New Rent Protections Help Residential Tenants

In an effort to aid tenants facing increases in rent, the Oregon legislature recently passed HB 4143, which was signed into law on March 15, 2016, by Governor Kate Brown. HB 4143 amends the Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act (ORLTA) and provides new rent protections for residential tenants starting April 14, 2016.

For tenants in month-to-month tenancies, landlords are now prohibited from raising rent within the first year of the tenancy and must now provide notice at least 90 days before raising rent after that first year of occupancy. The ORLTA had previously required landlords to give notice at least 30 days before increasing rent. For tenants in a week-to-week tenancy, the law now requires landlords to provide at least 7 days notice before rent is increased.

Oregon’s most populous city, Portland, also recently passed additional tenant protections, which are aimed at slowing no-cause evictions that have risen with the increase in property values.  Portland City Code 30.01.085 prohibits a landlord from terminating a tenancy “without cause” unless the landlord has provided the tenant with at least 90 days’ written notice of the termination, or the end of rental agreement, whichever is longer.

A Portland landlord is also prohibited from increasing rent by 5 percent or more over a 12-month period unless the landlord gives written notice at least 90 days before the effective date of the rent increase. Landlords that fail to comply with Portland’s new requirements are liable to the tenant for an amount up to three months rent, as well as actual damages, reasonable attorney fees and costs.

Written by Portland attorney David Venables.

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