Multnomah County/City of Portland COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium Executive rule imposes a moratorium on residential evictions in Multnomah County on the basis of nonpayment of rent due to wage loss resulting from COVID-19.
Your request and documentation must be given to your landlord on or before the date that your rent/ utility/ fee is due (usually the first of the month.) This is different from the date that your rent is late. If you are going to be unable to pay April’s rent/utilities/fees, you need to give your landlord written notice before April 1 for most rental agreements.
View Frequently Asked Questions below.
This reference will be updated as more information becomes available.
What is Executive Rule 388?
On March 11, 2020, the Multnomah County Chair signed Executive Rule No. 388 declaring an emergency for the entire County to address the continued spread of the COVID-19 illness, loss of life, an extreme public health risk, and significant economic impact in the region.
In order to avoid the creation of an additional economic and public health emergency that would result from subjecting more households to homelessness as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19 and to encourage residents to comply with closures, the County is protecting residents from the fear of potential eviction due to economic dislocation.
Effective immediately, a temporary moratorium is imposed on all residential evictions in Multnomah County for tenants on the basis of nonpayment of rent due to wage loss resulting from COVID-19.
How long is the moratorium in place?
These temporary measures shall remain in effect for the duration of the declaration of emergency. As conditions change, the Portland Housing Bureau will update their website as soon as possible.
What circumstances qualify for rent deferral?
If a tenant has substantial loss of income resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and notifies their landlord on or before the day that rent is due that they cannot make such a payment, they qualify for rent deferral under this moratorium.
Additionally, the residential rental property needs to be within the legal limits of City of Portland or Multnomah County. Verify jurisdiction information by searching for a property on PortlandMaps.com.
If I am a tenant and cannot pay my rent, what do I need to do?
To establish eligibility for this moratorium, affected tenants must:
Demonstrate substantial loss of income, through documentation or other objectively verifiable means, due to job loss, reduction in work hours, business closure, school or daycare closure causing missed work to care for a minor child, missed work to care for self or a family member that was ill, or similar causes of lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic; AND Notify their landlords on or before the day that rent is due that they are unable to pay rent due to substantial loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Legal Aid Services of Oregon has created a sample letter. What type of documentation is needed from a tenant to claim rent deferral due to COVID-19?
The tenant needs to demonstrate through documentation or other objectively verifiable means that they have experienced a substantial loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following documents are presumed to meet that documentation requirement:
• Letter from employer citing COVID-19 as a reason for reduced work hours or termination
• Letters from clients or customers citing COVID-19 as a reason for reducing or cancelling purchase orders, requests for services-for-hire, or other profit-generating contracts
• Letter from a school or other government issued documentation declaring a school closure related to COVID-19; or
• Letter from a medical doctor recommending rest at home, self-quarantine, hospitalization, or similar measures for the Affected Tenant or a family member.
Is rent forgiven during this time?
Nothing in the moratorium relieves tenants of liability for unpaid rent, however, a landlord may not seek an eviction for non-payment of rent if the circumstances qualify for this moratorium. The tenant has six months after expiration of the emergency to pay the landlord unpaid rents that qualified under this moratorium to be deferred.
Are utilities included in this deferral?
If the tenant pays any other fees, service or utility charges directly to the landlord (not directly to a third-party provider), they qualify for deferral under this moratorium. The process for deferral and timelines for payment are the same as rent.
If a tenant pays fees, service or utility charges directly to a third-party provider and cannot make these payments due to a substantial loss of income related to COVID-19, we encourage you to reach out directly to those service providers to discuss your options.
When does a tenant need to pay the past due rent or other charges?
Tenants must pay within 6 months after expiration of the emergency.
A landlord may not seek to recover rent, fees, utilities or service charges that are delayed for reasons of this moratorium through the eviction process.
Can Iate fees be charged on the past due rent?
No late fee may be charged or collected for rent that is deferred for the reasons stated in the moratorium.
What about evictions for causes other than non-payment of rent?
Per Multnomah County Circuit Court, all landlord-tenant hearings and trials through 3/27/20 will be rescheduled to be held after at least April 30.
The moratorium on terminations applies only to tenants that are affected by COVID-19 and cannot pay rent, fees, services or utilities normally paid to their landlord because of their substantial loss of income during this emergency. The moratorium does not apply to evictions for any other lawful purpose.
What if a writ was already issued?
Upon demonstration that executing a writ will cause a person to be without housing, writs of execution or actions in furtherance of residential evictions for nonpayment of rent or mortgage payments will not be enforced during the state of emergency.
What if a landlord doesn’t comply?
If a landlord fails to comply with this moratorium, the tenant has an affirmative defense to eviction.
Any landlord that fails to comply with this moratorium may be subject to civil proceedings for displacement of affected tenant(s) and members of affected tenant(s) household, initiated by the County, an affected tenant, or an evicted member of the affected tenant’s household for damages.
A landlord that fails to comply with any of the requirements of the moratorium shall be subject to appropriate injunctive relief, and shall be liable to the tenant for an amount up to 3 times the monthly rent as well as actual damages, reasonable attorney fees, and costs.
Nothing within the moratorium interferes with the right of a landlord to file an action against a tenant or non-tenant third party for the damages done to said landlord’s property.
Nothing within the moratorium is intended to limit the damages recovered.