Many people lack sympathy for landlords jacking up rents to the max in areas with close to zero vacancy rates. Housing involves real people with real lives, and the current housing environment is not very healthy for affordable home ownership or rental. The argument can be made that home affordability is important because homeowners and long-term tenants put down roots and contribute to the community. When rents or housing prices are high, many people move elsewhere and potential skilled workers turn down employment in those areas. Many communities across the country are experiencing the same problems we see in Bend and Portland, but we don't hear much about solutions and the housing inventory keeps shrinking and driving up prices for both rentals and home purchases.
The Portland City Council has recently enacted a new law as an attempt to deal with what has been called a housing emergency. Councilors first attempted to pass a rent freeze, which failed, but the new law seeks to have the same effect by requiring landlords to provide relocation assistance to tenants under certain circumstances. In a nutshell, if a landlord raises rents by more than 10 percent, and if this raise forces the tenant to move, the landlord will be required to pay the tenant between $2,900 and $4,500 for relocation assistance. The amount is dependent on the size of the original lease. It's designed to cover moving costs, first and last month's rent and security deposit for the tenant's move.
The housing affordability crisis is getting more critical in Bend as well. It's been a challenge with few solutions implemented, thus increasing the push to take action. While the intentions are good, there are pros and cons. It could be argued that more regulation could put further upward pressure on rents by encouraging landlords to raise rents by 9.9 percent per year when they might not have intended to do that much. It's also important to remember that landlords own their properties and should be allowed to do what they want, within existing land use laws.
158 SE Heyburn St., Bend, OR 97702
2 beds, 1 bath, 738 square feet, .13 acre lot
Built in 1945
Listed by Duke Warner Realty
21185 NE Silverado Valley Lane., Bend, OR 97702
3 beds, 2.5 baths, 2,160 square feet, .12 acre lot
Built in 2006
Listed by Lowes Commercial/Residential Branch
19378 Alianna Loop, Bend, OR 97702
3 beds, 3.5 baths, 2,448 square feet, .24 acre lot
Built in 2017
Listed by Berkshire Hathaway HomeService