Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Home Blog Page 3

Turn Yourself into Your Tenants’ Top Priority

David Pickron Turn Yourself into Your Tenants’ Top Priority

How to make yourself your tenants’ top priority in today’s challenging rental housing environment from veteran landlord David Pickron.

By David Pickron

Like most of you, when I was in college, funds were tight.  Even as an underexperienced money manager, I knew had to prioritize which bills were going to get paid and when.

A memory that clearly sticks with me is walking to my car only to discover I had an unplanned expense, a flat tire.  After arriving at the tire shop, I added up the cost of four new tires and realized that they were going to cost my entire monthly budget.  Decision time: I chose to replace only the tire that went flat.

Every  day after that I would inspect the three-remaining well-worn, quickly balding tires and skip over the new one.  This created a habit for the next four years, replacing only the tires that got my full attention…the flat ones.

Many of our renters are facing a similar choice in today’s tumultuous and unpredictable economic climate.

With layoffs, furloughs, and job uncertainty, there often is not enough money and too many bills or financial responsibilities.  Tenants are faced with the choice of paying the car payment or paying the rent.

With a new eviction moratorium in place, the choice got easier for many tenants; it allows them to see it  as a protection for their housing, and choose to pay other bills first.  It begs the question, “How do I make myself and receiving my rent my tenants’ top priority?” just like the flat tire that stopped my car cold back in the day.

Make yourself your tenants’ top priority

There is a reason that sayings like “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” and “out of sight, out of mind” are as relevant today as the day they were coined.

The fact is that human beings prioritize, so you need to be a little squeaky and stay in front of your tenant at least once a month, regardless of whether they are paying you rent.

One successful strategy I have incorporated are monthly inspections.  After serving the proper notice, I inspect the property on the 25th of the month, or five days before rent is due.

Here’s my reasoning:

  1. The 25th is about the date that most tenants start thinking about the rent that is due on the first.  They have either just been paid or have a paycheck coming.  I want them to see me and remember that they need to pay me, their landlord.  I explain to all my tenants, whether they are current or not, that I might have to sell the house if I don’t get rent.  I am inspecting so I know what needs to be fixed or updated in case I must sell.
  2. With more and more people being home from work and out of school, many people have made choices that might be a violation of the original lease agreement. Animal rescues doubled this year due to people being home more, and I have a no-pets policy.  People have been moving in with others to save money, and you might suspect you have an unauthorized resident.  It is not unusual to walk in and see a bong or other drug paraphernalia on the coffee table.  If I know what is going on in my house, I have a remedy for eviction for lease violations for which the CDC order does not offer protection.

I had one landlord attendee on a Zoom call this week ask if she had to do this?

That’s something for you to decide, but you must  consider, would you rather spend 20 minutes of your time to ensure you are a priority each month, or worry about not being able to pay your mortgage all month?

Yes 2020 has been a year where we all have had to work a little differently, oftentimes harder, to assure our continued success.  If you want your rent, let your tenant know there are still consequences to not paying rent.  Jump up and down and be seen; you are the priority.  If you go flat like my tire did, you might end up stranded.

I would love to hear your creative ideas on how you are dealing with today’s uncertain environment. David@rentperfect.com

About the author

David Pickron on how to Turn Yourself into Your Tenants’ Top Priority

David Pickron is President of Rent Perfect and a fellow landlord who manages several short- and long-term rentals.  He is a private investigator and teaches organizations across the country the importance of proper screening.  His platform, Rent Perfect, was built to help the small landlord find success.

Why the Cares Act Seems So Uncaring Towards Landlords

Successful Landlords Know All Tenant Screening Companies Are Not The Same

Manage in the Past and Forget the Present

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required

Tenant Moved Out, Someone Else Finishing Lease; What Do I Do?

Tenant Moved Out, Someone Else Finishing Lease; What Do I Do?

If a tenant moved out and another one finishes the lease, then what should you do is the question for Ask Landlord Hank this week.

Dear Landlord Hank:

What should a landlord do and how should it be handled if you find out your tenant moved out and someone else moved in to finish the lease? The six-month lease is up Oct 31, 2020, and I’m unsure how to handle this. Any suggestions?  Lori

Dear Landlady Lori,

I would talk to the current tenant and ask them if they are planning to move out at the end of term or if they’d like to continue on (this assumes they’ve been a good tenant and you may want to keep them).

