Portland Mayor Flip-Flops On Small Landlords Exemption

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Portland Mayor Flip-Flops On Small Landlords Exemption

After first saying he wanted more study on the issue, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler now favors removing the exemption for small landlords who own only one property and require them to pay moving expenses if they evict a tenant for no-cause or increase rent more than 10 percent, according to reports.

Wheeler said in a statement last month  more information is needed before he would support removing the exemption for landlords who own only one property.

“I have also heard concern about the effect that removing the exemption would have on the market and on Portland landlords that only have one unit. But assumptions don’t make good policy,” Wheeler said in the statement.  “Consequently, I have instructed PHB to refrain from amending the one-unit exemption at this time.”

Now mayor flip-flops on small landlords issue

However Michael Cox, Wheeler's deputy chief of staff, told the Portland Mercury, “The mayor’s going to announce to that group that his preference is to remove the one-unit exemption and replace it with an exemption for ADUs and owner-occupied duplexes."

Last month a new research study recommended Portland remove the exception for small landlords who own only one property and require them to pay moving expenses if they evict a tenant for no-cause or rent increases over 10 percent, according to reports.

Chariot Wheel Research Consultants authored the study which says, “This single-unit exemption not only undermines the spirit of the law, it leaves nearly 20% of renter households vulnerable to the same double-digit rent increases and no-cause evictions which precipitated the housing state of emergency to begin with, thus perpetuating and exacerbating the very hardships the RELO ordinance seeks to mitigate. Furthermore, this exemption effectually creates two classes of renters – those who are protected and those who are excluded – by virtue of the size of their landlord’s local real estate investment portfolio.”

The “relocation assistance” ordinance mandates that if a landlord raises the rent on a tenant by more than 10 percent or evicts a tenant without cause, the tenant can then demand the landlord reimburse them for moving costs up to $4,500, according to news reports.

Landlords continue fight against the relocation ordinance

Last year, John DiLorenzo, attorney for two landlords challenging the ordinance said, “Though we appreciate the time and effort the court expended on this case, we still strongly believe the ordinance will only aggravate Portland’s housing crisis. The court failed to see it for what it is – disguised rent control, which violates state statutes and the Oregon Constitution,” DiLorenzo said.

 

Previous related stories:

Portland Landlords Sue To Halt Ordinance Requiring Payment To Move Evicted Tenants

Landlords Appeal Ruling In Tenant Relocation Lawsuit

Resources:

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler letter rental relocation advisory council

Portland’s Small-Time Landlords Don’t Have to Follow Renter Protections

Portland rental housing analytics summary report

Chariot Wheel Inc consulting

 

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