Rent Control And No Cause Evictions Bill Dies In Senate

Controversial legislation to remove the state-wide ban on rent control in Oregon and to set new rules for no-cause evictions has died in the Oregon Senate, according to reports.

The bill, HB 2004 , passed the Oregon House 31-27 in April, but lacked support in the more conservative Senate and failed after several attempts to amend it.

The Senate Human Services Committee modified the bill to make it less punitive against landlords. The committee’s amendments reduced the circumstances under which landlords would have to pay relocation fees to tenants who were forced to leave at no fault of their own. The Senate also removed a provision to lift a ban on local rent control, according to

However, the proposal lacked support from the Senate’s 13 Republicans.

The bill, called a tenant protections bill by advocates, was a chief priority for House Speaker Tina Kotek and several other Portland-area lawmakers.

Sen. Tim Knopp, has said restrictions on landlords are counterproductive to solving Oregon’s shortage of affordable rental units and has advocated for measures that make it easier for investors to develop new housing units.

Originally as passed by the House, the measure would have allowed cities and counties to enact local ordinances that would control how much landlords could raise rents each year, removing the state-wide ban.

Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City, who is a landlord, also told  when the bill passed the house that HB 2004 is “a well-intentioned effort,” but isn’t the right approach. “This bill does not build a single apartment unit,” he said.

The bill originally stated:

“Prohibits landlord from terminating month-to-month tenancy without cause except under certain circumstances with 90 days’ written notice and payment of relocation expenses. Provides exception for certain tenancies for occupancy of dwelling unit in building or on property occupied by landlord as primary residence. Makes violation defense against action for possession by landlord. Requires fixed term tenancy to become month-to-month tenancy upon reaching specific ending date, unless tenant elects to renew or terminate tenancy. Requires landlord to make tenant offer to renew fixed term tenancy. Repeals statewide prohibition on city and county ordinances controlling rents.”