If they are moving, you have your answer. If they’d like to stay, I’d tell them they haven’t gone through the application process and they must proceed like a real tenant if they want to stay.

Then I would check the lease I’d had with the original tenant and see what it says about what happens if the tenant leaves early and what the consequences of subletting are. Then I’d call the original tenant and tell them the consequences.

Make sure you follow your state’s guidelines for handling security-deposit refunds and do so in a timely manner. It sounds like you have a good replacement tenant.

Good luck, Lori.

Sincerely,

Hank Rossi

Ask Landlord Hank - Tenant moves out and another finishes lease
Landlord Hank says, “I would check the lease I’d had with the original tenant and see what it says about what happens if the tenant leaves.”

Ask Landlord Hank Your Question

Ask veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi your questions from tenant screening to leases to pets and more! He provides answers each week to landlords.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Do I Have to Paint and Replace Flooring for a Long-Term Tenant?

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required

Should I Turn On The Utilities and Power For New Tenant Moving In?

My Tenant’s Moving Out Before Lease Ends, What Should I Do?

 

How Do I Stop Second-Hand Smoke Coming into My Apartment?

Former Factories, Office Buildings Becoming Apartment Conversions

Apartment conversions reached an all-time high in the 2010s from about 2,000 rental units in the ’50s to almost 97,000 units opened in converted structures last decade, according to a new study by RentCafe.

In total, there are now more than 240,000 apartments for rent in large converted buildings in the United States.

Along with changing economic needs and trends, the types of buildings turned into apartments have also changed over time. For instance, from the ’50s through the ’90s, hotels were the most common type of building to be converted into apartments. Then, in the 2000s, it was mostly factories that became apartments.

Finally, in the 2010s, offices were the most common structures to be turned into rentals.

Former Factories, Office Buildings Becoming Apartment Conversions
The federal courthouse in downtown Kansas City has long been an icon of the city. When it was converted, the apartment building took advantage of the huge space that the former courthouse had to offer. Today, its residents enjoy wide open floor plans and huge walk-in closets. And, yes, the three humongous front doors are still in place, ready to welcome you. Image courtesy of RentCafe.

Highlights of the apartment-conversions report:

  • In the last 70 years, almost 2,000 buildings were converted into apartments, including around 800 in the last decade alone — an all-time high.
  • Chicago tops the list with the most adaptive-reuse apartment buildings, while New York City leads with the most apartments.
  • Factories are the most popular building type to be converted into rentals, but office-to-apartment conversions were the most common in the 2010s

The federal courthouse in downtown Kansas City has long been an icon of the city. When it was converted, the apartment building took advantage of the huge space that the former courthouse had to offer. Today, its residents enjoy wide open floor plans and huge walk-in closets. And, yes, the three humongous front doors are still in place, ready to welcome you.

Apartment conversions a key to affordable housing

The report says 65 percent of converted buildings are aimed at middle- and lower-income renters.

Specifically, as many as 42 percent of conversions are oriented toward middle-income renters, while 23 percent are accessible to low-income residents.

In these last decades, all kinds of buildings have been transformed into affordable rentals — from offices and banks to churches and old warehouses.

Apartment conversions include a former asylum
Former asylum built 1878: Bradlee Danvers by HGI in Danvers, MA. Photo courtesy of RentCafe.

But, out of every building type that has been adapted over the years, former hotels made up the largest share of affordable apartments (86 percent) and were even  with school buildings.

Similarly, of all the repurposed healthcare buildings — such as hospitals, clinics and dispensaries — 79 percent are affordable.

Read the full post here.

2020 Apartment Construction Down 12%, a 5-Year National Low

Lack of New Construction Underlying Cause of Oregon Housing Affordability Crisis

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required

Landlord to Pay $177,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Landlord to Pay $177,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

A landlord and his wife have agreed to pay $177,500 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit charge that the landlord sexually harassed female tenants since at least 2013 at residential properties the couple owned in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a release that  landlord John Klosterman and his wife, Susan Klosterman, will pay $177,500 to resolve the Fair Housing Act lawsuit.

Under the settlement, which still must be approved by the court, the Klostermans will pay $167,125 in damages to former tenants who were harmed by John Klosterman’s harassment, $7,875 to another plaintiff in the lawsuit, and a $2,500 civil penalty to the United States. The consent order also bars the defendants from participating in the rental or management of residential properties in the future, according to the Justice Department release.

