Portland's New Tenant Relocation Assistance Laws

At the beginning of February 2017, the Portland City Council adopted new housing laws that give tenants additional protections from the stressed housing market. Tenants affected by these new laws may be entitled to thousands of dollars in compensation from their landlords. Here is what you need to know about the new laws:

Relocation Assistance – Cash from your Landlord

Under certain circumstances, if a landlord displaces you from your Portland home, they must pay you cash to help make your transition easier. The amount of cash they owe you depends on the size of your home:

    For a studio or single room occupancy: $2,900.00
    For a one-bedroom home: $3,300.00
    For a two-bedroom home: $4,200.00
    For a three-bedroom home or larger: $4,500.00

The new law applies in three different circumstances:

1)Your Landlord Gives You a No Cause Notice of Termination

If your landlord gives you a written notice that they are terminating your tenancy without stated cause, this triggers Portland’s new law. The landlord’s cash payment to you will be due at least 45 days before your tenancy actually terminates.

2)Your Landlord Refuses to Renew Your Lease

The cash relocation assistance requirement also applies if your landlord refuses to renew your fixed-term lease when it expires, on substantially the same terms as the existing lease. Note that the landlord can offer you a renewal with an increased rent without having to pay relocation assistance.

3)Your Landlord Increases Your Rent by 10% or more

The cash relocation assistance requirement also applies if your landlord raises your rent by 10% or more within a 12-month period, but only if the rent increase means that you choose to move out rather than stay and pay the increased rent. And, you must quickly provide your landlord a written notice of your intent to move out in order to qualify for the payment.

Exceptions

As always, the law contains some exceptions. The law does not apply to:

    A landlord who rents out only one home in Portland;
    A landlord who temporarily rents out their own home while they are gone for no more than three years; or
    to landlords who share a home with their tenant

As with all landlord-tenant laws, things get very technical, and minor mistakes by either side can make a big difference. Don’t let dishonest landlords deny you the money that you are owed. If you want to be sure that your rights are protected, hire a lawyer from Portland Defender.