent are not prohibited by this Order.
Commercial landlords are subject to the same prohibitions as residential landlords, above, regarding termination of the rental agreement, evictions, disruption of possession, or assessment of fees/penalties for nonpayment of rent.
Similar to the residential moratorium, terminations and/or evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent are not prohibited by this Order.
Commercial tenants, however, are required to report to their landlord if they cannot pay rent. Commercial tenants must provide notice (with supporting documentation) to the landlord, within 30 days of the rent becoming due, that the nonpayment is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oregon Judicial Department / Chief Justice Order 20-006
The Chief Justice has declared that all first appearances in any eviction (FED) actions for residential tenancies only are postponed without the need for a motion and are being rescheduled until after June 1, 2020. All residential eviction trials scheduled to begin before June 1, 2020 are also postponed.
This order does, however, permit the presiding judge in a county leeway to schedule a first appearance prior to June 1, 2020. This is presumably to provide a mechanism for evictions to still occur when the eviction is due to threats of violence, etc.
The effect of this order is to prevent any court from ruling on most residential eviction cases until after June 1, 2020; it does not prevent the filing of the eviction action itself.
The Order also mandates the use of a newly created notice to explain the first appearance postponements to residential tenants when eviction has been sought; this notice shall be attached to any FED summons.
County & Municipal Actions
Some counties and municipalities had, prior to Order 20-13, adopted a patchwork of various ordinances and other policies designed to restrict certain types of evictions. Some ordinances and policies are now in conflict with the requirements of Order 20-13, and some continue to impose further requirements on landlords.
Multnomah County has implemented a residential eviction moratorium ordinance (Ordinance No. 1282) for those who have been affected financially by COVID-19.
In addition to a moratorium on evictions similar to the Governor’s order, this ordinance further provides a 6-month window of time in which a tenant may “catch back up” on their back rent (without penalty or additional fees) following the expiration of the County’s moratorium.
Additionally, this ordinance provides for, among other remedies, triple damages to any landlord failing to comply with the Ordinance.
City of Portland
Portland has adopted an ordinance (Ordinance No. 189890) which extends the Multnomah County moratorium to the parts of Portland that lie within Clackamas and Multnomah Counties.
As each local government is handling this crisis differently and have yet to respond to the Governor’s Order 20-13, it is important to verify if there are any local government restrictions on residential or commercial evictions. Contact us if you have any questions.