Multnomah County/City of Portland COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium | FAQ

Moratorium on residential evictions in Multnomah County and the City of Portland on the basis of nonpayment of rent and creation of a six-month repayment grace period. View Frequently Asked Questions on this page.

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This reference will be updated as more information becomes available.
Last updated on April 16, 2020

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What is Executive Order 20-13?

The Governor's Executive Order 20-13 creates a temporary moratorium on certain evictions and terminations of rental agreements and leases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  During the moratorium, the State of Oregon has prohibited landlords of residential properties from taking any action, judicial or otherwise, for reasons of non-payment of rent, late charges, utility charges, or any other service charge or fee, as described in ORS 90.392(2)(a) or (c), 90.394, or 90.630(1)(d) or (10), or any termination without cause under ORS 90.427.

Nothing in the order relieves a tenant of the obligation to pay rent, utility charges or any other service charges or fees, except for late charges or penalties arising from nonpayment during this period which are specifically waived during the moratorium.

During this moratorium, any residential or non-residential tenant who is or will be unable to pay the full rent when due under a rental agreement or lease, shall notify the landlord as soon as reasonably possible; and shall make partial rent payments to the extent the tenant is financially able to do so.

The order was signed April 1, 2020 and remains in effect for 90 days unless extended or terminated earlier by the Governor.

Review the Executive Order here.


What is Multnomah County Ordinance 1284?

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.  It included a moratorium on evictions and a process for tenants to follow in order to qualify for rent deferral during the state of emergency.

As conditions have changed, Multnomah County has suspended that process and enacted Ordinance 1284 “Eviction Moratorium Six-Month Repayment Grace Period” in order to align Portland and Multnomah County protections with those in the Governor’s Statewide Residential Eviction Moratorium.

Review the Multnomah County Ordinance here.

View Multnomah County's Eviction Moratorium Guide and FAQ (also translated to Spanish), as well as other county resources on their information page:

Multnomah County COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium


What is the City of Portland Ordinance 189890?

Consistent with the Mayor’s previously issued Executive Order No. 1, this ordinance clarifies that the repayment grace period enacted by Multnomah County will extend to all rental properties within the legal limits of Portland, including those in Washington and Clackamas Counties.


How long is the moratorium in place?

These temporary measures shall remain in effect for the duration of the declaration of emergency and Executive Order 20-13.  The Governor’s Executive Order was signed April 1, 2020 and will be in effect for the next 90 days, unless extended or lifted.  As conditions change, the Portland Housing Bureau will update their website as soon as possible.


What circumstances qualify for rent deferral?

Tenants do need to notify their landlord as soon as reasonably possible. All rents that accrued during the effective dates of Executive Order 20-13 can qualify. 

The residential rental property needs to be within the legal limits of City of Portland or Multnomah County in order to be eligible for a six-month repayment grace period after the state of emergency ends. 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 notify their landlord as soon as reasonably possible.


What type of documentation is needed from a tenant to claim rent deferral due to COVID-19?

Previously, Portland and Multnomah County tenants were required to provide documentation to their landlords.  Effective April 16, 2020 with Ordinance 1284, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have deferred to the state Executive Order 20-13, which does not require supporting documentation.


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 during the effective dates of Executive Order 20-13 or seek an eviction for nonpayment of the past due rent accrued during the moratorium during the six-month repayment grace period to follow.


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 and see the information below.


Does the moratorium protect residents from utility service interruptions due to nonpayment?

The moratorium does not directly protect residents from utility service interruptions due to nonpayment. However, the Portland Water Bureau stated that it will not disconnect water service for non-payment of sewer, stormwater and water bills during the declaration of emergency. Likewise, Pacific Power, Portland General Electric (PGE) and Northwest Natural have temporarily suspended service disconnections for nonpayment and will extend their services without late fees.


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.  It will begin the first calendar day after the Governor’s Executive Order 20-13 or any County mandated residential eviction moratorium is no longer in effect, whichever is later.

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 during the effective dates of Executive Order 20-13, either during the effective dates of the Executive Order or the following six month repayment grace period.


