Evictions Guidance

Terminating Tenancies:  What is Allowed?

(August 27, 2021)

This is not legal advice.  This is summary information for educational purposes only.  Details on the precise methods for terminating tenancies is not included here.  Landlords should consult with their own legal counsel before taking any action to terminate a tenancy.          

Termination Type Occupancy < 1 Year Occupancy > 1 Year
No Cause Termination Yes No
Qualifying Landlord Reason Termination No Yes
Nonpayment of Emergency Period Rent, Fees, Charges No No
Nonpayment of Current Rent, Fees, Charges Depends* Depends*
Tenant Cause (other than nonpayment) Yes Yes

*Termination prohibited for 60 days (90 in Multnomah County) if tenant has provided/provides notification of application for rental assistance. 

No Cause Terminations

Within the first year of occupancy, landlords can terminate a month-to-month tenancy or terminate a fixed term tenancy at the end of the fixed term, with at least 30 days notice.  If the first year of occupancy would end after April 1, 2020, and before August 31, 2021, for the purposes of a no cause termination notice, the “first year of occupancy” is extended to mean a period lasting until August 31, 2021 (see SB 282).  No cause terminations are prohibited after the first year of occupancy.  See ORS 90.427 for additional details.  Local jurisdictions may have additional requirements regarding length, content and delivery of notices.

Qualifying Landlord Reason (QLR) Terminations

These are terminations after the first year of occupancy for (1) demolition/conversion of the unit to nonresidential use, (2) remodeling when the unit is or will be unfit/unsafe for occupancy, (3) landlord or landlord’s immediate family member moving in to the dwelling unit or (4) landlord accepting an offer to purchase the dwelling unit, separately from any other dwelling unit, from a buyer who intends in good faith to occupy the dwelling unit as a primary residence.  These terminations are allowed with a 90-day notice.  Notices must state the reason for the notice and supporting facts.  Landlords who have an ownership interest in 5 or more dwelling units must also pay a relocation fee of one month’s rent along with the notice.  Landlords terminating under (4) above, must also provide evidence of the accepted offer to purchase.  For more information on QLR terminations, see ORS 90.427(5) and (6).  The City of Portland has additional notice and relocation fee requirements.

Nonpayment of Emergency Period (April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021) Rent, Fees, Charges

Terminations for nonpayment of rent, charges or fees that came due between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 are prohibited through February 28, 2022.  In addition, landlords must include a statement 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 any time they communicate with a tenant about the tenant’s nonpayment balance from this period.  For more information, see SB 282, watch our webinar or review this summary from Oregon REALTORS® or this summary from Warren Allen, LLP.

Nonpayment of Current Rent

Terminations for nonpayment of current rent are allowed only if the tenant has not provided the landlord with a notification that the tenant has applied for rental assistance.  If the tenant has provided the landlord with notification that the tenant has applied for rental assistance, the landlord is prevented from pursuing the termination of the tenancy for 60 days (90 days in Multnomah County).

Tenants may provide the notification any time up to and including first appearance before the court in an eviction proceeding (see Oregon SB 278).  If a tenant has not provided notification that they have applied for emergency rental assistance, a landlord can pursue a termination for nonpayment of current rent, charges or fees. Terminations must follow the procedures set forth in ORS 90.394, with the additional requirement that along with any termination notice, the landlord must include a notice 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 and that the tenant is temporarily protected from eviction for nonpayment for 60 days if the tenant has applied for rental assistance.  Specific language for this notice can be found from the Oregon Judicial Department here.  Also, the 72/144 notice period described in ORS 90.394 is now a 10/13 notice period. Landlords must also apply dollars they receive from their tenant first to current rent, fees and charges before applying it to back rent.  If a landlord has sent a termination notice but has not filed an eviction claim, and then receives notice from the tenant that the tenant has applied for rental assistance, the landlord must stop pursuing the termination.  After 60 days the landlord can issue a new termination notice that is not subject to the 60 day freeze.  If a landlord has already filed for an eviction and then the tenant provides notice that the tenant has applied for rental assistance at or prior to first appearance, the proceeding will be stayed for 60 days and after the 60 day period the court will schedule first appearance.  For more information see ORS 90.394HB 4401SB 278 and SB 282.

For Cause Terminations

For cause terminations (other than nonpayment) are allowed.  For more information see ORS 90.392 (Termination of tenancy for cause; tenant right to cure violation); 90.396 (acts or omissions justifying termination 24 hours after notice); 90.398 (Termination of tenancy for drug or alcohol violations); 90.405 (effect of tenant keeping unpermitted pet); 90.445 (Termination of tenant committing criminal act of physical violence).

Additional Rules in Local Jurisdictions

Local jurisdictions may have additional requirements regarding length, content and delivery of notices.  The City of Portland requires 90 day notices for no cause terminations, a notification of tenant’s rights and responsibilities to be included with all terminations, and additional rental relocation assistance for all no cause and qualifying landlord reason terminations, unless exempted.  Multnomah County is protecting tenants from eviction for 90 days (rather than 60) if they have applied for rental assistance.  The City of Milwaukie requires 90 day notice for all no cause terminations.  Other jurisdictions have their own rules.  Always consult local jurisdictions and talk with an attorney before terminating a tenancy.

Penalties

Penalties for unlawfully pursuing a termination or eviction can be steep.  Penalties under Oregon law can be as much as 3x rent plus actual damages, and tenants can recover possession of the unit.

Court Timelines

Timelines for eviction proceedings in Oregon courts may be delayed due to COVID-19.  The latest order of the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court extends timelines for F.E.D. (eviction) proceedings.  Contact your county court for more information on timelines.     

This is not legal advice.  This is summary information for educational purposes only.  Details on the precise methods for terminating tenancies is not included here.  Landlords should consult with their own legal counsel before taking any action to terminate a tenancy.