Legislative Update: Senate Action on Coalition Bill and a PROPOSED Rent Control Amendment

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This morning the Oregon State Senate passed the 2015 Landlord-Tenant Coalition Bill on a vote of 29-0 with one Senator absent.  The bill now moves on to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for signature. 


MHCO is THRILLED that a long standing legislative goal – the ELIMINATION of the requirement that landlords pay the back taxes on an abandoned home in their community when the landlord purchases the abandoned home is well on it’s way to becoming Oregon law.  This portion of the legislation will become effective January 1, 2016.  MHCO along with Phil Querin have already created initial drafts of the forms necessary to comply with the new law.  Those forms will be reviewed and available to members on-line later this year.  We will also have an extensive article by Phil Querin available for the MHCO membership later this year as well.  Other issues contained in this legislation will be addressed at the annual MHCO Conference at the end of October.  Stay tuned for details!


This is a major win for Oregon community owners and will impact every community owner in the state.  Special thanks to Dale Strom, Adam Cook and Phil Taylor who dedicated an enormous amount of time negotiating on behalf of community owners in the landlord tenant coalition.   MHCO also thanks Diane Belt with the Oregon Tax Assessors Association for her expertise and willingness to resolve this issue. 


There have also been some less than satisfactory developments in Salem this week.


Yesterday the Oregon Senate Committee on Human Services and Early Childhood held a public hearing on HB 2564.  This is the “inclusionary zoning” bill that passed the Oregon House earlier this session.  It is also the bill that Representatives in the House alluded to the as needing a rent control amendment during the floor debate in the Oregon House last month.


At yesterday’s public hearing an amendment (the dash 5 amendment) was introduced that would chip away at the statewide preemption on rent control.  


Here is Phil Querin’s analysis of the proposed amendment:


“When the bill attempts to exclude the application of ORS 91.225 (which prohibits rent control), you know the drafters suspect it is a form of prohibited rent control.  The exemptions enumerated in ORS 91.225 don’t include this process described in HB 2564. 


The way I read it, it permits the city/county to set rental prices for new housing construction as a part of the approval process, in exchange for spiffs offered to the developer. But it isn’t a negotiated quid pro quo; the bureaucrats can set the rent level, and tell the developer he can take it or leave it.  Since the end game regulates the rent levels regardless of what the developer wants, it is “rent control.” 


              The camel’s nose is under the tent….  PHIL  



The inclusionary bill (HB 2564) is struggling in the Oregon Senate.  MHCO has had lengthy discussions with key Democratic Senators who are opposed to HB 2564 even without the proposed amendment.  The addition of a rent control amendment makes the bill even less palatable.  We need to keep an eye on this as it moves forward and it is important to realize that if this amendment is defeated it will be by just ONE VOTE in the Senate Committee.   As of today they do not have the votes in the Senate committee to move the dash five amendment.


So, just a heads up in case you read in the morning paper that the Legislature is considering rent control.  MHCO will keep you informed as the issue develops.

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