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Rent Control Ordinance in Portland

Sunday, January 24, 2016 11:48 AM | Anonymous

As you have most likely heard by now, the city of Portland has passed an ordinance that requires landlords to give tenants 90-days notice to vacate for No-Cause Notices, and 90-days notice to increase the rent by more than 5%.

PAROA & ORHA of course have opposed this ordinance and we will definitely be opposing any state wide changes that resemble this. The reason the city of Portland gave for this ordinance is that; rent has gone up considerably over the last 1-2 years, and the steep incline in rent costs hasn’t been met by an increase in income.

This new ordinance by the city of Portland doesn’t solve the actual problem. It is essentially putting a bandage on an injury that requires stitches. The real “problem” is that demand has heavily outweighed supply in the rental market. This has been caused by a number of things including; out of state residents moving into Portland, an influx of new renters that used to be home owners prior to the housing market crash of 2008, and financial institutions not being willing to lend on new construction of commercial buildings like apartment complexes.

This ordinance will result in a negative impact for tenants. Many landlords have used No-Cause Notices as an easy option for a tenant to move out peacefully and avoid an eviction being on their record. We will most likely see an increase in for cause evictions due to landlords not wanting to wait 90-days to have a “bad” tenant move. Another serious issue is that adding any regulation to an industry creates more barriers to entry and will make investors think twice before getting into the rental business. This is the opposite of what really needs to happen to correct this issue.

Long story short, we are going to exit the Portland market in 2016 despite having rentals there for 25 years. The market has just become too ridiculous - and costly - to navigate. 

In order to solve the problem of an extremely low vacancy rate the city of Portland needs to investigate ways to incentivize developers to build affordable housing and to speed up the process. If there are permits or zoning changes that need to happen for a rental unit to be built, then it should be fast tracked through the city’s system. This will get more units to the market faster and thus equalize the supply and demand issue in the Portland housing market.

This may not be the end of this issue though. There is a good chance that we will see something like this at the state level next year. So be sure to keep your eye out for something like this and reach out to your state representative when that time comes. We need solutions to the actual underlying problems and not short sighted fixes that will cause more problems.

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The Oregon Rental Housing Association (ORHA) is a non-profit educational landlord association -- ORHA Board Members, Mentors, Staff, and/or other related ORHA affiliates do not give legal advice. Please be advised that any information provided  is no substitute for professional legal counsel and any advice or guidance given does not constitute legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for legal advice related to your specific situation.

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