In Turnaround, Mayor Ted Wheeler Now Supports Ending a Loophole in Portland's Strongest Tenant Protections

Comments

1
This is so fucking stupid. Get ready for a literal flood of single-unit landlords selling their rental properties to all-cash out of state owner-occupant buyers, thus drastically reducing the number of rental units on the market and further exacerbating the problem. Chloe Eudaly is as dumb and greedy as it gets. Unfortunate that spineless Wheeler would cave to this asinine policy proposal. And fucking shame on you, Dirk VanderHart, for continually having your nose way the fuck up Eudaly's ass because you will benefit in the short term from these shitty policies at the expense of the long-term Portland rental market. Stupid greedy asshole.
2
Rent control doesn't work. It hasn't ever worked, and that is why there are various laws across different states (including Oregon) outlawing such behavior. Ted Wheeler's central-planning dreams of "affordable housing" are ideologically bankrupt and serve only to pander to his progressive voting bloc.
If you create "affordable housing" then you are mandating developers to construct buildings with units below the market rate, something achievable only if you raise the rent on all other constructed units. While the people living in the "affordable" units may individually benefit, the existence of these units demands that everyone else will end up paying more for their rentals. Or, as has happened in Portland, there has been a drop-off in the number of developers willing to even build units, because they are mandated to market them at below-average rates. So you've taken a benevolent idea (demand people have access to cheaper housing) and have created a totally unintended, yet totally foreseeable outcome of less supply and increased prices (see NY, SF, Palo alto, etc and see how their rent control ideas worked out).
Anyone who actually owns property in Portland should be kissing Wheeler's feet (and of course Her Majesty Commissioner Chloe's dainty coquettish feet as well) because every time the city council decides to enact "affordable housing" and rent control (yes Chloe's rental move-out penalty is rent control despite what the liberal courts say) your property value skyrockets as an equation of less housing over-all and less rentals overall inside the artificial urban growth boundary of the tri-county area.
As one of the various Landed Elite Oppressor/Overlords of the tri-county area, I say bravo Mayor Wheeler, thank you for the $60K my property value has increased in the last year alone!
3
Dumb question: Does a decision to not renew a lease count as a "no-cause eviction"? If I need to sell my property and so I decide not to renew the current rental agreement, am I on the hook for thousands of dollars? (Fortunately I don't own a property within Portland... just wondering about the definition creep of "eviction" here.)
4
Hi Sok, yes. A "no-cause eviction," which is a scary sounding term, includes a circumstance as benign as telling a particular renter you would rather not renew their lease. It should just be called a "non-renewal," because you are saying you don't want to rent to that person anymore.

This is significant, because it means that small-time landlords who don't have a boatload of cash sitting around they don't care about will need to pay thousands of dollars to a tenant if the landlord wants to, say, move their ailing parent into their rental property to take care of them. Or say you were renting your personal residence out while you worked a long-term project in another city or state, and then wanted to come back and live in your own home. Well, thanks to Eudaly and co., you'd have to pay literally thousands of dollars JUST TO COME BACK AND LIVE IN YOUR OWN PROPERTY.

And the most amazing thing is that this rule sticks regardless of how much you make versus how much your renter makes. I once had a tenant who was a mid-level Nike exec (he and his wife separated and he wanted to be in his daughter's school neighborhood through grade school so as to make the transition easier for her). Based on his rental application and credit check, dude made upwards of $400k/yr, yet I would have owed him $4,500 if I wanted to move one of my parents into that rental property once his initial lease year expired.

Back to the original point, there are a very limited set of circumstances (and this was the case before the relo ordinance), where you could evict a tenant for-cause, including non-payment of rent, certain legal infractions (usually drug-related), etc., and you had to extensively document these issues and prove them in a court of law before you could evict the tenant, a process that costs usually thousands of dollars and takes anywhere from 3-6 months (and if you are evicting for non-payment, you are eating that mortgage payment with no rental income).

