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Moratorium prompted by Covid-19 pandemic is similar to those imposed in Beaverton and Oregon.

COURTESY CITY OF HILLSBORO - Hillsboro City Council has called a temporary halt to residential and commercial evictions for nonpayment of rent, similar to actions by Beaverton and Oregon, if linked to job and economic losses caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns. The council acted Wednesday, March 25.Hillsboro has called a temporary halt to residential and business evictions for nonpayment of rent or other charges linked to job and economic losses from coronavirus-related shutdowns.

The City Council voted Wednesday, March 25, to impose the restrictions, which are similar to those now in effect in Beaverton, Multnomah County/Portland, and statewide in Oregon. The Beaverton council approved a residential moratorium on March 17 — the same day Multnomah County and Portland imposed theirs — and Gov. Kate Brown issued a statewide ban on residential evictions on Sunday. Both have expiration dates but can be renewed with extensions of emergency declarations.

The council linked the moratorium to the city's own emergency declaration of March 13.

Hillsboro's action, like the others, requires renters to pay what they owe eventually. But renters will not be evicted if they are unable to pay because of job or economic losses attributable to the virus pandemic. They must inform their landlords on or before the day rent is due.

The city has specified that acceptable documentation of economic losses includes, but is not limited to, proof of: loss of employment, reduction of wages, the need for care of family members, including children who have been kept out of school, illness, and lower gross receipts or closures due to government-imposed restrictions.

These renters will have six months after the official end of the emergency to pay back rent. Late fees do not apply.

Rent includes late fees and utility charges if paid to landlords.

Other renters who have accrued back rent also are protected from eviction during this period, but they will not have the six-month grace period to pay once the emergency ends.

Evictions can be carried out for other lawful purposes.

However, law enforcement is giving low priority to such actions, and courts have made them a low priority on their dockets.

Hillsboro has a $100,000 fund for rental assistance to households.

Landlords who violate the city order are subject to maximum fines of $500 each day a tenant is denied access to residential or business property. The tenant also can invoke that violation as an affirmative defense in a future court action.

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NOTE: Updates with Multnomah County/Portland moratorium.

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