Rent Control Passes Senate Committee

Rent Control Passes Senate Committee

“Oregonians cannot afford to wait another year … They are losing their housing now,” said House Speaker Tina Kotek.

Kotek is a key lawmaker pushing forward Senate Bill 608 -- the bill that would bring state-wide rent control to Oregon.

Monday, the bill passed through the Oregon Senate’s Housing Committee sending it to the Senate floor for a vote. If the bill passes, it will go into effect after Gov. Kate Brown signs it, and make Oregon the first state to pass statewide rent control.

Senate Bill 608 would place a 7 percent (plus inflation) cap on annual rent increases but exempts new constructions that are less than 15 years-old.

Additionally, the bill would require most landlords to cite a cause, such as failure to pay rent or another lease violation when evicting renters after their first year of tenancy. But it still allows “landlord-based” evictions for the landlord moving in or a major renovation.

In “landlord-based” evictions landlords with five or more units would have to provide 90-days’ notice and pay one month’s rent to the tenant, landlords with four or fewer units would be exempt from the payment.

If a landlord fails to follow the new regulations, they could be charged three months’ rent plus damages to their tenants.

Some housing advocates argue that the bill doesn’t do enough, while some landlord groups think it goes too far. If you have questions about the bill, give us a call or email us--we are happy to chat.

For more on the bill see The Oregonian and OPB articles.