Latest News: Portland Tenant Rights — What it Means for Property Owners
A tenant protections bill that would have banned no-cause evictions in Oregon died in the Senate this past week. As the affordable housing shortage in Oregon continues this latest episode in rental protections and legislation has many real estate investors wondering where they stand when it comes to property owner rights.
What Was Proposed and Avoided with the Senate’s Decision Not to Pass House Bill 2004:
“The bill would have allowed cities and counties in Oregon to establish rent control policies for the first time in more than three decades, limited landlords’ ability to issue no-cause evictions, and more,” reported The Portland Mercury.
With the Portland Tribune adding, “The bill would have required landlords to pay relocation expenses to tenants when they ask a tenant to leave for certain allowable business or personal reasons.”
For the time being, property owners will still maintain those rights, but the debate over tenant protections in Oregon and the death rattle of House Bill 2004 is far from over.
The good news for property owners is that the proposal lacked any support from any of the Senate’s 13 Republicans with Sen. Tim Knopp stated, “Restrictions on landlords are counterproductive to solving Oregon’s shortage of affordable rental units.” Sen. Knopp has advocated for measures that make it easier for investors to develop new housing units, something that is needed in the Oregon marketplace.
Of course, the issue of housing shortage in Portland is complex and must be discussed from the appropriate perspective. Jonathan Lockwood, a spokesman for the Senate Republicans, for instance, believes that Oregon’s land-use laws are the problem. While Sen. Rod Monroe, a democrat, opposed the bill because “no-cause evictions would be too restrictive to landlords who have problem tenants.”
What This Means for Landlords and Real Estate Investors
While the death of the renters’ rights bill could be considered a win for property owners, there is still much debate about the right direction for Portland’s property owner rights. A judge on Friday, separate from proceedings in the senate regarding House Bill 2004, ruled against overturning a property rights ordinance, which had become law in February.
John DiLorenzo is the attorney who was hired to sue the city and get the ordinance overturned, starting in February, “This ordinance is disguised rent control, and those are the state claims that we will be litigating in state court.”
“The ordinance requires landlords to pay relocation costs to renters if they’re given a no-cause eviction or a 10-percent rent hike. In those situations, the new rule requires landlords to pay anywhere from $2,900 to $4,500 of a tenant’s moving expenses,” as reported by KATU On Your Side.
At InterWest Properties, we’re committed to keeping you informed and representing property owners when it comes to their rights as real estate investors. If you’d like to speak with one of our Portland property experts, please reach out and give us a call: (503) 256-2323