Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, June 8, 2017

License to extort, power to abuse

HB 2004

There's more than one way to skin a cat, 
but it's probably going to be more expensive.

If approved, Senate amendments to HB 2004 will allow, even encourauge tenants to extort concessions from their landlords when an eviction (or rent increase) is imminent.  If there are no real mantnance issues that a tenant can use to hold onto an apartment, they can always be created.  Oops!
So sorry, things just keep breaking here every 60 days.  

Landlords have used no-cause "eviction", or non-renewal of leases, as a way to weed out undesirable tenants without the expense and trouble of using the court system.  Most people don't undestand that this process has huge benefits for tenants:  By not going to court, a tenant avoids having a formal eviction on their record that will be used to exclude them from future rentals.  Laws that prohibit no-cause "evictions" will force a court case and add to the cost of doing business, but will not keep undesirable tenants in an apartment.  

In business, over-regulation makes everything more expensive.  Costs ALWAYS get passed on to the people who can least afford it.  It's one thing to create a fair business environment, but when government starts picking winners and losers, we all lose.  

Rent control that limits a landlord's income would be disastrous for everyone, but even if this option isn't in the cards this legislative session, it isn't a win for anyone when government piles on costs that makes life more expensive for everyone.  

A Proposal to Allow Rent Control in Oregon is Probably Dead

Portland Mercury, May 31, 2017 By Dirk Vanderhart

The rent control dream appears dead. 
After the Oregon House of Representatives earlier this year passed a bill that would kill the state's pre-emption on local limits on rent hikes, a Senate committee this afternoon chopped that provision before moving the legislation before the full Senate.
The removal came in a package of amendments taken up by the Senate Committee on Human Services during a work session. The amendments' passage means cities and counties likely won't win permission to adopt so-called "rent stabilization" policies that limit what landlords can charge. Legislators had heard from hundreds of renters, advocates, and landlords embroiled in the heated debate over the state's soaring rent costs. 

Interesting to see who the "winners" and "losers" are according to the press, activists and popular, albeit uninformed opinion.  

"Rent Stabilization" is a euphanism for rent control which caps a rental housing owner's income.  No one should be fooled by the name switcheroo.  There are other forms of "rent stabilization" that make doing business more difficult and expensive and interferes with productivity and raises prices.

The vote diminished the hopes of activists and advocacy groups who'd seen their caused championed by House Speaker Tina Kotek in this year's legislative session, but could not find much muscular support in the House Senate.

Both Holland and Black still see promise in the bill that's now before the full senate. It would prevent landlords from issuing no-cause evictions to tenants who are at least nine months into a month-to-month tenancy (a more lenient standard than six months, which had been in the bill), instead only allowing eviction for a set of "just" causes. The bill would also prevent no-cause evictions within 60 days if a tenant asked for necessary repairs, and prevent a landlord from raising the rents on a tenant more than once every 12 months, among other things. 

Those are wins, Black says, but they won't allow the City of Portland to create a policy for limiting rental increases within the city, which local leaders had pushed for and had been one of PTU's main goals of the session.

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