Portland's ordinance, entitled "Affordable Housing Preservation and Portland Renter Protections," is a temporary measure passed by the Portland City Council to address ongoing shortages in affordable housing and
increased housing instability for area renters.
In addition to provisions dedicated to public housing, the ordinance also takes aim at predatory practices in the private rental market, as follows:
Rent Increases: * Landlords must give at least 90-days notice of any rent increase greater than 5% in a 12-month period. This is true even if the parties have a lease agreement (and if there's a longer notice period in the lease, that requirement controls). * If a landlord increases rents by 10% or more with a 12-month period, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement. The landlord must then pay the departing tenant a relocation fee based on the type of dwelling, from $2,900 for a single room occupancy to $4,500 for a unit with three or more bedrooms. * This rule also applies to rent increases upon renewal of a lease.
No-Fault Terminations: * Landlords must provide at least 90-days notice that the rental agreement will be terminated (unless the termination is for cause). Again, this is true even if the parties have a lease agreement (and if there's a longer notice period in the lease, that requirement controls). * Within 45 days of giving a no-cause termination notice, a landlord must pay relocation costs to the tenant, as noted above. * The relocation fee applies even at the end of fixed-term lease if the landlord opts not to renew the lease.
The ordinance provides exemptions for landlords with a single rental unit within city limits, week-to-week tenancies, those who rent their personal residence for three years or less, and those who occupy the same dwelling unit as their tenants.
Failure to comply with the ordinance carries stiff penalties - tenants may recover damages up to three months' rent, as well as actual damages, the relocation fee, and attorney's fees and costs.
The ordinance is currently set to expire on October 7, 2017. It is unlikely, however, that this will be the end of these types of protections for Portland renters. The Oregon Legislature is currently considering bills with some similar characteristics.