Oregon PROHIBITS rental evictions thru September 30th
Oregon’s governor just signed into law an emergency bill that takes effect immediately and stops evictions in this State thru at least September 30th. Like most things in the law, the devil is in the details and exceptions may exist – you should contact a lawyer for specific answers to your unique situation.
The law is retroactive back to April 1, 2020 so it is effective for up to six months of unpaid rent, charges or fees. Note that although your landlord cannot evict you for nonpayment of rent, other for cause evictions may be allowed. Also, the unpaid rent must ultimately be paid back or the landlord can evict.
In addition to banning evictions before September 30th, the law allows tenants a six-month grace period – through March 31, 2021 – to repay any rent, late charges or fees which are not paid.
Although a landlord cannot start or continue an eviction action against a tenant who has not paid rent, that landlord can continue to provide a written notice to the tenant describing the rent which is accruing and unpaid. However, if the landlord does provide such a notice it must also include a statement that no eviction for nonpayment is allowed before September 30, 2020.
After September 30th, the landlord is allowed to deliver a written notice advising a tenant that (a) the six-month emergency period has ended, (b) future failure (i.e. after October 1st) to timely pay rent may result in eviction, (c) details how much rent is unpaid by the tenant, (d) that the tenant is allowed six-months to pay the unpaid rent and (e) that within fourteen days the tenant must either pay the total
unpaid rent or advise the landlord that the tenant elects to pay the unpaid rent over the six-month grace period.
This last condition is a TRAP for the unwary tenant so let’s walk through it. First, if you are able to pay your rent then none of this will apply to you. If you do not pay all the rent due between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020, then you should expect a letter from your landlord in early October which details how much rent is unpaid. Once you get that letter, you have to pay the total unpaid rent within fourteen days OR you need to notify your landlord in writing or email that you intend to pay the total unpaid rent by March 31, 2021. If you fail to timely pay the rent or provide that notice, then the Landlord can recover a penalty against you equal to 50% of one month’s rent.
If you are unable to pay the back rent over six months, it may be possible to negotiate a longer repayment period or to seek the assistance of the bankruptcy court to give you more time.
Michael D. O’Brien & Associates is an Oregon law firm of nationally certified attorneys who have been proudly helping honest Oregonians solve debt problems since 1996. Our attorneys utilize foreclosure defense tools, debt settlement, consumer protection laws, and bankruptcy to craft real solutions to unique client problems.