Rental Housing Journal Article: “Reflections on Being a Portland Landlord During the Pandemic”

By June 1, 2020April 13th, 2021Portland Apartment News

Cliff Hockley, from Bluestone and Hockley Property Management, wrote an article that summarized a few key points for landlords in Multnomah County, Portland, Oregon:

  • March collections were normal
  • April collections were at 85% (vs. the normal 95%)

What I really liked about the article was Cliff’s discussion about payment plans for the non-payers and the rules and real-world application of creating payment plan agreements, as creating a payment plan has (at least) two major issues:

  1. The language of the moratorium creates a repayment obligation that doesn’t begin until the emergency status is lifted, and we don’t know when that will be (i.e., we don’t yet have a “start date” for the 6-month repayment period)
  2. Even more significantly for a landlord, the language does not require any interim rent payments and merely states that tenants have 6 months to repay the covered debt once the emergency is lifted. Accordingly, once the emergency is lifted, the tenant can pay $0 of the owed amount until day 180 and we can’t terminate them for it until day 181.

Currently, the rest of the state is covered by either local regulations (i.e. Beaverton, Hillsboro, etc.) or by the Governor’s Executive Order 20-13.

After reading the article and thinking further about this issue, it is possible there may be potentially be an issue collecting the back rents once the pandemic is over, especially if property managers do not provide standard notices about non-payment monthly to the non-payers.  If you are a landlord, I suggest talking to your management and legal teams to figure out the best system in working with tenants.

Mr. Hockley also describes the Governer’s Executive Order, here is the full article below:

Reflections on Being a Portland Landlord During the Pandemic

Bernard Gehret

Bernard Gehret

Joseph Bernard Investment Real Estate