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Renters Push New Rent Law, Say It's Not Enough

The governor signed the bill Thursday, making Oregon the first state in the nation to have such a law.

Posted: Mar 1, 2019 7:52 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 9:43 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Landlords, renters, and property managers are trying to weed through the details when it comes to Oregon's new rent control law.

The governor signed the bill Thursday, making Oregon the first state in the nation to have such a law. 

Charles Rice, a Medford resident struggling with his rising rent, doesn't think the law goes far enough. He has lived in his two bedroom, one bathroom apartment in southwest Medford for about a decade. He says he's seen a $50 increase every year on his rent, which is now up to $850. 

He says it's a challenge to pay his rising rent because he is battling cancer and is on Social Security with a limited income. He wants to see a law that puts a monetary limit on how much landlords can raise rent each year. 

"They use percentage points," Rice says, talking about the new law. "I don't want to hear percentage points."

The law prevents landlords from raising rent higher than seven percent plus the consumer price index -- a benchmark of the average prices for most house purchases in the U.S.

Landlords also can't carry out no-cause evictions within a tenant's first year of occupancy — a provision designed to protect those living month-to-month, who are often most vulnerable to sudden rent hikes and abrupt lease terminations.

There are exemptions to the law, like if an owner has fewer than four units, or if a rental property has had its occupancy licenses less than 15 years. Senator Jeff Golden, (D - Ashland) says this is to ensure "that developers can recoup investment costs." 

Claude LaBaw, co-owner and president of My Favorite Property Management in Medford, says he thinks the seven percent plus the CPI is a good number.

"I don't think it's going to be that big of a problem, because most landlords don't raise their rent $300 - $400 in a year," LaBaw said. "Most landlords will raise them $100, $50, $25, depending on their expenses." 

For Rice, that's still too much. We reached out to his landlord, who works at Our Valley Properties LLC. All calls went straight to voicemail. Rice says he likes his neighborhood, but isn't sure what they're going to do to be able to stay. 

"We have nowhere to go," Rice said. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 4810222

Reported Deaths: 70598
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3636444159
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871372
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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