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Oregon's first to have statewide rent control: effects on tenants

As a tenant, you know how difficult it is when rents keep rising. The Oregon Legislature recently passed a bill trying to address this. What does it do and how is it likely to affect you as a tenant?

What does the new law do?

Earlier this year, Oregon became the first state to have statewide rent control. With this bill in place, landlords will not be able to raise rents more than seven % per year.

The law makes it harder to evict tenants with no reason and limits the amount landlords can raise the rent. This is because the law requires landlords to provide a reason for evicting renters. In addition based on the reason for eviction, tenants could have at least 90 days' notice. The legislation is meant to help low income people who are living on the edge of homelessness.

How could this benefit tenants?

Oregon lawmakers hope the law will address the statewide affordable housing crisis by helping lower income people. Low earning families are hurt by rent increases and no-cause eviction. This law directly addresses these issues. Supporters of the bill say it could potentially encourage builders and the market to create more affordable housing.

How could it hurt tenants?

The bill could have many positive outcomes. However the bill does have other interpretations.

Representative Jack Zika explained there are studies that have shown rent control laws negatively impact the quality and quantity of housing. Those critical of the bill have suggested that it doesn't affect the underlying issues regarding the shortage of affordable housing. One critic is Doug Bibby of the National Multifamily Housing Council. He thinks the bill could lessen housing options.

The market for affordable housing in Portland is not as accessible as it used to be. You may be among the large number of people seeking this type of housing in Portland. This new law is likely to affect your next move in the area.

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