The Oregon Senate has passed SB 608, a rent-control and evictions bill, which limits landlords’ rights in Oregon. The Senate majority leader’s office released a statement after the bill passed, saying, “Rent stabilization will help prevent price gouging,” and that “healthy and thriving families need safe and stable housing.”
The bill is designed to help rein in soaring rental increases for working families across the state, according to the release and would eliminate “no-cause” evictions after tenants have completed their first year of occupancy. It also would cap annual rental increases for buildings more than 15 years old.
The bill was co-carried by Sen. Shemia Fagan, D-Portland, and Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, on the Senate floor. “Last December, I met an 83-year-old renter who was afraid to ask maintenance to fix her lights for fear of eviction or a rent spike,” Fagan said in the release. “She had lived in the dark for three months by the time I met her. SB 608 protects her and hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who deserve safe and stable rental housing.”
Oregon Republicans Say Democrats are Ignoring Affordable Housing Issue
The Oregon Senate Republicans issued a statement following passage of the bill, saying, “the majority party followed through on their promise to pass rent control early in session, without bipartisan support. SB 608, which will cap rent increases statewide, will lead to fewer available affordable housing units statewide.
“The overwhelming message during the public hearing on rent control was that there is not enough affordable housing in Oregon, yet this bill does nothing to address the real problem,” said Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger, Jr., (R-GrantsPass), in the release.
“If we actually want to address the issue of housing in Oregon, then it’s time to take a good hard look at the barriers in place that limit developing more affordable housing.”
“This bill will not accomplish the goal that the proponents have set,” said Senator Tim Knopp, (R-Bend), in the release. “The likely outcome from this legislation will be fewer affordable housing units, and increased rent throughout the state.”
The Problem was Created in Portland
The rent-control bill was written with urbanOregonin mind and does not offer any alternatives for rural or frontier communities, the Republican statement said.
“This is a problem that was created byPortland, and this legislation is designed forPortland,” said Senator Fred Girod, (R-Stayton), in the release. “Instead of addressing the real issues here, this bill will only create more problems throughout the state.”
The bill would protect Oregon’s renters by ensuring they won’t face enormous, unforeseen rent increases or be kicked out of their homes after they’ve lived there for at least a year, according to the release from the Senate majority leader’s office. “Safe and stable housing is a central requirement for healthy families to thrive and for children to excel in school,” the release states.
The bill prohibits landlords from terminating month-to-month tenancies without cause after one year of occupancy. Tenants would be entitled to 90 days’ notice of eviction and a relocation assistance payment in the amount of one month’s rent. Landlords with four or fewer units would not be required to make relocation assistance payments.
What Oregon Senate Bill 608 Does
- Prohibits a landlord from terminating month-to-month tenancy without cause after 12 months of occupancy. Provides exception for certain tenancies on a building or lot used by a landlord as residence.
- Allows a landlord to terminate tenancy with 90 days’ written notice and payment of one month’s rent under certain conditions. Exempts landlords who manage four or fewer units from payment of one month’s rent.
- Provides that fixed-term tenancy becomes month-to-month tenancy upon ending date if not renewed or terminated.
- Allows landlord to not renew fixed-term tenancy if tenant receives three lease-violation warnings within 12 months during term and landlord gives 90 days’ notice.
- Limits rent increases for residential tenancies to one per year.
- Limits maximum annual rent increase to 7 percent above annual change in consumer price index.
- Requires Oregon Department of Administrative Services to publish maximum annual rent increase percentage.
- Declares emergency, effective on passage.
[Editor’s Note: Better get your rents up, folks! California may be next!]
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