Oregon HB 2001 – Changes to Eviction Process for Nonpayment Cases
On March 21, 2023 the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2001 (HB 2001), an omnibus housing bill that includes changes to the current Oregon eviction process. On March 29, 2023 Governor Kotek signed the bill into law, effective immediately. The following paragraphs provide a summary of HB 2001’s changes to the Oregon eviction process.
Changes to the Eviction Process for Nonpayment Cases
HB 2001 contains multiple changes to the law regarding nonpayment related evictions and the requirements a Housing Provider must follow when issuing a nonpayment notice or filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) based on nonpayment. (Nonpayment in this context is limited to “payment of rent, late charges, utility or service charges or any other charge or fee described in the rental agreement,” and does not include payments owed for damages to the property.) These changes include:
- Oregon Housing Providers must now include a new disclosure with any termination notice for nonpayment, as well as with any summons in an FED action for nonpayment. The form will be published by the Oregon Judicial Department but must be in substantially the following format:
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT NOTICE OF WHERE TO GET HELP IF YOU ARE FACING POTENTIAL EVICTION FOR NONPAYMENT.
For information in Spanish, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese or Chinese, go to the Judicial Department website at ___________ .
You must comply with deadlines identified in a notice of nonpayment, or you risk losing your housing.
Rental assistance and support services may be available. Dial 2-1-1 or go to www.211info.org or contact a local service provider at ________.
Low-income tenants may be able to receive free or low-cost legal advice by contacting a legal aid organization. Go to ________ to find an office near you.
The Oregon State Bar provides information about legal assistance programs at ___________.
- If the above disclosure is not included with a termination notice or the summons in a nonpayment related eviction case, then the court is required to dismiss the case.
- Renters may now tender payment for the full amount owed under a nonpayment termination notice at any time while an eviction action is underway. Under HB 2001, if the Renter or a rental assistance provider delivers full payment of the notice amount prior to resolution of the nonpayment eviction case, then the Housing Provider is required to accept that payment and the court is required to dismiss the case. If a court dismisses a nonpayment FED due to the Renter tendering full payment, the Renter is not entitled to attorneys fees. The court is also required to dismiss the case if the Housing Provider prevents payment from being tendered by failing to reasonably participate with a rental assistance program. This effectively means a Renter may cure a nonpayment violation at any time, up until the moment a judge issues a judgment for possession in favor of the Housing Provider. This requirement DOES NOT include a safe harbor for providing proof of a rental assistance application, so a Renter providing proof of rental assistance applications will not affect the eviction process in any way.
- 72- and 144-hour notices for nonpayment of rent are no longer allowed under Oregon law. Any termination notice for nonpayment of rent must now be in the form of a 10-day or 13-day notice. 30 day for-cause notices are not affected by this change and can still be issued for the full balance owed by a Renter so long as the new disclosure form attached above is attached.
- The timeline for setting a first appearance in a nonpayment case is now extended. Prior to HB 2001, all first appearances were required to be set within seven days of the date an FED action is filed. For nonpayment cases, the first appearance deadline is now extended to 15 days after the date an FED action is filed, with an extension of seven days if no judge is available.
- The trial setting timeline for nonpayment cases is also extended. Prior to HB 2001, all eviction trials were required to be scheduled no later than 15 days from the first appearance date. For nonpayment cases, that trial setting deadline is now modified to require the court to set the matter for trial no earlier than 15 days, and no later than 30 days, after the first appearance date.
Overall, these changes mean that Housing Providers will need to comply with additional disclosure requirements when issuing a nonpayment notice, will need to remain open to payment from the Renter or a rental assistance provider throughout the nonpayment eviction process, and will need to be prepared for a longer eviction timeline in cases of nonpayment.
Default Judgement Changes
HB 2001 also changes the process for obtaining a default judgment against a Renter who fails to appear at a first appearance. Under HB 2001, a Renter’s failure to appear at the first appearance in their eviction case will not automatically result in a default judgment. Instead, Housing Providers will need to testify under oath or submit an affidavit under penalty of perjury stating that:
- The Housing Provider does not have knowledge that the defendant has delivered possession to the Housing Provider; and
- The Housing Provider reasonably believes that the defendant remains in possession of the premises.
The court will only issue a default judgment if there is testimony from a Housing Provider or an affidavit meeting those two requirements. This change applies to any eviction case and is not limited to nonpayment related evictions.
As stated above, HB 2001 and its eviction related changes are effective immediately.
This article is not intended as legal advice. Please obtain advice of an attorney for any policy changes or decisions regarding residential and commercial housing provider-renter matters.