Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What to Ask Prospective Tenants

In cities like Portland, a low vacancy rate means landlords and building managers are frequently faced with multiple applications for a single vacancy, and narrowing down the list can be overwhelming. In an effort to simplify the vetting process, the Global Verification Network has put together a slideshow of questions landlords or property managers can ask prospective tenants in order to determine which applicant is the best fit for the building.

7 Questions For Prospective Tenants created by Global Verification Network

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Portland City Council Passes "Fixes" to Renter Relocation Law

The Portland Mercury reports that the Portland City Council has voted to address some outstanding issues with the renter relocation ordinance. The revisions give tenants 45 days to request payments, up from 14 days, and gives landlords 31 days to provide payment. After a rent increase goes into affect, tenants now have six months to decide whether to give notice that they will leave or choose to stay and repay the relocation money. The Council also closed the "loophole" that allowed landlords who owned their properties under different LLCs to evade having to pay relocation costs. The new revision disregards the form of ownership under which a landlord operates. The law sunsets in October of this year, but the Council is working on a longer-term version. Read more.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Multnomah County Property Assessment Law to Go into Effect Oct 10

HB 2008 passed in the Oregon Senate on June 13, and was signed into law on June 22nd. The law, which we wrote about in an earlier post, could change the way that new construction and renovated homes are assessed in Multnomah County. Under the new law, city councils may choose to base property assessments on city-wide rather than county-wide average home values. If city councils within Multnomah County vote to adopt these changes, it will raise taxes on all new construction in those cities. The law goes into effect October 10, and does not apply to anything built before October 10th or before the date cities adopt the ordinance. Although the bill was passed at the state level, it only affects counties with more than 700,000 residents - Multnomah is the only county in Oregon that meets the criteria.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Portland Relocation Ordinance Upheld in Court

On Friday, Judge Henry Breithaupt of the Multnomah County Circuit Court upheld the Portland ordinance that requires landlords to pay relocation assistance to tenants facing no-cause evictions or rent raises above 10% in a year. The ordinance is tied to the housing state of emergency declared in Portland in 2015, which expires in October of this year. The City Council could choose to extend the state of emergency or renew the relocation cost ordinance at that time. Read more.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Oregon Ban on Rent Control Remains Intact

HB 2004, a tenant protection bill initially written to overturn the state's ban on rent control and end no cause evictions, did not go to a vote in the Oregon Senate. Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick attempted to negotiate a compromise that limited no cause evictions and addressed some of the landlords' concerns, but in the end all Senate Republicans and at least two Senate Democrats remained opposed to the bill. Senator Knopp of Bend argued that he bill could limit the development of much-needed new housing units, while Jonathan Lockwood, spokesman for the Senate Republicans, argued that the legislature should be addressing land-use laws rather than landlord-tenant relationships. Read more.

Friday, June 30, 2017

No-Cause Eviction Ban Could End Month-to-Month Leases

According to the Willamette Week, Portland Tenants United's Margot Black and John DiLorenzo of the Equitable Housing PAC find themselves on the same side of a tenant's rights issue this week. Though the two outspoken voices are generally on opposite sides of the housing debate in Portland, they agree that HB 2004 is likely to be a death knell for month-to-month leases. In its current form, the bill's restrictions on no-cause evictions only protect tenants who are on month-to-month leases. If it passes many landlords are likely to stop offering those leases, requiring instead that tenants sign a fixed term lease. A spokeswoman for Tina Kotek argues that tenants and landlords will both benefit from the stability created by fixed term leases, but Margot Black disagrees. She argues that there are many instances in which a tenant might need the flexibility of a month-to-month lease, and absent that option would have to pay lease-break fees in the event of a move. Read more.