“Sexual harassment of women in their homes is indecent, destructive, and illegal,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, for the Civil Rights Division, in the release.

“The Fair Housing Act protects the right of women and their families to live in peace and security and without the fear that deviant people will intimidate and bully them for sexual favors. This department will continue tirelessly to pursue landlords and others who abuse their authority by preying upon vulnerable women.”

“In this settlement, Klosterman acknowledges that the United States has evidence he sexually harassed tenants on multiple occasions,” said U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers for the Southern District of Ohio, in the release. “He’s being held accountable under the Fair Housing Act and will pay more than $167,000 to victims of his heinous conduct.”

Sexual harassment lawsuit complaint

The complaint, filed in 2018, alleged that John Klosterman sexually harassed female tenants at the rental properties since at least 2013.

According to the complaint, he engaged in harassment that included, among other things, making unwelcome sexual advances and comments, sending unwanted sexual text messages and photos, engaging in unwanted sexual touching, offering to reduce rent and overlooking or excusing late or unpaid rent in exchange for sex, evicting or threatening to evict female tenants who objected to or refused sexual advances, and entering the homes of female tenants without their consent and otherwise monitoring their daily activities with cameras directed at their units.

The Justice Department’s Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative is an effort to combat sexual harassment in housing led by the Civil Rights Division, in coordination with U.S. Attorney’s offices across the country. Since launching the initiative in October 2017, the Department of Justice has filed 18 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment in housing. Since January 2017, the Justice Department has filed or settled 23 cases alleging sexual harassment in housing and has recovered more than $2.9 million for victims of such harassment.

More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at http://www.justice.gov/crt . Individuals can report sexual harassment or other forms of housing discrimination by calling the Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, emailing the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or submitting a report online. Individuals can also report such discrimination by contacting HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or filing a complaint online.

Justice Department Sues Owner, Manager of Rental Properties for Sexual Harassment of Female Tenant

California Apartment Owners, Manager to Pay $14,500 to Settle HUD Sexual Harassment Complaint

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required


Portland Sees 7 Straight Months of Rent Decline

Portland rents decline for 7 straight months

Portland rents continued to decline in September for the seventh straight month, dropping another 0.2 percent over the past month, according to Apartment List.

Rents are now down sharply by 5.7 percent in Portland year-over-year.

Rents in Portland are $1,155 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,346 for a two-bedroom.

New methodology to track rents

“These rent statistics represent our latest effort to design methods that address the most common issues that arise in rent-growth estimation,” said Chris Salviati, Housing Economist for Apartment List.

“In particular, this update reflects a concerted effort to capture transacted rents, as opposed to list rents, and we’ve found the difference to be meaningful during the pandemic.

“Our new numbers continue to paint the picture of a protracted national slowdown and uneven recovery: the national rent index is down 1.4 percent year-over-year, but there is tremendous regional variation beneath the surface. San Francisco and New York City continue to lead the nation in pandemic rent drops, while smaller markets like Boise and Colorado Springs are heating up,” Salviati said.

Rents rising across cities in the Portland Metro

Portland metro rents rising

While rent decreases have been occurring in the city of Portland over the past year, cities in the rest of the metro are seeing the opposite trend.

Rents have risen in seven of the largest 10 cities in the Portland metro for which Apartment List has data.

Tualatin, Vancouver, and Salem have all experienced year-over-year growth above the state average (3.9 percent, 2.9 percent, and 2.6 percent, respectively).

Oregon as a whole logged rent growth of -1.5 percent over the past year.

Hillsboro and Beaverton see rent declines

Portland suburbs rent

Looking throughout the metro, Beaverton is the most expensive of all Portland metro’s major cities, with a median two-bedroom rent of $1,574.

Hillsboro and Beaverton, where two-bedrooms go for $1,513 and $1,574, are the two other major cities in the metro besides Portland to see rents fall year-over-year (-0.8 percent and -0.5 percent).

Eugene rents keep climbing

Eugene rents keep going up

Eugene has seen a steady 10 straight months of rent increases.

September rents in Eugene have increased 0.5 percent over the past month, and have increased moderately by 2.0 percent in comparison to the same time last year.

Median rents in Eugene are $846 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,124 for a two-bedroom.

