Editor's Note: MHCO is working on the revised Form 82A - we hope to have that uploaded and fillable later this month. Thank you for your patience,
By Phil Querin
Introduction. October 1, 2022 is an important day for Oregon landlords. First, it marks the end of the “Safe Harbor” program, one of the last major restrictions on terminations to grow out of the Covid crisis. Second, it changes the timeline for nonpayment terminations under ORS 90.394 back to the shorter 72-hour requirement as it was pre-pandemic.
Safe Harbor. In 2021 the Oregon legislature enacted a series of laws creating the so-called “Safe Harbor” rules for tenants. These laws prevented a landlord from beginning or continuing the eviction process for nonpayment of rent if a tenant provided documentation that they had applied for rental assistance. Landlords could not terminate or evict a tenant until they had received notice from a rental assistance provider that the tenant’s application was no longer pending.
The final date for a tenant to apply for rental assistance was June 30, 2022, however the Safe Harbor does not officially end until October 1, 2022. Any tenants with still-pending applications for assistance are no longer protected from termination or eviction as of that date.
Practical Implications. This may have little impact on the day-to-day operations of landlords as State funding earmarked for tenant assistance ran out in the Spring of 2022. However, the end of the Safe Harbor does restore some stability and certainty to the termination and eviction process arising from nonpayment of rent. Landlords are also no longer required to send out the additional Eviction Protection Notice (MHCO Form 111) along with all terminations and summonses for FED proceedings.
Landlord Guarantee Program. Landlords who have lost income from delaying termination or eviction under the Safe Harbor program may be eligible for reimbursement under the Landlord Guarantee Program (“Program”). The Program reimburses landlords for unpaid costs such as rent and fees incurred by a tenant during the Safe Harbor, i.e., from the date they are provided documentation of an application until the earlier of the dates.
- October 1, 2022;
- The date on which rental assistance provider makes a payment on, denies, or closes a tenant’s application for assistance;
- The date the landlord receives possession of the space or dwelling unit; or
- The date a court enters a judgment for possession.
Landlords have until October 1, 2023 to apply for reimbursement under the Program. Application materials and frequently asked questions are available at www.oregonlgp.org.
Notice of Termination for Nonpayment of Rent (ORS 90.394). During the Covid emergency the Oregon Legislature increased the notice period for nonpayment terminations under 90.394. As of October 1, 2022 the notice periods will revert to what they were before the pandemic.
- Terminations under 90.394(2)(a) will change from a 10-day notice back to a 72-hour notice; and
- Terminations under 90.394(2)(b) will change from a 13-day notice back to a 144-hour notice.
Conclusion. Covid and the 2-year pandemic wrought hardships on everyone, landlords and tenants alike. It also ushered in regulatory confusion that is only now returning to sanity. It is hoped that now some stability will return to the landlord-tenant relationship, and that the need for issuance of notices of nonpayment will abate as well.
 MHCO does not currently provide this form, as there has been no demand. If that changes, we will provide it. If any members would like it returned, speak up!