Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

Bureau of Development Services Offers Lien Amnesty Program for Past Code Violations


City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services







June 4, 2009

Contact: Alisa Cour, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4017

(Portland, OR) Portland property owners with liens on their properties due to code enforcement violations can receive relief through a progressive new program initiated by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services.

The Lien Amnesty Program will be effective June 8, 2009 through July 8, 2009 and will enable property owners to voluntarily pay off outstanding code enforcement liens on their properties at 50% off the total amount of the principal, penalty, and interest that has accrued on the lien.

"The Lien Amnesty Program benefits the public and the City of Portland," said Paul Scarlett, Development Services Director. "The program helps owners erase financial burdens on their properties by offering significantly discounted payoff amounts on outstanding liens, and the City will collect a portion of the revenue it is owed."

This limited-time program applies to all property owners who have had code enforcement liens placed against their properties by the Bureau of Development Services for building, property maintenance and zoning code violations that did not correct the cited violation(s) in the allotted time given. There can be no active code enforcement cases on the property to qualify for the 50% discount. The discount does not apply to the principal on liens assessed for abatement charges, Hearings Office charges, or Auditor’s costs. The Bureau of Development Services will notify eligible property owners of the program by mail during the second week of June.

For more information on the Lien Amnesty Program visit or call Crystal Cowen, Program Specialist, at (503) 823-7324.



Fast Facts About Code Enforcement Liens

  • A code enforcement lien represents the cost of a fine or other assessment against a property associated with an enforcement action.
  • Property owners receive multiple notifications, deadlines and waiver options before a lien is imposed.
  • If a property has a lien on it, it may be difficult to sell, refinance or borrow against it.
  • Liens do not expire; they are recorded on the property’s title and accrue interest until paid.
  • To remove a lien from a property, the fine must be paid in full before a Notice of Satisfaction is recorded with the Multnomah County Recorder’s Office.
  • If a lien is not paid within 365 days it goes on the City of Portland's pre-foreclosure list.

About the Bureau of Development Services (BDS):
The City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services (BDS) promotes safety, livability and economic vitality through the efficient and collaborative application of building and development codes. In 2008, BDS staff issued 10,000 development permits, performed 193,000 permit inspections and processed 977 land use reviews for residential and commercial properties. For more information, visit our website at or call Alisa Cour at (503) 823-4017.





July 4, 2009 at 2:09 AM

While surfing net to get data related to my project no [url=]VCP-310[/url] i came here and find this web an interesting one...i like the way how u tried to explain all that about "Bureau of Development Services Offers Lien Amnesty Program for Past Code Violations" seems to me that this is an interesting and informative article which can be helpful,i didnt have any information about it before...Thx for sharing fast facts about Code Enforcement Liens...


Candise Coffman

July 4, 2009 at 3:34 PM

When I gave my ex-roomate a evection notice to move cause I'm going to sell my home, she decided to get even with me so she turns me into the city to make my life misserable knowing I could hardley afford to pay my morgage payment let alone hire someone to fix what was wrong with my home! I am somewhat disabled after back surgery and chrons disease Now I am stuck with a roomate who moved in with the agreement to fix whats wrong and is moving at a snells pace cause he knows he'll have to move when he's done, and has no place to go and no work! This inspector lady is not gonna cut me any slack either, Tell me "Please" how to get a water heater permit when I was not issused one when Sears put in my water heater back in 1998. I diden't even know that I did not have one or needed one!! Well they won't issuse me one and neither will their hired (seperate) service ctr workers!! So...Theres nothing I can do, I've tried my rommate Scott has tried and he has a degree in business for what thats worth! Most of this stuff is petty! Painting, yard clean-up waterheater, Building a containment wall around the waterheater incase of an earthquake.... I've experenced one small earthquake in my entire life here in portland Or. and I'm 50 yrs old! And the water heater was not damaged in any way. This house was built in or around 1915 or so and it's sturdy! Am I to expect her to find more things wrong with my home when she inspects to see if I've done everything she has listed??? For all I know The buyer of this house could tear this house down and rebuild a townhouse or something. And in that case all the money I've put into it is wasted!



December 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Any thoughts on running another program like this next year or anyway to petition that liens on a property bought at foreclosure auction be lowered if citation cause is fixed? Having these liens make foreclosed properties more likely to sit vacant instead of being bought at auction.

Please review our Code of Conduct rules before posting a comment to this site.
Report Abuse (Please include the specific topic and comment for the fastest response/resolution.)

Note: Comments have been disabled on this blog post.