Corvallis has also seen steady rent increases for the past four months. Corvallis rents were up 0.5 percent in September, but have been relatively flat at 0.4 percent in comparison to the same time last year.

Median rents in Corvallis are $1,008 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,187 for a two-bedroom.

Portland Approves Measure to Make Landlords Who Raise Rent Pay to Move Tenants

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required


The Looming Debt Trap Facing Renters

The Looming Debt Trap Facing Renters

The looming debt trap facing renters post comes from Growing Homes Together, a project of the National Multifamily Housing Council.

By Growing Homes Together

While the CDD and state and local governments are issuing eviction moratoriums these “do nothing to help renters pay their rent or deal with the financial distress households are facing,” Growing Homes Together writes in its most recent blog post.

“Eviction moratoriums of varying degrees have been implemented across the country in well-intentioned, but short-sighted attempts to shield renters from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. While on the surface eviction moratoriums may seem like attractive policy tools to help renters facing prolonged unemployment or reduced income, they actually can cause more harm than good.”

Kicking the can down the road

The eviction moratoriums make it increasingly difficult for housing providers to meet their financial obligations and continue to provide shelter to those who need it most, Growing Homes Together writes.

“Renter households already owe unsustainable amounts of back rent and that figure can only be expected to grow by degrees of magnitude the longer the eviction moratorium drags on.”

Eviction moratoriums “merely kick the can down the road and make it increasingly difficult for housing providers to meet their financial obligations and continue to provide shelter to those who need it most.”

Most landlords and other housing providers in the U.S. are small businesses or individuals not equipped to absorb months of unpaid rent. “This financial downturn also runs the risk of bankrupting small housing providers. Without support, the units they maintain could be removed from the market – making the country’s housing shortage even more severe.

“Very soon, this health and economic crisis could become a housing and financial crisis,” Growing Homes Together writes.

“Saddled with months of back-rent and accumulating credit card debt, renters throughout the U.S. could be forced to turn to bankruptcy at a scale we have not seen in decades. The ensuing defaults would have rippling effects throughout our entire economy, and our financial system could be facing another 2008-like downturn.

Growing Homes together points out that the CARES Act helped renters stay current during the early days of the pandemic. But those funds have run out leaving a debt trap facing renters.

Washington needs to help with the debt trap facing renters

“While housing is local, the financial challenges facing renters and the apartment industry are of a national magnitude. Eviction policies are best left to state and local officials who better know the intricacies of their housing markets and can tailor protections to the varied and unique eviction laws and judicial processes across jurisdictions.

“The CDC’s blanket eviction moratorium fails to take this into consideration and threatens to make a bad situation worse by luring renters into a debt trap few will be able to climb out of unassisted. However, what is clear is that the federal government has a critical role to play by providing rental assistance to those who need it and prevent the eviction process from even beginning.

“The most effective way to avert a housing crisis is to keep renters current. To do so will require bipartisan agreement on a stimulus package that includes meaningful rental assistance.”

Read the full post here.

About the author:

 

Growing Homes Together (GHT), a project of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), is a resource center designed to spark discussions at the state and local levels about policy solutions to improve America’s housing crisis. NMHC is a national organization of more than 1,100 member firms involved in the multifamily housing industry.

NAA Sues CDC, Seeks Halt of Eviction Moratorium

Governor Extends Oregon Foreclosure Moratorium to End Of The Year

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required

Salt Lake City Rents Increased Slightly Over The Past Month

Salt Lake City rents increased slightly over the past month

Salt Lake City rents have increased 0.2 percent over the past month, according to the latest September report from Apartment List.

Overall rents have increased in the city by 2.0 percent year-over-year.

Median rents in Salt Lake City are $918 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,174 for a two-bedroom.

Salt Lake City’s year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 0.4 percent, as well as the national average of -1.4 percent.

West Valley City rents declined over the past month

West Valley rents decline while Salt Lake City rents increased slightly over the past month

West Valley City rents have declined 0.4 percent over the past month

However, overall rents have increased moderately by 3.0 percent in comparison to the same time last year.

Median rents in West Valley City are $1,059 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,248 for a two-bedroom.

West Valley City’s year-over-year rent growth leads the state average of 0.4 percent.

