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Oregon Bans Commercial Evictions for 90 Days

The moratorium on evictions should help the restaurants struggling with the recent decline in business related to the COVID-19 pandemic

Axios News Shapers
Gov. Kate Brown
Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

After weeks of pressure from Portland restaurant owners and small business owners, Gov. Kate Brown has announced a moratorium on commercial evictions for nonpayment over the next 90 days. In a new executive order this afternoon, Brown has also prohibited landlords from charging late fees for nonpayment.

Last month, Brown announced a similar ban on residential evictions based on nonpayment, for anyone struggling with a loss of income related to the Oregon COVID-19 outbreak. However, the eviction moratorium didn’t apply to commercial properties, which meant the many restaurants seeing dramatic drops in business would have to pay rent as usual or face eviction.

This concern has been at the forefront of restaurant owners’ minds, especially as April 1 approached; over the last month, thousands of restaurant workers have been laid off, especially following Brown’s executive order banning consumption at Portland businesses. An open letter to Gov. Kate Brown, signed by more than 150 members of the Oregon food and beverage industry, requested a moratorium on commercial evictions weeks ago.

Business owners must provide written proof of a loss of revenue within 30 days of the unpaid rent being due, and are expected to make partial rent payments if possible. The executive order also implies that restaurant owners will have to pay back the full amount once the moratorium has ended; the order reads that “nothing... relieves a non­residential tenant’s obligation to pay rent, utility charges, or any other service charges or fees.”

Executive Order 20-13 [Official]
Gov. Kate Brown orders halt to residential evictions in Oregon during coronavirus emergency [Oregonian]
Open Letter Asks Gov. Kate Brown to Shut Down Oregon’s Restaurants and Bars Amid COVID-19 Outbreak [EPDX]