This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information.
This page was last updated on Oct 27th, 2023. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.
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Problem with your Landlord?
Are you having problems with your landlord?
Behind on Rent?
Find local programs that can help you with housing costs, or work out a plan with your landlord.
Received a Warning Notice about Eviction?
Have you received a warning notice from your landlord, like a ‘Notice to Quit’ or a ‘Notice to Leave’? Find what options you have.
Facing an Eviction Lawsuit?
Has your landlord filed an eviction lawsuit in court? Have you received a Summons and Complaint? Learn what rights and options you have.
Emergency Protections during COVID
Do renters have protections against eviction during the Covid-19 emergency?
Contact a legal help organization to help defend yourself.
It is illegal for your landlord to evict you without first going to court and getting an eviction order. To remove you from your home, a landlord must take you to court by filing an eviction lawsuit, win the case, and getting an eviction order from the court.
Legal aid groups might be able to provide you with full representation, or other legal organizations can give you information or brief advice.
You may be able to break your lease if you can come to an agreement with your landlord.
Your lease is still valid despite the COVID-19 emergency.
However, you can talk to your landlord to see if they will agree to let you leave early. If they agree, be sure to get the agreement in writing.
Also, you can review your lease. It may have a part that lets you end the lease early in times of financial difficulty. If your lease has this kind of part, you might be able to break the lease (in some cases penalty-free).
Yes, your landlord may be able to evict you for other reasons besides nonpayment of rent.
There are no remaining COVID related restrictions on landlord’s ability to terminate or evict. But a landlord still has to follow the law. Your landlord can’t evict you without giving you a notice and taking you to court.
Find legal help to get advice for your situation. If you are worried about being evicted in Oregon, you can contact the Oregon Eviction Defense Project by visiting their website or calling them at 888-585-9638.
Most Rental Assistance programs let landlords apply.
Either a renter or a landlord can start the application.
The landlord will have to fill in as much information they have about the amount of money needed, and the eligibility for the program. The tenant may have to fill in the rest of the information.
Local governments set the rules about who is eligible for rent relief. Most programs focus on people who have suffered COVID-19 hardships.
You can talk to your local Rental Assistance program to learn their eligibility rules.
You may have to show your household income, or if you are on other benefits programs like SNAP.
You may also have to show that you are at risk of homelessness or eviction if you don't get rental assistance.
No, you do not have to leave (or 'quit') your home by the date listed on the termination notice. You can choose to move out, and if you do there will be no eviction case filed against you if you move out before the date on the termination notice.
But you do not have to leave your home until you have been brought to court, and a judge has ordered that your landlord can make you leave.
After the date on the termination notice passes, then your landlord may file an eviction lawsuit in court against you. You will be able to go to court and present defenses to protect yourself.
You still have time to reach out for rental assistance, and stop the eviction from moving forward.
Be sure to let the local group know that you have received a termination notice and what its deadline is. They may be able to help you pay the rent you owe, work with your landlord to reduce the amount, or put you on a payment plan. Be aware that if the payment deadline on your termination notice has passed, the landlord is not required to accept your payment.
In Oregon, you have a minimum of 3 days between your landlord giving you a notice and them filing a lawsuit against you in court to evict you.
Depending on what your lease agreement says, your landlord can give you a 3 day notice if your rent is more than 7 days overdue, or a 6 day notice if the rent is more than 4 days overdue.
The notice should tell you how many days the landlord is giving you. If they are giving you less than 3 days to pay your rent, then you may be able to challenge it as illegal.
Reach out for legal help if you think the notice isn't giving you the required time to make your payment.
A verbal conversation doesn't count as a "termination notice" in Oregon. To be legal, the notice must be written down and given to you in the correct way.
Reach out for legal help if your landlord is trying to make you leave without going through the court process. This is illegal and a lawyer may be able to help you protect yourself.
If your landlord has filed an eviction case against you, reach out for help. You can call the Oregon Eviction Defense Project at (888) 585-9638 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You should make sure that the landlord properly 'served' you with the lawsuit. If they didn't give it to you in the correct way, you can challenge the eviction lawsuit. In Oregon, a landlord must follow certain rules to let you know about the lawsuit:
Only certain people can give you the lawsuit's Summons and Complaint. The landlord cannot give you these papers — it has to be a person not involved in the case, like the sheriff, a deputy, or any competent person over 18.
If you can’t be reached in person, the summons and complaint can also be posted on your door and mailed to you.
The notice must have the date, time, and location for a First Appearance in a court.
You should also reach out to local lawyers who can help you prepare for your court hearing so you can protect yourself against the eviction.
You can come to an agreement with your landlord, but you should still go to court to make sure your case is closed.
You can work with your landlord to work out an agreement before the date of the court hearing. This might be a payment plan or other agreement on what needs to happen for you to stay in your home.
Be sure to get this agreement in writing, so that you can prove it exists and that your landlord follows through on it.
Even if you make an agreement with your landlord, you should still go to court for your hearing date, to make sure the court knows about the agreement and closes the lawsuit. If you do not go to court, the lawsuit might still continue and the judge might rule that the landlord can remove you. Go to court yourself to make sure this doesn't happen.
You can reach out for legal help to get assistance in negotiating an agreement with your landlord, and making sure this agreement is being followed.
Most special protections for renters during Covid have expired in Oregon. If you are worried about being evicted in Oregon, you can contact the Oregon Eviction Defense Project by visiting their website or calling them at 888-585-9638.
Earlier Protections Renters in Portland and Multonmah County can see past local protections here. The statewide Oregon eviction moratorium expired on June 30, 2021. It protected renters if they gave their landlords a written declaration of their financial hardships. Earlier the Oregon Governor suspended of all terminations and evictions, for nonpayment of rent, fees, or utilities. It lasted from April 1, 2020 and the Oregon legislature extended it to December 31, 2020.
Since most of the emergency protections have expired, renters may face utility shutoffs if they are not able to pay their utility bills. If you need financial assistance for utility costs, you may be able to get help.
Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.
Yes, Oregon renters still need to pay rent during the emergency.
Emergency protections related to the COVID-19 pandemic have mostly expired in Oregon. Earlier from April 2020 - March 2022, Oregon renters enjoyed some protections against eviction.
If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:
Communicate with your landlord: Send a written letter or email to your landlord as soon as possible. Explain why you cannot pay the rent because of COVID-19 impact. You can also try to negotiate with your landlord to make a payment plan or get a temporary rent reduction.
Get written records of all communication: Keep copies of any letter or email you send, and any responses from the landlord. Keep receipts for any payments you make. If you make a payment plan or rent agreement, make sure to get it in writing.
Keep proof of COVID-19's impact on you: Collect documents about your COVID-19-related employment problems, health care issues, or other issues that affect your ability to pay rent. This includes letters from your employer, doctor, insurance provider, childcare provider, schools, etc.
Check for help: If you need financial assistance for housing costs, you may be able to get help.
Oregon courts are hearing eviction cases, including for evictions for nonpayment of rent. Check with the courts for more information.
Since most of the Covid-era protections have expired in Oregon, renters might face these situations:
Renters in Portland and Multnomah County may have additional protections. Check for them here.
Find legal groups that can help you with housing problems, landlords, roommates, Section 8, domestic violence, discrimination, and more.Find Legal Services
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