By Clay Carsner
June 6, 2020
Below is and updated summary of HB 4213 which passed the House at 43-14 and Senate at 19-8 on Friday, June 26th. It contains the writer’s opinions and interpretation of the bill.
This section states that it circumvents contractual law by the state of Oregon due to the declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor.
Adding the bill and making it a part of ORS chapter 90.
Defining the "emergency period" from 04/01/2020 to 09/30/2020.
Defining "nonpayment of rent" as rent, late charges, utility charges or service charges accrued during the emergency period as outlined in the rental agreement.
Defining "nonpayment balance" as all or a part of the net total amount of all items of nonpayment by a tenant.
Defining " "termination notice without cause" as a notice delivered by a landlord under ORS 90.427 (3)(b), (4)(b) or (c), (5)(a) to (c), or (8)(a)(B) or (b)(B). This does not include (5)(b), the selling of a rental unit and a buyer moving in.
During and after the emergency period a landlord may not and may not threaten to:
(a) Deliver a notice of termination of a rental agreement based on a tenant’s nonpayment balance;
(b) Initiate or continue an action under ORS 105.110 to take possession of a dwelling unit based on a notice of termination for nonpayment delivered on or after April 1, 2020;
(c) Take any action that would interfere with a tenant’s possession or use of a dwelling unit based on a tenant’s nonpayment balance;
(d) Assess a late fee or any other penalty on a tenant’s nonpayment; or
(e) Report a tenant’s nonpayment balance as delinquent to any consumer credit reporting agency.
When a landlord receives payments from a tenant or on behalf of a tenant and before applying those payments to the nonpayment balance a landlord shall first apply the payments, in the following order, to:
(a) Rent for the current rental period;
(b) Utility or service charges;
(c) Late rent payment charges; and
(d) Fees or charges owed by the tenant under ORS 90.302 or other fees or charges related to damage claims or other claims against the tenant.
This is a change from ORS 90.222 (9)
If the tenant's one year of tenancy expired during the emergency period and a landlord wants to give a no cause termination notice, they may do so after the emergency period ends and is extended to mean a period lasting until 30 days following the emergency period.
Starting on 10/01/2020 a tenant with a nonpayment balance has a six-month grace period ending on 03/31/2020 to pay the nonpayment balance.
On 10/01/2020 a landlord may deliver a written notice to the tenant that the emergency period ended and that all rent, charges, and fees from 10/01/2020 are due and must be paid or a termination notice may be given.
The nonpayment balance that accrued from 04/01/2020 to 09/30/2020 is still due and must be paid with no late charge.
The tenant has a six-month grace period to repay the nonpayment balance by 03/31/2021.
The tenant has 14 days to respond from the receipt of the notice to pay the nonpayment balance by the end of the six-month grace period. Failure of a response from the tenant to use the grace period may result in a 50% of one month’s rent following the end of the grace period.
The tenant’s response must be actual notice as per 90.150 or by electronic means.
If a landlord violates Section 3, a tenant may recover an amount up to three months’ rent, actual damages, and or attorney fees.
Section 4 states that section is repealed on 03/31/2021.
Section 5 deals with the grace period which runs from 10/01/2020 to 03/31/2021. The language is very similar to Section 3.
Section 6 is a repeal of section 5 on 03/31/2021.
Section 7 is a "tolled" statement for the period of limitation of the bill for claims by a landlord based on the tenant's nonpayment or nonpayment balance as defined in Section 3.
*Tolling is a legal doctrine that allows for the pausing or delaying of the running of the period of time set forth by a statute of limitations, such that a lawsuit may potentially be filed even after the statute of limitations has run.
Section 8 declares an emergency and takes effect on passage.
Link to Bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020S1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4213/A-Engrossed