City Commissioners pass ordinance requiring landlords to pay ren - KPTV - FOX 12

City Commissioners pass ordinance requiring landlords to pay renters' moving fees

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(KPTV/John Hendricks) (KPTV/John Hendricks)

After six hours of testimony from more than 100 people, Portland City Commissioners voted unanimously to pass an ordinance aimed at helping renters.

City Commissioners voted 5-0 on the new ordinance that was proposed by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. The ordinance will add protections for people facing no cause evictions or big rent increases.

The new ordinance will require Portland landlords to pay renter's moving fees if they were evicted for no reason, or if a renter decides to move out after their landlord increases their rent by 10 percent or more within a years time.

Before the vote City Commissioners added several amendments to the ordinance. The first was an exemption for landlords who own one property. A big concern voiced during public comment was the financial impact the ordinance would have on small property owners.

The second amendment provided an exemption for landlords who were moving back into their home who had been gone for three years or less. The amendment was aimed at protecting those who are landlords who may be in the military or on some sort of sabbatical.

Earlier in the day, dozens of tenants came out to a rally in support of the ordinance, hoping it would pass.

"It is not the answer and the final solution, but it is a step in the right direction," said Lucy Berger.

Berger is one of many who support the ordinance. She was given a no-cause eviction last year, and says it nearly forced her to leave Portland.

"The rent started there at $1,295 and ended at $1,450, and I had some roommates there. And now I'm paying $625 for a room in a basement," said Berger.

Native Portlander and landlord Christopher Frick is against the ordinance.

"I just don't think it's going to work for tenants or landlords. I think we've been demonized in the press and in the public here and I think it's unfair, and it's punitive," said Frick.

Landlords like Frick will now be required to pay between $2,900 and $4,500, depending on the size of the unit.

But Eudaly says landlords don't have to pay it, as long as they don't hike rents by 10 percent or issue no-cause evictions.

The ordinance is temporary that would last as long as the city's housing emergency declaration, which at this point is set to expire in October 2017.

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