Mult Co Landlords Only – Ordinance No. 1296 Extending 60 Day Protection Period in SB 278 to 90 days

Industry News , Portland/SW Washington ,

On July 8, 2021, Ordinance no. 1296 was passed by the Multnomah County Commission and is effective July 9, 2021 due to its emergency clause. Ordinance no.1296 extends the eviction protection period in SB 278 from 60 days to 90 days.

I. SB 278 Protection Period and Effect of Ordinance No.1296

SB 278 establishes that if a Tenant provides the Landlord with documentation that the Tenant has applied for rental assistance, a Landlord may not deliver a termination notice for nonpayment or initiate or continue an action for possession based on the termination notice for nonpayment for 60 days. Ordinance no. 1296 increases this protection period to 90 days for tenancies located in Multnomah County. This means if a Tenant within Multnomah County provides the Landlord with documentation that they have applied for rental assistance, the Landlord will now need to wait 90 days before delivering a termination notice for nonpayment or initiating or continuing an action for possession based on a termination notice for nonpayment.

II. Reissuing a Termination for Nonpayment if Balance is Not Paid

If 90 days have passed since the Tenant provided the documentation, a Landlord may issue a new termination notice. If the matter was already filed with the court and thecase was postponed for 90-days, the court must promptly set the matter for trial at the reset first appearance.

III. Penalties

Ordinance no.1296 does not modify the penalties of SB 278 in any way. If a Landlord violates the extended protection period under Ordinance no.1296, a Tenant may obtain injunctive relief to recover possession or address any other violation. The Landlord’s failure to comply may also be used as a defense in an FED. Finally, if an FED is dismissed based on the extended protection period under Ordinance no.1296, a Tenant is not entitled to a prevailing party fee, costs or attorney fees if the Landlord delivered all notices as required, did not know or have reasonable cause to know that the Tenant had provided documentation when the FED was filed and the Landlord promptly dismissed the FED when they became aware that the Tenant provided the documentation.

IV. Conclusion

Landlords should pay special attention to the required changes in forms and practices. If you are not already utilizing a forms bank that is updated regularly, you should consider doing so.

This article is not intended as legal advice. Please obtain advice of an attorney for any policy change or decisions regarding residential and commercial Landlord-Tenant matters.