Medford woman claims landlord evicting her, violating state moratorium

MEDFORD, Ore. —Oregon’s eviction moratorium was originally set to expire December 31st, but in the special session last month, it was extended till June.

One local woman says she doesn’t have a home to go back to, after being told to leave her Medford studio on New Years Eve.

She believes she can’t be evicted because of the moratorium.

“I honestly have no idea what prompted her to all of a sudden cut a hole in my wall,” Eve Woods, Medford resident.

Woods says she began renting a studio apartment at the back of a Medford family home in 2019.

But when the pandemic hit, Woods says it hit her hard.
She says she caught COVID-19 not once, but twice.

She says she was also laid off from her job.

The bills began piling up, but she thought she was covered under Oregon’s eviction moratorium.

“I have full intent, I want to pay you , I don’t want to move, I wanna be here, and can we work it out,” says Woods.

But then, on New Year’s Eve, Woods says her landlord started cutting a hole in the wall between the family home and Woods 250 square foot apartment, as part of a renovation.

“My guests are staying, they are not your guests you do not have rights as a squatter,” says the landlord in the video, provided by Woods.

Woods showed us copies of her lease, it shows a month to month agreement beginning in late 2019.

We reached out to the landlord and we’re waiting to hear back.

“You are a squatter eve our landlord and tenant relationship ended in February,” says the landlord.

Oregon’s original eviction moratorium- Executive Order 20-13, began April 1st of 2020. It protects residents impacted by COVID-19 from eviction.

That moratorium, extended during a December special session in the form of House Bill 4401, which states,
“If you are unable to pay your rent because of a financial hardship that occurred on or after March 16, 2020, give the attached form to your landlord to qualify for protection.”

Woods says she did not pay her March rent, and was given a 72 hour eviction notice.

She says she’s remained in the home, and has even paid some rent since then, when she was able.

Jesse Sharpe with the Community Alliance of Tenants is working with Woods, to explore her options.

“What we know is that the only person who legally can ever turn your power off is the sheriffs department, the only person who can ever forcefully remove you from your home is the sheriffs department, says Sharpe.

Woods claims the landlord has since turned off her power. She tells us she’s not sure what’s next, but for now she’s boarded up the wall, and acquired a lawyer.

The Community Alliance of Tenants says they can be a resource for finding housing options.

They say it is important to know your rights as a tenant.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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