Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Attorney Update for Oregon Landlords on Recent Legal Decisions

Oregon landlords have become accustomed to the frequency with which laws, regulations, and obligations change. This has been even more true during COVID-19, and this column has detailed many of those changes. This past month was filled with more of the same. At a national level, the Center for Disease Control eviction moratoriums case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. At a local level, the chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court issued another order related to eviction cases and scheduling. In my opinion, only one of these items is likely to have a real effect on Oregon landlords.

The challenge to the CDC’s actions finally made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court . . . again. The first time around, even though landlords won on summary judgment at the lower court level, they lost their request to vacate a stay related to the judgment, and the moratoriums were allowed to stay in place. The request to vacate the stay was denied because, as Justice Kavanaugh noted, the CDC’s moratorium was set to expire only weeks later. Landlords had won on the issues, but effectively had the clock run out on them.

After the previous CDC moratorium expired, Congress did not act to extend the moratorium. But due to political pressure, the CDC soon enacted another moratorium. This second action by the CDC was quickly challenged, briefed, and decided. After following a similar path through the lower federal courts, the Supreme Court held that the CDC lacked the authority to impose such a nationwide moratorium, and this time, overturned the stay in place. Thus, the CDC eviction moratorium is no more.

"But what does this mean for Oregon landlords? Surprisingly, not much in my opinion." says Oregon attorney Brad Kraus. 

Read more in the Rental Housing Journal.

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