On March 30th, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) extended the federal eviction moratorium until June 30th, 2021. This extension directly impacts Portland landlords navigating the complex world of pandemic-specific property legislation this year. Even as a return to normal hovers on the horizon, COVID-19 will continue to change the way Portland rental property managers do business for the foreseeable future. Here are some common questions Portland landlords need to know about the CDC eviction moratorium.
What Does the CDC Eviction Moratorium Do?
The original CDC eviction moratorium began on September 4th, 2020. The act bans landlords from evicting covered persons for nonpayment of rent for the duration of the moratorium. This applies to removing or causing the removal of a person covered by the moratorium from the residential property you own. The legislation aimed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by keeping vulnerable tenants housed.
What Kinds of Evictions Does the Moratorium Cover?
The CDC’s eviction moratorium applies to evictions due to nonpayment of rent. It doesn’t restrict other types of evictions, such as failing to follow the conditions of a lease. However, other legislation may limit a landlords’ ability to remove tenants even for reasons outside the CDC moratorium. The CDC’s eviction moratorium does not cover foreclosure of houses. But remember that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) also extended its ban on evictions from properties secured by FHA-insured single-family mortgages through June 30th, 2021.
How Does the CDC Define a Covered Person?
A covered person is a resident of your residential property who provides you with a written declaration establishing some facts regarding their financial situation. The statement must show that:
- The resident has gone to their best effort to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.
- The resident expects to earn less than $99,000 in annual income between 2020-2021. They were also not required to report any payment to the IRS in 2019 or received a stimulus check under Section 2201 of the CARES Act.
- The individual cannot pay the total rent or payment due to a substantial loss of income, work hours, or a significant out-of-pocket medical expense.
- The person is making their best effort to produce timely partial payments as close to the total rental payment as possible.
- Proof that the resident would become homeless or forced into a close-quarters shared living setting due to being evicted.
If each person listed on the lease provides you with a signed copy of this declaration, they are considered a “covered person,” and you cannot evict them for nonpayment of rent.
Do Covered People Still Owe Rent?
Yes, people protected by the CDC eviction moratorium still owe their landlords unpaid rent. The eviction moratorium aims to prevent people from being evicted while pandemic conditions make finding new housing difficult. However, it does not forgive rents owed. When the moratorium expires, all covered people will still owe any unpaid rent, fees, or penalties to their landlords.
What Other Eviction Legislation Should Portland Landlords Keep In Mind?
If you’re a landlord doing business in Oregon, you’ve no doubt been aware of the statewide eviction moratorium. The Oregon legislature extended the state eviction moratorium until June 30th. Like the CDC’s moratorium, it also requires a declaration of financial hardship. Portland landlords, in particular, should know that legislators extended the Multnomah County eviction ban to July 2nd. The Multnomah County ban establishes a six-month grace period for renters to pay back rent.
Struggling Landlords Can Get Aid
Rental property owners have coped with unique difficulties during the pandemic. Now they navigate layers of government restrictions while their businesses suffer from unpaid rent. Despite the hardships many landlords have experienced throughout the COVID crisis, most pandemic legal protections left them behind.
Now, new resources are available to landlords who need help shouldering the burden of pandemic financial woes. Oregon lawmakers passed HB 4401, which extended the eviction moratorium while also establishing the Landlord Compensation Fund.
This fund set aside $150 million for Oregon landlords owed unpaid rent. After applying, landlords who are willing to forgive 20% of their tenants’ due rent can collect the remaining 80% from the fund. Round one concluded at the end of March, and round two opens in April, offering more aid to landlords. Landlords owning less than five properties whose tenants owe half or more of their rent are likely to qualify. If you want more information on applying, check out our blog post dedicated to the Landlord Compensation Fund.
A Property Management Company is a Valuable Partner
With restrictions on landlords at every government level, many Portland landlords are under unprecedented levels of stress. Keeping up with the relevant pandemic legislation, deadlines, and moratoriums adds all-new complications to an already complicated business. This, paired with the hardship of indefinitely absorbing unpaid rent, has put a massive burden on many Portland landlords.
At Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew, we’ve been working with our clients throughout the pandemic to answer questions and be an advocate for struggling Portland landlords. The services we rendered before COVID-19 are even more crucial now. Our skill at finding high-quality tenants and professional marketing ensure our clients can make the most out of their rental investment.
We know the Portland area, and we’re knowledgeable about the changing field of Portland property and tenant laws, both relating to the pandemic and otherwise. It’s certainly an interesting time to be in the rental business, and we’re committed to working with our clients to get through the pandemic and its fallout together. If you have questions about what we at Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew can do for you in the Portland rental market, call or text Darla at (503) 515-3170 or fill out the contact form on our website.
We look forward to talking to you about all we can do to make your rental property business successful.