Portland Tenant Protection Ordinance Upheld by Judge, but HB2004 Fails

July 11, 2017
SVN Imbrie Realty Staff

After months of public hearings and amendments to the bill, House Bill 2004 failed to make it to the Oregon Senate floor for a vote. The controversial bill, HB 2004, which would’ve granted protections for tenants was highly contentious. At its introduction, HB 2004 would’ve banned no-cause evictions statewide and allowed individual cities and counties to enact their own rent controls.

The rent control part of the bill was eventually taken out through an amendment, and several exceptions to the no-cause eviction ban were included in another amendment.

However, at the end, Senate President Peter Courtney loath to call a bill up for a vote that has little chance at passage as the bill failed to gain enough traction with state Senators.

Despite the failure of HB 2004, tenant protection supporters can take solace in the ruling handed down by Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Henry Breithaupt. Judge Henry Breithaupt ruled on Friday, July 7, 2017 that Portland's ordinance requiring landlords to pay relocation costs to renters they evict or hand rent increases that force them to leave is legal, His ruling marked a major loss for City of Portland landlords.

The judge wrote that the ordinance "clearly does not" control rent, nor stop landlords from carrying out no-cause evictions. He continued, "Defendant argues, and the court concludes, that the ordinance was a legislative response to a socio-economic problem in the city, such legislation may, and often does, change the cost-benefit balance for persons doing business or just living in the city…"

Further more, Breithaupt wrote. "Such legislation may be popular with some and unpopular with others. But such change is not prohibited.”

Attorney representing the two City of Portland landlords who sued to overturn the ordinance said decision to file an appeal will depend on whether the city renews the ordinance when it expires in October.

 

For more information on the City of Portland Tenant Protection Ordinance, visit: https://tinyurl.com/y9fvtxbx

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