SB 608 VOTE: NO – Governor Brown Signed
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/SB608
This bill prohibits landlord from terminating month-to-month tenancy without cause after 12 months of occupancy and caps the growth of rent at 7%.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
Rent control is kind of like trade protectionism. Imposes rent controls that inevitably lead to fewer housing choices.
The actual intention of this bill is to avoid having an impact, which maybe why such a high cap was chosen.
The bill will further aggravate Oregon’s current housing shortage by dissuading more landlords from entering such arrangements, causing further shortages OR cause landlords to neglect maintenance. This will worsen the Oregon housing shortage, not improve it. Although the 7% plus inflation seems handleable, it sets a precedent and could be significantly constricting quickly should housing costs escalate.
This ends a state wide ban on cities and counties introducing rent control.
Government putting its thumb on free market. Rent control and restrictions on landlords’ ability to handle the tenant relationship distorts market forces. It introduces additional risks and costs to landlords encouraging them to exit the market, leaving fewer options to renter or under maintained premises.
As a landlord of multiple residences in a prior life, I find this gov’t intrusion into this area of life unconscionable. It Was My families money that bought the properties, our work to fix them up and our responsibility to maintain/repair the properties when “damaged” or otherwise needed repair. No gov’t help, not that we would have taken it. We left renters alone as long as the rent money continued. We also did “spot checks” when appropriate. We did NOT raise rents arbitrarily, only when outside forces dictated, because we learned early in the game that a “stable” renter was as good as gold and it was cheaper to leave them be than to turn the properties multiple times and go through the hassle and expense of repair. Not all landlords adhere to this philosophy. Most view their properties as investments and a minority, “slumlords” view this as a revenue stream only. That is why you can tell their rental properties by looking. Renters have a responsibility also. Many did not care for our properties, so eventually we gave up this business venture as we lost money at the end and damages seemed to become the norm rather than the random occurrence.
Government cannot legislate a fairytale. Rents reflect the investment in the property and the required expense of property tax, insurance and maintenance. The profit is amortized over at least a five year period to account for vacancies, repairs and capital expenditures. It is not a get rich quick business. People need to realize that the small landlords are the backbone of affordable housing. If we did not provide these homes where would the masses live? If you encumber us with too many restrictions we will look at selling. It’s a sellers market. Be careful what you wish for.