In its unending search for new victim classes, the Portland City Council voted unanimously to pass an “Emergency” ordinance requiring rapacious landlords to pay tenants relocation expenses upon termination of tenancy without cause or substantive rent increases.
My only question is why stop with relocation expenses? Everyone knows how avaricious property owners are. Why not require them to foot the bill for the first six months’ rent as well? Pay no mind to the years of sweat equity property owners have put into their respective properties or the increasingly onerous burden of taxes and fees leveled by an arrogant, insatiable municipal bureaucracy they must bear. If real “social justice” in Portland is ever to be achieved, the playing field between the haves and have nots must be leveled.
Unfortunately, the ones who will suffer the most will not be the greedy, grasping landlords but the tenants themselves. The chilling effect this ordinance will have on all tenant evictions cannot be overstated. If landlords were disinclined to deal with trouble makers before, they will surely turn a blind eye now.
This will further degrade the quality of life enjoyed by the majority of tenants who live and play by the rules. They will be disinclined to complain about a neighbor knowing in advance that satisfaction is unlikely. At best they will be ignored. At worst, they will be branded as haters and discriminatory. Reminds me of that old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” More often than not, the good intentions of government, when acted upon, have unforeseen bad consequences. This is no exception.
Robert S. Smith
Peregrine Private Capital
Robert Smith has worked with, guided and represented Oregon investment property owners for more than 25 years.