If you cannot pay rent because of a decrease in wages due to COVID-19, you cannot be evicted or charged a late fee, but only if you…

  1. Can verify that the COVID-19 pandemic and/or government actions to slow its spread caused a substantial loss of income. To show this, it is extremely important to document.
    1. If you’ve been laid off or had shifts cut due to COVID-19, we recommend you ask your manager for a letter or email indicating that this is the case. 
    2. Pay stubs from before and after the cuts will also help demonstrate an obvious loss. 
    3. Save screenshots of text messages, any emails, or copies of your schedule from before the outbreak and now.
  2. Tell your landlords on or before the day that rent is due that you cannot pay because you substantially lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    1. We have drafted up an email for you to copy, fill in, and send to your landlord.

Sample Email:

Today’s Date (send this letter on or before the day rent is due)

Dear Landlord,

I write to you today to wish you good health during this scary time in our nation. My family, like yours, is threatened with outbreak and have been following the orders of the CDC, Governor, and local governments to shelter in place and social distance. 

I write to inform you that I will be unable to pay you rent on the next day it is due, due to hardship incurred due to COVID-19. I am attaching documentation (ex: reduced schedules, screenshots of text messages from supervisors, layoff notices or letters) which demonstrate this loss of income is due to this pandemic.

The recent Multnomah County emergency declaration (available online at https://multco.us/file/86762/download ) indicates that sending a letter of this nature must be sufficient to prevent an eviction. Multnomah County Sheriffs will not proceed with evictions at this time. It is our hope to continue to live in this location and to pay you as soon as we are able for the time we spend here and are able to work. We ask you to please consider the hardship we face, and work with us to prevent mass displacement and further public health crises as a result of coronavirus.

Again wishing you health and peace, as much as is possible right now,

Your name

Your Full Address including Apartment Number

In addition to documenting and notifying your landlord, there are several other important things to know about this declaration:

  1. Tenants are required to pay unpaid rent within six months after the emergency is declared over. We will continue to advocate for policies to reduce and eliminate this obvious hardship for families who cannot work at this time.
  2. Tenants can still be evicted if the reason for eviction is not non-payment of rent due to COVID-19, but court hearings on evictions will be suspended until April 30, 2020, or later.
  3. During the state of emergency Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office will not enforce residential evictions for nonpayment of rent or mortgage payments.
  4. Tenants may not be evicted or denied housing if their rent is subsidized by the County or a contractor of the County.

For more information about coronavirus for tenants please reference the resources compiled by the Community Alliance of Tenants, which also has a Renter’s Rights Hotline.

Here is the full text of the Multnomah County Eviction Moratorium.