Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

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 Less

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

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services


March 1, 2016

Contact: Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

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

Through April 14, 2016, the Lien Amnesty Program will enable property owners to voluntarily pay off outstanding BDS code enforcement liens on their properties at 50% off the total amount of the principal, interest, and penalty 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 to continue to operate our compliance programs that help maintain Portland’s safety and livability,” said Paul Scarlett.

As of December 30, 2015 the Bureau of Development Services had $8,433,972 in unpaid code enforcement liens on 1,324 cases where violations have been resolved.

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. Eligible property owners will be notified of the program by mail during the first week of March.

For more information on the Lien Amnesty Program visit or email

Fast Facts About BDS Code Enforcement Liens

  • A lien is a fee or fine attached to a property that is out of compliance with the City of Portland’s building, property maintenance and/or zoning codes.
  • Property owners receive multiple notifications, deadlines and waiver options before a lien is assessed.
  • 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 City’s Lien Docket, and must be paid in full before they are satisfied and released by the City.
  • If a lien is not paid within 365 days of assessment it is placed on the City of Portland’s pre-foreclosure list.
  • The City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services has $24,252,363 in outstanding liens.
  • In 2015, BDS investigated 8,018 compliance cases and assessed 1,290 code enforcement liens.