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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: 193732

Reported Deaths: 2572
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38352591
Washington25592233
Marion22026306
Clackamas17440214
Lane13007148
Jackson10862139
Deschutes896274
Umatilla820284
Linn492969
Yamhill446376
Klamath441164
Polk375752
Malheur351863
Josephine334570
Douglas327271
Benton310019
Jefferson219837
Coos206633
Columbia174427
Union144823
Lincoln137921
Wasco137728
Hood River118730
Crook111322
Morrow110716
Clatsop9858
Baker95414
Tillamook6493
Curry6469
Grant5095
Lake4517
Harney3448
Wallowa1845
Gilliam631
Sherman581
Wheeler321
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3764405

Reported Deaths: 62573
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123645624067
Riverside2994554594
San Bernardino2967824715
San Diego2785913729
Orange2709835026
Santa Clara1190642096
Kern1091771374
Sacramento1048401686
Fresno1018381688
Alameda879401657
Ventura810011013
San Joaquin732201391
Contra Costa68741805
Stanislaus621421061
Tulare49654839
Monterey43613383
San Mateo42038568
San Francisco36720544
Santa Barbara34337456
Solano32953252
Merced31898460
Sonoma30035320
Imperial28443726
Kings22989246
Placer22679292
San Luis Obispo21308260
Madera16462242
Santa Cruz16264207
Marin14056227
Yolo13910210
Shasta12152226
Butte12026199
El Dorado10168112
Napa987082
Sutter9433112
Yuba626847
San Benito606563
Lassen570624
Tehama557262
Nevada474275
Tuolumne413166
Mendocino410149
Humboldt404641
Amador365847
Lake347643
Glenn239125
Colusa223416
Siskiyou223424
Calaveras212954
Inyo142838
Del Norte13938
Mono12844
Plumas7106
Modoc4994
Mariposa4487
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned520
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