Are tenants required to sign a repayment plan or promissory note?

Neither the County moratorium or Executive Order 20-13 require a tenant to sign a repayment plan or promissory note in order to be protected from eviction due to non-payment of rent during this time.  Tenants do need to notify their landlord as soon as reasonably possible.

Tenants must pay deferred rent, fees, service or utility charges within 6 months after the expiration of the emergency.


Will there be financial relief for renters and homeowners once the moratorium is lifted and the six-month grace period for back payment begins?

The City and Multnomah County are assessing all options to provide assistance to renters and homeowners once the moratorium is lifted and the six-month period to pay the deferred rent amount begins. But, first, we are taking these immediate steps to keep people housed in the midst of this outbreak and limit the spread of the disease.  

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has enacted a 60-day suspension on all foreclosures and evictions for single-family homes with FHA-insured mortgages. Contact your loan servicer for more information if your property has a FHA-insured mortgage. 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days.  Multifamily borrowers may have additional options. Please contact your loan servicer to discuss your options.

The federal disaster relief, CARES Act, includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions, late fees and other penalties, starting on March 27.  This moratorium applies to all properties with a federally insured mortgage. It is important to understand the details of this provision.

We encourage all landlords and homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to call their loan servicer.  Private financial institutions may have their own relief programs during this crisis. 


Will there be financial relief or support available to landlords who do not receive rental payment from their tenants?  

We understand that landlords depend on their tenants’ rent to pay for their mortgages, property taxes and repairs of their properties. The City and Multnomah County are assessing all options to provide assistance to landlords during and after the moratorium.

Please note that City of Portland and Multnomah County have deferred 2019 business income tax payments, including the Residential Rental Program fee.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has enacted a 60-day suspension on all foreclosures and evictions for single-family homes with FHA-insured mortgages. Contact your loan servicer for more information if your property has a FHA-insured mortgage. 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days.  Multifamily borrowers may have additional options. Please contact your loan servicer to discuss your options. 

The federal disaster relief, CARES Act, includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions, late fees and other penalties, starting on March 27.  This moratorium  applies to all properties with a federally insured mortgage. It is important to understand the details of this provision.

We encourage all landlords experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to call their loan servicer.  Private financial institutions may have their own relief programs during this crisis.


What about evictions for causes other than non-payment of rent?

Per Multnomah County Circuit Court, all landlord-tenant hearings and trials will be postponed until at least June 1st.

Executive Order 20-13 applies to terminations related to non-payment of rent or any termination without cause under ORS 90.427.  The Multnomah County and City of Portland actions create the six-month repayment grace period. The moratorium does not apply to evictions for any other lawful purpose. 

For terminations without a tenant-based cause, see the next question.


What about no-cause terminations or terminating with a qualifying landlord reason?

With Executive Order 20-13, the State of Oregon has prohibited landlords of residential properties from taking any action, judicial or otherwise, for reasons of non-payment of rent, late charges, utility charges, or any other service charge or fee, as described in ORS 90.392(2)(a) or (c), 90.394, or 90.630(1)(d) or (10), or any termination without cause under ORS 90.427.  Review the Executive Order here and contact a legal professional with any questions about your specific situation.  This order is in effect for 90 days, effective April 1, 2020.


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 per Executive Order 20-11.


Will evictions for mortgage foreclosure be impacted?

Yes. In addition to the moratorium, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office has committed to not enforcing currently scheduled writs if it will cause a person to be without housing during the state of emergency 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has enacted a 60-day suspension on all foreclosures and evictions for single-family homes with FHA-insured mortgages. Contact your loan servicer for more information if your property has a FHA-insured mortgage. 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days.  Multifamily borrowers may have additional options. Please contact your loan servicer to discuss your options. 

We encourage all property owners experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to call their loan servicer. Private financial institutions may have their own relief programs during this crisis. 


What if a landlord doesn’t comply?

Any person found to be in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-13 is subject to the penalties described in ORS 401.990 which can include a Class C misdemeanor.

A landlord that fails to comply with the six-month repayment grace period per Multnomah County Ordinance 1284 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.


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