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More Protections on the Way for Portland Renters?

Friday, October 09, 2015


On Wednesday, the Portland City Council heard arguments for increasing rental protections in the city, which is facing a state of emergency for its housing and homelessness problem.

Commissioner Dan Saltzman, head of the Portland Housing Bureau, proposed the extending of notice periods for no-cause evictions and rent hikes. Under Saltzman’s proposals, landlords would be required to give renters 90 days, rather than 30 or 60 days, notice before issuing a no-cause eviction. Landlords will also have to give 90 days notice if they raise rent prices by five percent or more in one year.

“Portland is facing some of the highest rental increases in the nation. People are afraid they will be priced out or otherwise displaced from their neighborhood,” Saltzman told GoLocal. “They are wrestling with Portland’s growth and the impact of infill development on their daily lives. Their stories are living proof of how the lack of housing or housing instability affects mental health and well-being.”

Tenants Tired

Justin Buri, Executive Director of The Community Alliance of Tenants, said that Portland’s rental population has waited too long for further protection. He called on the City Council and other city leaders to extended help to Portland’s renters.

"Tenants are tired of being silenced out of fear, retribution or a bad reference from our landlords," Buri said.

Buri also said that increased notice periods for rent spikes and evictions are crucial to low and median income renters in the city. He said the continuously rising rental prices for apartments in Portland coupled with a lack of available units puts enormous pressure on those who are forced to move out of their apartment with little notice.

“If you received a no-cause eviction today, how long would it take you to move,” Buri asked. “Now, imagine if you had bad credit, a foreclosure, medical debt or student loans. What if you received the eviction after asking for a repair—would you list that landlord as a reference? Imagine if you had a criminal record after being arrested for sleeping outside during one of the homeless sweeps, or from the war on drugs, which racially profiles people of color.”

Dan Saltzman

Landlords Say No Way

Cindy North, a lobbyist with the Rental Housing Alliance of Oregon, said that the changes in notice time are unfair to building owners. She said that the measures will not have an effect on the continuously rising rent in Portland, as the price of rent is determined not by landlords or building owners, but by the demand for housing as new residents flood into the city.

“Changing the rules on landlords does not lead to more housing," Robert said.

Robert also said that the longer extension times for evictions will cause problems for renters who are not being forced out of their homes. She said that often, tenants being evicted are “bad actors” who other residents want removed quickly.

“30 days is not a short time,” Robert said. “To neighbors of bad actors, 30 days seems like an eternity.”


Related Slideshow: The 10 Best Cities for Renters in Oregon

See the 10 best cities in Oregon to rent a house or apartment. The towns and cities were ranked based on factors including the percentage of rentable housing available, median household income, median cost of rent, rent as a percentage of income and average commute times. 

Prev Next



Overall Score: 63.49

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Overall Score: 63.63

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Lake Oswego

Overall Score: 64.39

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Klamath Falls

Overall Score: 64.46

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Overall Score: 64.87

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Overall Score: 67.17

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Overall Score: 67.89

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Overall Score: 69.16

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West Haven-Sylvan

Overall Score: 72.27 

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Overall Score: 75.30 


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