Portland Sees 7 Straight Months of Rent Decline

Portland Approves Measure to Make Landlords Who Raise Rent Pay to Move Tenants

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required


5 Ways to Highlight Every Rental Property’s Most Sellable Features

5 Ways to Highlight Every Rental Property’s Most Sellable Features

Here are 5 ways to highlight every rental property’s most sellable features from Keepe, the on-demand maintenance company.

Each property has its own special features that make it unique, and it is these features that attract new tenants and therefore must be showcased in the best possible light.

While this can be tricky, there are ways to do it that don’t require outsourcing expensive professionals and a large budget.

In fact, these five ways to highlight the sellable features of rental properties will help you attract the right tenants easily.

 No.1: Showcase the Sellable Features of Your Rentals

Quit focusing on what you don’t have, and highlight the amenities and features your rental property or apartment does have. Even if your unit is a little older or not as newly built as some of the competition in your neighborhood, you can still attract quality renters.

If you have something neighboring residents don’t — think a parking garage in San Francisco or an elevator in NYC — make sure those are prominent features on your listing. Hone in on what your property offers and speak to its strengths. Make sure tenants know what makes your property unique, even if it’s something simple like hardwood flooring.

No. 2: Quality Photos Makes the Difference

There’s no need to be, or hire, a professional photographer; smartphones these days typically come with expert-quality cameras. Using your smartphone or even an inexpensive digital camera will allow you to capture depth and field with high resolution.

Check out the latest devices if yours isn’t quite up to date. It’s a worthwhile investment that will have you capturing the top features like a pro.

No. 3: Include Tenant Testimonials

No one knows more about the features that are most appealing than the people who live or have lived in your rental property.

If you have a good relationship with tenants, ask them to write a small paragraph discussing the features they like most about the property. You can even go further to request a free video testimonial in exchange for a little percent off the rent for that month.

Everyone will like different things, so this allows you to provide a wide, all-encompassing perspective for every potential renter. Feature these on social media, your website, or better yet—right on the listing page.

No. 4: Use Your Rental-Location Data to Your Advantage

Renters are not only looking to rent an apartment, but to rent one in an excellent location.

They want to rent in an area that matches their living and economic expectations. If your rental is located close to the mall, business district, or other unique public/social amenities, you should use these to your advantage when marketing your rental to potential tenants.

You can also include important data such as low crime rates, school quality, cost of living, ease of transportation, and other relevant data that adds value to your home in your listing.

No. 5: Invest in Quality Video Tours

Real-estate professionals are beginning to adopt virtual tours and walkthrough due to the continued presence of the coronavirus pandemic.

These days, renters want to see on video what makes your rental property special. You can capture your entire rental property, especially the sellable features, with the high-resolution video capabilities of your mobile device. Map out the best route through the property, highlighting the best features, and record it and upload it on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Successful Landlords Know All Tenant Screening Companies Are Not The Same

About Keepe:

Keepe is an on-demand maintenance solution for property managers and independent landlords. The company makes a network of hundreds of independent contractors and handymen available for maintenance projects at rental properties. Keepe is available in the Greater Seattle area, Greater Phoenix area, San Francisco Bay area, Portland, San Diego and is coming soon to an area near you. Learn more about Keepe at https://www.keepe.com

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required


4 Ways to Help Manage Renters Moving During COVID-19

Oregon Governor Extends Eviction Moratorium for Non-Payment of Rent To Dec. 31

Oregon Governor Extends Eviction Moratorium for Non-Payment of Rent Through December

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has extended the eviction moratorium preventing residential evictions for non-payment of rent and other no-cause evictions from September 30 to December 31, 2020, according to a release.

In the spring, in the first special session of this year, the legislature passed House Bill 4213, establishing a residential and commercial eviction moratorium through September 30, 2020, with a six-month repayment period. The governor’s new executive order will be in place until the Oregon Legislature can convene later this year to address housing issues.

“Every Oregonian deserves a warm, safe, dry place to call home,” Brown said in the release. “Since the legislature passed House Bill 4213, thousands of people have been displaced by massive and devastating wildfires, and the global pandemic continues to make it difficult for many Oregonians, including Oregon’s veterans and many families with children, to pay rent, through no fault of their own.”

Residential eviction moratorium extended

Oregon Governor Extends Eviction Moratorium for Non-Payment of Rent Through December
Governor Kate Brown said, “Housing is a critical human need, and, as we enter cold and flu season during a pandemic––and as many students learn remotely from home––it is absolutely critical that people not be turned out of their homes.”