"No-cause eviction" is a scaremongering term ginned up by the renter rights crowd (I won't say "by the left," because plenty of left-wing economists and urban planners also agree rent control sucks).
6
I'm so glad I'm getting out of the landlord business. I'm doing a quick remodel and putting my rental house on the market!
7
@dimag05 - You and lots of other landlords, which will further restrict the supply of rental housing and drive up the price even more.
8
@Flavio -- Thanks for the answer and yes, that seems fairly boneheaded. Restricting rent increases to certain percentages I can understand, giving lots of lead time before notifying the tenant of a non-renewal I can understand, penalties for breaking the terms of the lease agreement I can understand. This "relocation cost" fee at a contract's end is too punitive.
9
OK, so clearly there's a coordinated effort here
10
...to fill the comments section of this with pro-loophole, anti-tenant comments. Look, you guys could all easily afford to pay relocation costs...and if you're the ones who are going to benefit from forcing tenants out when they've done nothing to deserve being forced out, why SHOULDN'T they be compensated? Why should the tenants have to take a financial hit simply because you've decided to discard them?

I seriously doubt there are any Left people anywhere who think that rent control is a bad idea, and it's absurd to argue that people with rental properties need a divine right to raise rents over and over and over and over in order to survive.

You folks should be willing to make a small sacrifice for the greater good now and then, rather than demanding that everybody else do nothing but lose ground so you can get richer.
12
"I seriously doubt there are any Left people anywhere who think that rent control is a bad idea"

The vast majority of leftist economists, urban planners, and policy professionals who have studied this issue all agree it's a bad idea. This is literally the left-wing version of climate change denial. A loud, ignorant special interest group demanding policy that goes against all the best available evidence. It's not a coordinated conspiracy to oppose rent control, it's simply people who have actually read up on studies for this issue. If it was a good policy, I'd support it. It's not a good policy. Look at housing and rent prices in every other city rent control has been implemented. Good luck finding something affordable in those cities, AlaskanNow. You can't do it.
13
Also, AlaskanNow, the reason they shouldn't be compensated is because they agreed to a short-term rental period. Should someone be compensated when the rental car company demands they return the car at the end of the rental period? Should I be compensated for returning your lawnmower if I borrow it?

I have offered multi-year leases to good tenants countless times. Nobody has ever wanted to sign more than a two-year lease because they "want the flexibility." Well, guess what comes with that "flexibility" and lack of commitment - a lack of a guarantee I will want to rent to them after the lease period is up. Maybe I want to move into that unit. Maybe I have a parent I want to move into that unit. Or maybe the tenant turns out to be obnoxious and annoying to the neighbors, but not anything that rises to the level of a "for-cause" eviction. Now I just have to tell those neighbors tough shit, because the City of Portland is forcing me to pay thousands of dollars to an obnoxious asshole if I want them to move on. There are an infinite number of reasons why a small-time responsible landlord would want to refuse a lease renewal to a particular tenant.

Put an annual cap on rent, that still doesn't address a lot of the costs of maintaining a unit but whatever, just let me decide who gets to live in my property. I have a responsibility to my family and neighbors way more than I have a responsibility to a random renter.
14
Most single unit landlords cannot "easily afford to pay relocation costs" AlaskanNow. We make a couple hundred dollars a month after paying the mortgage, property taxes and monthly garbage. That couple hundred of dollars pays for repairs and updates - and occasionally needs to be used to cover the mortgage in between tenants or to clean up after bad tenants. Being a landlord is a big pain in the ass, it barely pencils out for us in the short term. But it has been a labor of love, we have poured blood, sweat, tears and $ into what was our first home as a long-term investment for our kid's future.

This ordinance says if we ever want to take possession of this home at the end of a legal lease term, we would need to pay $4,200 ninety days in advance OR go through a lengthy and costly court process. That is absurd. IF we ever wanted someone to move out of our house at the end of a legal lease term, we will probably have a really good reason for it. And, guess what, that should be our decision considering it is our house.

And I've read they are now looking at security deposits and screening policies....

I am really disappointed and saddened by my city. It seems pretty obvious that we can say goodbye to affordable single family homes rented by caring, local landlords in the inner city. Everett Homes is about to make a killing replacing all those cute bungalows (and mature yard trees) with $800,000 McMansions.

P.S. We are way left and our tenants often made more than we do.