Most Oregon rent increases capped at 9.9% in 2020

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By Elliot Njus | The Oregonian/OregonLive

 

Rent increases will be capped at 9.9% through 2020, the first full year Oregon’s new rent control law will be in effect, state economists announced Wednesday.

 

The Oregon Legislature this year passed Senate Bill 608, which imposed the nation’s first statewide rent control policy. The law caps rent increases at 7% plus the rate of inflation for the urban West. For 2019, that number came to 10.3%. 

 

Not all rentals are subject to the policy. The rent cap doesn’t apply to buildings that are less than 15 years old — an attempt to avoid a damper on housing construction — nor to government-subsidized rents. Landlords may raise rent without any cap if tenants leave of their own accord. 

Typical rents across Oregon are rising at a far slower rate than what’s allowed under the cap. 

But lawmakers who supported the policy said it would avert the biggest rent hikes that functioned as de facto evictions. Such increases, in which rents sometimes doubled or more, grabbed headlines in recent years, frequently after apartment buildings were sold to a new owner. 

The new law also requires most landlords to cite a cause, such as failure to pay rent or other lease violation, when evicting renters after the first year of tenancy.

Some “landlord-based” for-cause evictions are allowed, including the landlord moving in or a major renovation. In those cases, landlords are required to provide 90 days’ notice and pay one month’s rent to the tenant, though landlords with four or fewer units would be exempt from the payment.

-- Elliot Njus

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