On Thursday, June 17th, the Oregon House voted unanimously to extend the eviction moratorium by 60 days. SB 278, if it is voted and signed into law, will extend the moratorium if the tenant can provide documentation proving they have applied for rental assistance. The bill passed the House and looks likely to pass the Senate. We’ll most likely know by Monday, June 21st. If it passes the Senate, it will be signed into law by Governor Kate Brown.
What this means:
The bill is a bad thing, but not as bad as expected. Any landlord or property manager that has been paying attention over the last year fully expected them to extend the moratorium. We didn’t expect them to take steps that actually benefit the landlord. There’s a silver lining.
This bill requires that the tenant prove they have applied for assistance, instead of the last moratorium that forbade landlords from requiring proof. It also changes how the rental assistance will be applied to rental owners. Instead of the landlord being refunded 80% and forgiving 20%, they will be refunded 100%. It’s an unexpected step from our legislators. For the first time, they are recognizing that the landlord is suffering as well from this economic crisis.
In short, the bill is not as bad as we expected. The legislators created a major problem when they first put the eviction moratorium in place. The first extension was issued over a year ago, and they have extended it and will continue to extend it as long as they can.
The opportunities for rental assistance are finally open. The landlord’s compensation fund appears to be operating properly at last. Tenants are able to apply directly for help. It only took over four months. We strongly encourage landlords and tenants to apply if they need assistance. There is a finite amount available and the program takes some time to work through. If you need it, don’t wait.
The eviction moratorium will end eventually. They can’t push it out forever. Until that point, hang in there. And as always, Happy Landlording!