Two Portland Landlords Resign From Rental Services Commission

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The Editors's picture
Two Portland Landlords Resign From Rental Services Commission

Two Portland landlords have resigned from the Rental Services Commission in protest after Mayor Ted Wheeler flip-flopped on his position about small landlords and Portland’s relocation ordinance, according to reports.

Wheeler now wants to remove the current exemption for small landlords who own only one property. The relocation ordinance requires landlords to pay moving expenses if they evict a tenant for no-cause or increase rent more than 10 percent.

One of the landlords who resigned, according to the Portland Tribune, is professional property manager Ron Garcia. He is also president of Rental Housing Alliance Oregon. It represents approximately 1,900 landlords, 62 percent of whom own one to four units.

"The people I represent feel betrayed. I can't continue to serve on the commission in good conscience. That would make it look like the landlord point of view is being considered, which it isn't," Garcia told the newspaper. "In today's housing market, landlords are going to say, now is the time to cash out.”

Landlords resign saying commission premise is that tenants are victims

Nick Cook, of Sleep Sound Property Management, also resigned from the Rental Services Commission according to the Portland Mercury and saying in a statement, "The premise guiding the agenda and terminology is that tenants are victims who need more protection," Cook wrote. "There have been zero ideas or discussions on how to relieve the hardships, liability, and risk landlords face every day. This is not to suggest we have a perfect system, but that absence of concern for both the landlord and tenant is disconcerting.”

Cook also wrote in his resignation statement to the mayor that “instead of being able to share and debate ideas that could be presented for review to the City Council, Portland Housing Bureau and your office, we have been spoon fed what appears to be an already ironed out agenda.

“The city portrayed ‘ideas’ as if they are under review, when in fact they have already started implementation,” he wrote.

Also he said he was “shocked and alarmed at the gross lack of knowledge” by commissioners on how tenant screening works “in the real world.”

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.”

Resources:

Wheeler's Change of Heart on Renter Protections Has Property Managers Ditching a City Committee

Wheeler's reversal prompts rental manager to quit commission

 

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