Oregon Enacts Rent Control Laws

Today, the Oregon Senate voted to make Oregon the only in state in the nation to enact statewide rent control.  Winning 17-11, the bill is expected to easily sail through Oregon’s lower house, and Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign the legislation into law.

The legislation makes it harder for landlords to evict tenants without cause, and also caps rent increases to 7 percent plus the rate of inflation, annually. Most rent control laws limit rent increases to the rate of inflation, or some fraction of inflation, but the additional 7 percent permitted in this legislations was seen as a compromise. Prior attempts to pass rent control legislation have failed, and though Republicans still voted against this bill, most landlord advocacy groups have expresses some acceptance.

There are exceptions for housing built within 15 years, and for subsidized housing. And though landlords must now give a reason to evict a tenant, they can still to do so for major renovations, or to move into the property themselves.

The new legislation does not lift the ban on local municipalities enacting their own, possibly more stringent, controls.