Does Oregon’s “no evictions” order apply to commercial leases?

Yes. Governor Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-13 on Wednesday April 1, 2020, placing a temporary moratorium on non-residential evictions for nonpayment in light of the public health emergency caused by the spread of coronavirus in Oregon. The order prohibits property owners for terminating leases, filing or serving notice to the commercial tenant, or taking any judicial actions for eviction during the temporary moratorium for non-payment of rent, late charges, utility charges, or any other service charge or fee. You can see the order.

HOWEVER, in order to take advantage of this moratorium, the tenant has to

  • give the landlord 30-days’ notice of when rent is due that the nonpayment is caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and
  • include documentation showing proof of the loss of income due to the governmental restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

This also does not relieve you of having to pay those fees forever, and you have to pay the amount that you are able to pay.

So, notify your landlord right away, make sure that you specifically mention that this is caused by Covid-19, and have documentation available to show that you’ve lost income (e.g., cancellation notices, the Governor’s previous executive orders, etc.).

If you do not meet these requirements, the property owner can still evict you once the Oregon courts reopen, as well as resort to other remedies in your lease, unless you renegotiate.

While Oregon courts have restricted operations, courts will allow property owners to file eviction complaints, known as Forcible Entry and Detainer, or FED complaints. Absent extenuating circumstances, all first court appearances by the property owner and tenant will occur after June 1, 2020. The Chief Justice’s Order regarding COVID-19 restrictions on court operations.

Even though judicial FED (eviction) proceedings are on hold, keep in mind that most commercial property owners can exercise “self-help,” or lock out a tenant if a tenant falls behind on rent and defaults under the lease.

Show All Answers

1. What should I do if I can’t pay the rent for my small business?
2. Can the federal CARES Act help me pay my rent?
3. Does Oregon’s “no evictions” order apply to commercial leases?
4. Can I negotiate a change to my lease?
5. Why would the property owner be willing to negotiate changes to my lease?
6. How do I approach negotiating with the property owner?
7. What are some terms that I can consider offering the property owner?
8. If I am able to reach an agreement with the property owner, can we just agree over the phone?
9. I can’t pay rent and can’t reach the property owner. Should I send them a letter explaining? Is that enough to forestall an eviction in the future?
10. What if I already missed a rent payment and the property owner sent me a default notice?
11. Am I still responsible for paying rent if I have to close my business?
12. Will a “Force Majeure” or “Impossibility” clause get me out of the lease?
13. What if my lease states that I have to be open during certain days and hours?
14. What if the property owner wants to cancel my lease because the location is good and they think they can get more money from another tenant?
15. What if I have to declare bankruptcy?
16. If I am a month-to-month tenant, how does this impact my lease?
17. I do not know if I have a lease (or can't find a copy of my lease). What should my next steps be?
18. Where can I find more resources?