MHCO Files Lawsuit to Overturn City of Portland's "Renter Protection Ordinance"

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This morning MHCO and several other landlords filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland to declare invalid a portion of the “Renter Protection” Ordinance which requires property owners to afford tenants a minimum 90 day notice for rent increases of more than 5%. MHCO believes the notice provision is an attempt by the City Council to push the envelope to challenge the current statewide prohibition on local rent control legislation.  

We are taking this action for the following reasons (you may have to "cut and paste" the links below into your browser):

1. The 90 day notice provision is directly preempted by ORS 91.225.  
2. The City Council has already stated its preference in legislative hearings to enact local rent control ordinances and would likely do more if it could overcome statutory preemption. Ironically, the City has only provided property owners 30 day notice of its new 90 day notice provisions for rent increases.
3. The 90 day rent control provisions are not accompanied with 90 day property tax or water and sewer rate control or controls over other property expenses.
4. Rent control is a slippery slope. It is horrible public policy. Most economists believe that rent control (a) inhibits new construction, (b) allows existing housing to deteriorate, (c) reduces property tax revenues, (d) reduces tenant mobility, (e) results in significant costs for entry into the market and (f) ultimately impacts the poor in very negative ways. We see this ordinance as the first step by the Portland City Council to attempt to pursue that slippery slope.

For those of you who are interested here are two articles on this developing story:

http://www.wweek.com/2015/11/17/portland-landlord-challenges-new-city-or...
http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/281666-158112-landlord-sues-to-bloc...

In October the MHCO Board of Directors decided to financially support this lawsuit against the City of Portland believing strongly that any attempt to trespass on landlords rights whether on the local or legislative level should be met with a strong rebuke. MHCO is the only landlord association financially supporting this effort. Thank you to everyone who has stepped forward to push back!

This is a developing story and we will keep you posted and the lawsuit moves forward.

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