As you have most likely heard by now the city of Portland has passed an ordinance that will require landlords to give tenants 90-days’ notice for end of tenancy / No-cause notices and to increase the rent by more than 5% in any given year.
PAROA & ORHA of course have opposed this ordinance and we will definitely be opposing any state wide changes that resemble this. The reason for this ordinance is that rent has gone up considerably over the last 1-2 years and the steep incline in rent amounts hasn’t been met by an increase in income. This of course has caused many tenants to no longer be able to afford housing and has caused the homelessness rate to increase.
As I am sure many of you can figure out, this doesn’t really solve the actual problem. It is essentially them putting a Band-Aid on an injury that requires stiches. 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 could have a couple negative effects on tenants. Many landlords use this 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. The other 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.
In order to solve the problem of an extremely low vacancy rate the city needs to be coming up with 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 could cause more problems.
President of IRC Enterprises