“Keeping economically vulnerable Oregonians in their homes has been critical to the state’s COVID-19 response throughout this pandemic. Having a safe and stable home allows individuals to practice effective physical distancing, helps facilitate quarantine and isolation, and helps to prevent families and individuals from being displaced from their homes into more crowded multifamily or congregate living conditions, where the virus can spread more easily.

“Housing is a critical human need, and, as we enter cold and flu season during a pandemic––and as many students learn remotely from home––it is absolutely critical that people not be turned out of their homes,” Brown said.

“It is my hope that, when the legislature next meets, they will take up the larger issues we need to address regarding housing relief,” she said.

EO 20-56 establishes a new, temporary residential eviction moratorium through the end of the year, due to the urgent need to prevent evictions during simultaneous wildfire and pandemic emergency response-and-recovery efforts. Both crises have had an acute and disproportionate impact on Oregon’s communities of color, including Black, Indigenous, Latino, Pacific Islander, and Tribal communities, as well as families living in rural Oregon, according to the release.

“Many of the Oregonians most impacted by the pandemic and wildfire crises are those who can afford it least, and who have already faced housing discrimination and vast disparities in the availability of affordable housing,” Brown said.

The full text of Brown’s executive order is available here.

Governor Extends Oregon Foreclosure Moratorium to End Of The Year

Landlord Rights and Remedies After HB 4213: A Path Forward

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required

CDC Eviction Moratorium: More Layers to an Already Large Cake

CDC Eviction Moratorium: More Layers to an Already Large Cake

The CDC eviction moratorium and what landlords should know about the complex situation landlord tenant law is in currently

Bradley S. Kraus
Attorney at Law, Warren Allen, LLP

The year continues to roll on, and every month, new issues seem to appear that add further complexity to the already complex body of landlord/tenant law.

In early September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to dip its toe in the waters and enact its order entitled “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19.” This order forbids landlords from taking action against residential tenants for nonpayment of any charges. Setting aside arguments as to whether or not the CDC has the authority to enact and/or enforce such an order—and there is currently litigation attacking just that—landlords must be aware of this additional layer of protections, and how they should analyze the same in conjunction with other moratoriums in place.

Oregon’s state-wide eviction moratorium was extended to December 31, 2020. Local jurisdictions such as Multnomah County also have already enacted/extended the HB 4213-type protections tenants receive. Other jurisdictions may have done so prior to this article being published. Accordingly, prior to taking any actions for nonpayment of rent, you should consult an attorney to wade through these ever-changing and multi-layered protections, of which the CDC order is but one.

Assuming no state or local moratoriums exist that affect you in October, the CDC eviction moratorium order potentially could. As an initial matter, it is important to note that the CDC eviction moratorium order only applies to nonpayment scenarios. Tenants can still be evicted for conduct-based defaults of the rental agreement and Oregon law. As to nonpayment scenarios, in order to qualify as a “covered person” under the order, the tenant must submit to the landlord a declaration made under penalty of perjury that states that:

  • The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  • The individual either (a) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), (b) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (c) received an economic-impact payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
  • The individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  • The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and
  • Eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options.

Once the landlord receives this declaration, the tenant is entitled to the protections detailed in the order and a landlord may not take any action to remove the tenant. Keep in mind that this declaration can be submitted to the landlord at any time, including during any eviction a landlord may have begun. Further, it is unclear whether or not such a declaration could be attacked in any eviction proceeding, but it would seem disingenuous to suggest that it couldn’t. The language of the CDC order provides no such guidance or method, so any such attempt to challenge a tenant’s declaration should be discussed with the attorney of your choice.

The laws continue to change, creating a patchwork of rules and regulations that landlords must follow. At a certain point, policymakers will—hopefully—see that landlords cannot continue to shoulder the financial impact of the pandemic. Hopefully, this realization will lead to policies that benefit both landlords and their tenants. Until then, we will turn the page on the calendar and await the surprises next month will bring.

Tenant Occupancy Issues During COVID-19: Occupants, Sublessors, and Squatters

CDC Eviction Moratorium: More Layers to an Already Large Cake
Bradley Kraus, Portland attorney

kraus@warrenallen.com  or 503-255-8795

Landlord Rights and Remedies After HB 4213: A Path Forward

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required