Portland Tenants United push for city ordinance to protect against landlord harassment

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 8:28 AM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Advocates for renters in Portland are pushing for more protections against harassing behavior by landlords and property managers.

According to Portland Tenants United, 40% of 200 tenants surveyed in 2021 experienced conflict with their landlord or manager. 30% reported experiencing harassment.

“What we see a lot is landlords who file evictions that don’t have legal standing,” said Leeor Schweitzer, an organizer with PTU. “We see landlords that violate the right of entry and lots of cases of landlords that yell at tenants, threaten tenants, and sometimes physically assault tenants.”

Lindsey Mena, a tenant who rented an apartment in SE Portland, said she experienced weeks of harassment from her landlord, which culminated in a verbal confrontation in her home.

“She came in past me very close to me and then got in my face within a few inches, yelling at me, and I was just shaking,” said Mena.

PTU has pushed Housing Commissioner Carmen Rubio to draft a city ordinance that directly addresses landlord harassment.  Rubio’s staff said they’re still reviewing the issue.

Schweitzer said his organization would like to see the city establish a complaint process for tenants, run through the city, and some kind of city-led intervention on behalf of tenants in conflicts with landlords, including potential fines.

Right now the only recourse for tenants who experience harassment is hiring an attorney and pursuing legal action or taking their landlord to small claims court.