Updated Summary of HB 4213

Saturday, June 27, 2020 10:36 AM | Maria Menguita (Administrator)

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.

Section 1.
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.

Section 2.
Adding the bill and making it a part of ORS chapter 90.

Section 3.
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 

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The Oregon Rental Housing Association (ORHA) is a non-profit educational landlord association -- ORHA Board Members, Mentors, Staff, and/or other related ORHA affiliates do not give legal advice. Please be advised that any information provided  is no substitute for professional legal counsel and any advice or guidance given does not constitute legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for legal advice related to your specific situation.

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