The Eugene Housing Policy Board met on January 9th, 2023, and discussed the ongoing implementation of their three-part “renter protection” plan. A city ordinance is being drafted and a public hearing will be held in late February, followed by a council session for action in March.
Part one of the three-part plan was implemented in August 2022. The city ordinance did the following:
- Funded support services for tenants, increasing the rental housing code door fee;
- Regulated move-in/out documentation, requiring the landlords to provide itemized and photo documentation of withholding from security deposit;
- Required landlords to provide rental references for tenants that have not provided notice; and,
- Cap application fees at $10.00 per person applying.
At the time, landlords and associated advocacy groups warned of the fallout that would inevitably occur. Vacancy costs for landlords skyrocketed. Management companies and private landlords experienced a spike in “window shopping applicants”, parties that are only mildly interested in moving but apply for a home “to see what happens.” These applicants slow down the process for those actively working to acquire a home.
The next step, Phase Two, will be presented in full in late February. It will be discussed in the council session for action in March, and by April, it will most likely go into effect.
WHAT IS PHASE TWO?
While some aspects of the plan are still under discussion, we know that it is planned for it to do the following:
- Limit security deposits to two times the monthly rent (excluding pet deposits);
- Mandate applications are processed in the order received – a first-come, first-served basis; and,
- Mandate landlords provide DPA (Displacement Prevention Assistance).
All the details regarding the Displacement Prevention Assistance are not yet available, but there are some details available. The landlord would be expected to pay move-out costs, the amount not decided as of yet, for tenants moving out under a legal no-cause notice. Substantial changes to the terms of the lease could trigger DPA, should the tenant decide to move for that reason, as could a rent increase over a certain permitted amount.
No details are currently released regarding phase three. It is likely to include some form of rent control, restrictions on how landlords are permitted to judge applications – including applications with compromised credit – and more.
Full details on the latest meeting by the Housing Policy Board are available here. We encourage our owners to read them and familiarize themselves with the ongoing issue.
Empire will continue to monitor the situation and provide our owners with updates.
As always, Happy Landlording!