Empire is currently enjoying a less than 1% vacancy rate, and this is good and bad for Oregon landlords.
It is good because the demand is giving many landlords the opportunity to raise rents in order to keep up with maintenance and begin to be profitable. The competition is so fierce that at many showings we will see 10 parties or more attend. Oregon’s only real problem is a lack of housing inventory, and developers are slow to react since the diligence in developing new housing can take anywhere from several months to years.
The bad is that the Oregon Legislature, Governor, and local governments have declared war on “evil” landlords for the service we provide. Here are some of the bills coming along. HB 2004 being most likely to go to the House floor.

  • Rent Control – Several bills are being looked at in committee to limit rent increases to no more than 5% per year.
  • End No Cause Notices – There are some exceptions, but even with the exceptions landlords will be required to give a 90 day notice and require landlords to pay for relocation costs of up to 3 months rental value. This is going to destroy the already turbulent market.
  • Repeal Prohibition of Rent control for Oregon cities.
  • And the worst was already passed in Portland. There, landlords are now required to pay tenants for relocation costs ranging from $2900 to $4500 and landlords are required to give tenants a 90 day notice.

    Empire’s position is that the free market is a miracle of nearly infinite moving parts and that the government could not possibly help the relationship between landlords and tenants. In the end, Oregon tenants will pay for all of this in the form of lower quality rental units, even more scarcity, and another generation of landlords who see their tenants as the enemy instead of valued paying customers.
    Make sure you call and email your legislature and let them know where you stand on the coming legislation.
    James (Ed) Waggoner
    Empire Property Management