Nearly a year after states began issuing temporary regulations to shield residential and commercial tenants from evictions for nonpayment during the pandemic, several of these protections and restrictions remain in place. This blog post reviews the status of Oregon and Washington regulations on commercial evictions as of April 2021.
The moratorium on commercial tenant evictions for nonpayment of rent expired on September 30, 2020, and the grace period for unpaid commercial rent that accrued between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 ended on March 31, 2021.
Although on December 21, 2020, the Oregon Legislature extended the moratorium on residential evictions to June 30, 2021, the bill did not modify any existing eviction moratorium timelines for commercial leases.
However, certain commercial landlords and tenants may soon have access to financial relief for outstanding rent obligations. Small business owners in Oregon with 100 or fewer employees are able to apply, together with their landlords, for money to cover outstanding rent through the state’s new commercial rent relief program. Business Oregon’s program will award grants of up to $100,000 per business tenant for a maximum of $3 million going to each landlord. This commercial rent relief program will open for a second round of applications sometime mid-April
Governor Inslee has extended the eviction moratorium for both residential and commercial tenants in Washington State until June 30, 2021.
Recognizing the financial strain the moratorium has imposed on landlords, Proclamation 20-19.5 did make adjustments to provide additional support for property owners. The proclamation modified the stated goal of these programs to provide a path for landlords, property owners, and property managers to initiate an application for rental assistance. Proclamation 20-19.5 also clarifies landlords and property owners may communicate with tenants in support of their applications for rental assistance.
If you’re facing obstacles or uncertainty regarding commercial rent obligations, either as a landlord or a tenant, working with an experienced attorney can help navigate you through current best practices and next steps.