Oregon House Rep. David Gomberg (D-Otis) speaks on Senate Bill 608 in a follow-up letter to Homepage:
Oregon is facing a statewide housing crisis which affects families and retirees in a very real way across the 10th House District.
Most of our landlords are reasonable, fair, and work to do right by their tenants. But unreasonable rent increases and no-cause evictions are destabilizing some of our most vulnerable renters. As a result, Senate Bill 608 (Tenant Protections) is moving rapidly through the 2019 session. The bill is a carefully crafted set of compromises that attempts to balance landlord and tenant concerns. Each side wanted more; each side compromised. Landlord and tenant organizations now support the bill.
Should small “mom and pop” landlords have to pay moving expenses when they renovate rentals?
Should rents be allowed to increase more than 10 percent a year.
Should no-cause evictions be allowed in the first year of occupancy?
Here is a summary of the 608 compromises:
Just Cause Eviction: During the first 12 months of occupancy, a tenant can be evicted (with proper notice) for any reason. After the first year, evictions are only allowed for cause. A fixed term lease must be renewed unless there is legal cause not to do so.
Landlord Based Evictions: A landlord may terminate tenancy if they sell a unit, demolish, rehab or repair, or are moving a family member in. Ninety days’ notice is required and the landlord must pay one month’s rent in relocation assistance. This payment is waived for landlords with four or fewer units.
Extreme Rent Increases: Landlords may not increase a tenant’s rent by more than 7% + consumer price index in a 12-month period. Current law already prohibits rent increases in first year of month-to-month tenancy and requirements 90-day notice of rent increases.
New Construction: New construction is exempted for 15 years after certificate of occupancy
I have often argued that too many regulations discourage the building or buying of rental investments on the Coast, and encourage smaller landlords to take properties out of the monthly rental market and instead change to nightly vacation rentals. We need to protect renters from abuse. We also need to build more affordable housing. My challenge is to make sure that our rural district is not harmed by solutions to Portland problems.
SB 608 is scheduled for a possible work session in the House Committee Human Services and Housing Wednesday, Feb. 20.