Portland, Oregon Rental Law Changes into 2023

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Becoming a landlord means setting yourself up to increase your monthly income and build wealth over time so you and retire with the comfort of financial security. Being a landlord can create a kind of freedom in your life that allows for more time with family and friends and doing what you love.

Of course, with all the positives comes with risk, and a lot of work at times. This can depend on the age of the property you rent, tenant turnover, or whether or not you manage yourself or decide to hire a property manager. It also means learning and staying on top changing local city and state rental laws.

In this article, we’ll cover some of Portland’s game-changing rental laws of the past, current laws, and any updates for 2023.

Rental Rates are still Increasing in Portland, Oregon

According to RentCafe.com, the average rent in Portland, as of July 2022, was $1,746 for a 756 sq. ft. apartment, with 40% of rents falling between $1,501 and $2000. From the graph below, we can see how the rate at which rents have increased in Portland since March, 2021 to mid 2022.

Graph from Rentcafe.com

Portland Game-Changing Rental Laws in 2019

In 2019, Portland put rent control caps into effect stating that rents could increase only 7% plus the current inflation rate, which is decided by Oregon economists.

If we assume a rent of $2,000 per month and add the 7%, that equals a $140 jump in monthly rent for an extra $1,680 for the year. That’s not including the inflation rate. And it’s also using the old percentage, which has changed since (see “Portland Rental Laws in 2022” below).

Another new law in 2019 for the entire State of Oregon was the no-cause addition to rental laws. This rule says that a landlord may not evict a without citing a cause. So what happens if you need to make renovations or sell the rental? You must give the tenant(s) 90 days’ notice and pay them one month’s worth of rent. Learn the specifics here.

Another game-changer law from 2019 was mandatory renter relocation assistance. Events that can trigger this payment to tenants are no-cause eviction, notice not to renew a fixed-term lease, qualified landlord reason for termination, and a rent increase of 10% or more over a 12-month period. This can be an expensive one with the amount ranging from $2,900 for a studio or single room occupancy unit to $4,500 for a three-bedroom or larger.

Other important rental laws all landlords need to know, but not necessarily new, are:

  • Non-refundable fees—Oregon landlords must make clear in every lease what violations or situations can or will lead to fees not being refunded, like violating smoking policies, damage to property, and late rent, for example.
  • Disclosures—Landlords must provide disclosures to all tenants, usually in the rental agreement. These include legal definitions about who the owner and managers are, who pays for utility bills, smoke and carbon monoxide detector information, and smoking policy.
  • Tenant Rights—Landlords must give 24-hours notice to tenants, barring an emergency. There are also rules about how to handle property tenants leave behind, special protection for tenants who are victims of domestic violence, and Fair Housing rights regarding housing discrimination protections. Please visit this site for more details on tenant rights.

Portland Rental Law Updates in 2020

In our article, Portland Rental Law: What Landlords Should Know in 2021, we covered even more new rental laws that went into effect in 2020. These include:

  • FAIR (Fair Access in Renting)—This law oversees how landlords make tenant selections. It also regulates the security deposit process. Learn more from the Portland Housing Bureau site. FAIR was amended slightly in 2022.
  • Eviction bans—Due to the COVID pandemic Kate Brown, Oregon’s Governor, put in place laws to protect renters from evictions and terminations for not being able to pay rent, followed by an allowance for a six-month repayment period. This eviction ban has since ended.

Portland Rental Law Updates in 2021

In 2021 most of what was passed amounted to extensions of the eviction ban created in 2020 (which has now expired).

Portland Rental Laws in 2022

On September 15, 2021, Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis made public the new rent increase cap for 2022: 9.9%, following the 2021 9.2% increase.

If we use the $2,000 rent scenario mentioned above and apply the new allowable rental increase amount, that’s a monthly jump of $199, and an annual $2,376 rise.

Also the FAIR act we mentioned that passed in 2020, was significantly amended, especially concerning the proper handling and use of security deposits.

Portland Rental Law Increase Cap 2023

In 2023, all Portland and all Oregon landlords (it is a state-based rental rate law) will be able to increase the rent 14.6% due to high inflation. The formula is no more than 7% rental rate increase a year plus the annual consumer price index (inflation rate). In 2022 the cap formula came out to 9.9%, so 2023 rental hike (possible hikes) will be significantly higher. Of course this doesn’t mean that landlords will or should increase the rent the maximum amount of 14.6% in 2023, just that they can. Due to this large rent increase for tenants there will likely be upcoming political pressure to further reduce the total rate rents can increase annually.

Portland, Oregon Landlord Resources

If you’ve yet to become a landlord and all these shifting, changing laws and regulations make you nervous, know that there are plenty of resources to help you.

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We’d love to help you find the right property for your needs, whether you’re a veteran investor or just starting out. And if you have a rental property you want to sell, we can help you with that, as well. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll put our almost 20 years of experience in the Portland metro area to work for you. Call our top 1% buyer’s team at 503-773-0000, our top 1% seller’s team at 503-714-1111, or chat with the bot on our site.

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