There is some new legislation in the City of Portland that affects landlords, and today we’re talking about what those changes mean for you, your rental property and your tenants.
Over the last few years in Portland, there has been a much higher demand for rental property. That demand has surpassed the supply of homes that are available to rent. This fact has allowed rents to climb higher and higher throughout the city. The Portland market has supported rent increases as high as 10 percent. That’s good news for landlords, but the tight rental market has been a challenge for tenants, so the City of Portland passed new laws to provide more time to tenants who need housing.
Landlords can still increase rents as high as the marketplace will allow, but there are now changes in notice requirements to your tenants. If you plan to increase the tenant’s rent or other costs of housing more than five percent within a 12-month period, you are now required to provide at least 90 days notice to your tenants. If you want your tenants to vacate your property at the end of their lease term, you also need to serve the proper No Cause Notice to those tenants at least 90 days prior to the end of the lease.
These new requirements have presented some challenges to landlords and tenants. For example, the rental market in Portland is much stronger in the spring and summer months. Therefore, prudent landlords will not want to have their leases ending after August, because those fall and winter months make it a little harder to find tenants. If a landlord is thinking ahead and knows a lease will end in August, with the new 90 day requirement, you’ll want to get your lease renewal signed in May or before May. Otherwise, the landlord may have an empty property after the Labor Day holiday.
The tenant only needs to provide the landlord with a 30 day notice. Many tenants won’t want to commit to another one year lease several months in advance of their current lease expiring. This puts the landlord in an awkward position; either you will have to require an early decision from the tenant or you’ll have to begin marketing for a new tenant. Neither option will make the tenant or the landlord happy, but with the new notification requirements, this is the reality for landlords and tenants.
Before you increase your rent or serve a Notice to Vacate, we recommend that you consult with an attorney who is familiar with these new legal requirements. If you have any questions or you’d like more information, please contact us at Residential Property Management in Portland.