Senate Bill 608 went into effect in 2019, landlords are still struggling to understand its scope and how it applies to their particular Oregon rental properties.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting the economy and resulting in a temporary eviction moratorium for any tenants who have been impacted, it has become a little more complicated over the last few months.
We’re looking at the two main parts of Senate Bill 608, which cover a cap on rental increases and a change in how no-cause evictions are handled.
Oregon Rent Control and SB 608
The law now limits the amount that Oregon landlords can raise their rent every year. You can raise your rent by no more than seven percent in a 12-month period, plus the amount of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If you’re renting out a property on a month-to-month basis, you cannot increase the rent during the first year of tenancy. After that first year, you’ll need to provide your tenants with 90 days of notice before you raise the rent.
There are exemptions, and you’ll need to know if your property qualifies. Owners renting out a property in a building that received their certificate of occupancy less than 15 years ago do not have to follow the rent control law. So, if your building is newer than 15 years old, you are exempt. Any rental increase you implement will then depend solely on the market.
Evicting Tenants and SB 608
This bill changes the way notices to vacate are served, but it does not prevent you from removing a non paying tenant from your property.
Serving a no-cause notice to vacate has to be given during the first year of a tenant’s occupancy. After that, you may only evict a tenant with cause. That cause may be nonpayment of rent, lease violations, or criminal activity at the property. If you’re evicting with cause and the tenant comes into compliance, you’ll have to call off the eviction. But, if they commit the same violation within six months, you can serve a 10 Day Repeat Violation Notice, speeding up the likelihood of eviction.
If your tenant is paying the rent consistently and following the terms of the lease, you’ll be required to keep them in place after the lease term expires unless there is a legally permitted exception.
You can ask your tenants to leave if you meet one of those exceptions. But, you’ll have to provide 90 days of notice and a one month relocation fee, which is payable to the tenants when you give notice. You may be exempt from this requirement if you own fewer than four rental properties in Oregon.
The acceptable reasons for this no-cause eviction are:
- Renovations to the rental property that make it inhabitable.
- The rental property is to be demolished or no longer used as a residence.
- The property owner or an immediate family member needs to move into the home.
- The landlord has sold the property to someone who wants to use it as a primary residence.
You may still evict a tenant who isn’t paying rent, and you won’t have to pay a relocation fee in that instance.
This law has been in place for more than a year now, but we understand that it’s complex and challenging. If you have questions about your specific Portland rental property, please contact us at Performance Properties. We’d be happy to provide more information.