Oregon Moratorium Updates
On March 1, 2022, some of the temporary protections afforded renters will end. This guidance provides an overview of the changes to the law and how housing providers may adjust their practices accordingly.
Changes effective March 1, 2022
As of March 1, 2022, housing providers :
- May send termination notices to renters for amounts accrued during the “emergency period” (April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021). Thirty (30) day “for cause” notices are recommended.
- May take legal action to collect on balances owed by renters and former renters from the “emergency period” (April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021). This includes but is not limited to: filing small claims actions, sending those balances to collection agencies, and filing court actions to collect those balances.
- Must apply payments to all balances as follows:
- First, to outstanding rent from prior rental periods;
- Second, to current rent;
- Third, to utility or service charges;
- Fourth, to late fees;
- Finally, to all other fees or charges owed by the renter.
- May Send notifications of balances due without stating that “eviction for nonpayment of rent, charges and fees accrued from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, is not allowed before February 28, 2022.”
- May Issue termination notices for nonpayment of rent without stating that:
(a) Eviction for nonpayment of rent, charges and fees that accrued on and after April 1, 2020, and before June 30, 2021, is not allowed before February 28, 2022; and
(b) Information regarding tenant resources is available at www.211info.org”
- May terminate tenancies of residents with non-tenant guests without first offering the guests the opportunity to be screened and possibly become temporary occupants. Temporary occupants on the premises pursuant to this temporary requirement may be asked to move by housing providers, subject to the expiration date in the temporary occupancy agreement.
Please note that the tolling of the one-year statute limitations for claims by a housing provider based on a renter’s nonpayment ends on March 1, 2022. Consequently, housing providers should take action to collect on older debts to ensure that collection is not time barred.
Temporary protections still in effect until at least June 30, 2022
Housing providers must continue to adhere to the following requirements:
- If written proof of application for rental assistance is provided by a renter to a housing provider, not take any action, while the application is pending to:
- Deliver a termination notice for nonpayment;
- Initiate or continue an action for possession based on a termination notice for nonpayment.
Housing providers may not issue terminations for nonpayment or otherwise file and prosecute evictions based upon nonpayment until the soonest of: 1) October 1, 2022; 2) payment in full on the amounts demanded in any notice already served on a renter is made; or 3) verification that the application is no longer pending due to denial or inaction. “Nonpayment” does not include payments owed by a renter for damages to the premises.
Temporary protections still in effect until at least September 30, 2022
Until October 1, 2022, housing providers must still:
- Provide 10 days’ notice (not 72 hours’ notice) on all non-payment of rent notices to renters.
- Provide specific disclosures in non-payment of rent notices to renters related to rental assistance and eviction protection.
Housing providers are subject to federal regulations related to the pandemic that do not have a sunset date. Although the measures appeared to be enacted on a temporary basis, no information as to the end date of those protections has been provided. Those protections are:
- The CARES Act. Renters in affordable properties or subject to federal backed mortgages must provide residents 30 days’ notice for nonpayment terminations.
- HUD Interim Final Rule for Nonpayment of Rent. Please see prior memorandum on this Rule.
- State law precludes all housing providers from considering in the application process or disclosing in rental references any eviction judgments, unpaid rent (including rent reflected in judgment or referrals of debt to a collection agency) that accrued on or after April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022. Housing providers are also prohibited from reporting to any consumer credit reporting agency a tenant’s nonpayment of rent, charges or fees that accrued on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 1, 2021.
This article is not intended as legal advice. Please obtain advice of an attorney for any policy changes or decisions regarding residential and commercial Landlord-Tenant matters.