Understanding Oregon Rent Control: Max Rent Increases for 2024

Oregon rent control laws cap annual rent hikes and strengthen eviction rules. Learn about rent increase limits, eviction protocols, and notice requirements.

By
Nichole Stohler
|
Last Updated
May 17, 2024
Understanding Oregon Rent Control: Max Rent Increases for 2024

As an Oregon landlord, keeping up with the state's rent control laws is non-negotiable. Enacted in 2019, these regulations tackle the affordable housing crisis and directly impact how you operate your rental business.

From capping annual rent increases to implementing stricter eviction rules, this isn't just legal jargon — these new ground rules can make or break your profits and tenant relations.

In this article, we'll break down Oregon's rent control laws in plain language so you know exactly what you can and cannot do with your rental properties.

The basics of rent control

Rent control refers to government rules that limit how much a landlord can increase rent. This keeps housing affordable and prevents sudden and large rent hikes that could force tenants to move out. 

While the specific formulas and permitted increase percentages vary, many rent control policies tie allowable rent hikes to metrics like inflation rates or a rise in operational costs. These stabilization measures attempt to balance protecting renters from excessive increases while accounting for landlords' expenses.

In 2019, Oregon adopted a statewide rent control law via Senate Bill 608.

Unpacking Oregon rent control laws

Oregon's statewide rent control laws aim to address housing affordability amid a crisis driven by a shortage of approximately 111,000 housing units. This scarcity increases competition for housing in general and makes affordability a critical issue for low-income households.

Prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 608, Oregon lacked comprehensive statewide rent control, with previous regulations being limited and not uniformly applied across the state. The introduction of SB 608 responded to Oregon's housing crisis by aiming to provide greater stability and predictability for tenants across the state.

In revising existing rent regulations, the Oregon legislature established measures to limit rent increases. Key components of this law include:

Eviction protections

A key part of Senate Bill 608 prohibits evictions without cause after a tenant has lived in a rental unit for over one year. Landlords must provide legitimate reasons to evict tenants after their first year, such as:

  • Non-payment of rent: Failure to pay rent as agreed.
  • Lease violations: Breaches of the lease agreement terms.
  • Illegal activities: Engaging in illegal actions within the rental unit.

Rental increase cap

Another key element of Oregon's rent control law is the cap on raising rent. For 2024, landlords can raise rents by a maximum of 10%. The goal of this limit is to prevent excessive rent hikes during times of high inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

Previously, the limit was 7% plus inflation, which led to some tenants seeing increases as high as 14.6%. Details on the 10% cap include:

  • Applicable properties: Residential properties that are at least 15 years old.
  • Exemptions: Does not apply to newer buildings and government-subsidized housing.
  • Frequency: Landlords can only increase rent also once per year and cannot do so during the first year of tenancy.
  • Notice requirement: The property manager or landlord must provide written notice stating the new amount and effective date when they increase rent.

Notice requirements by lease type

  • Month-to-month leases: For this lease type, landlords must provide at least 90 days written notice before the increase.
  • Fixed-term leases: These are usually for one year. During this period, landlords cannot change the terms of the rental agreement, including the rent amount, unless the lease allows for such changes. 
  • Week-to-week leases: Landlords need to provide a 7-day written notice with the new rent, amount, and effective date.

Rent control Oregon

Oregon's rent control laws require landlords to adapt their practices. While the regulations promote housing affordability, they also impose constraints property owners must follow. From rent increase caps to revised eviction protocols, remaining compliant avoids penalties and maintains positive tenant relationships.

The implementation of these rules is relatively new, and their long-term impacts on the rental market are yet to be determined. As the housing crisis evolves, changes or clarifications may emerge. Landlords should stay updated and seek professional legal advice when needed.

Operating a successful rental business now demands a balanced approach that respects tenant rights while protecting property owners' interests. Flexibility and a willingness to adjust operating procedures will be key for landlords operating in the state of Oregon.

Oregon rent control FAQs

Will rent ever go down in Oregon?

It's hard to predict, but rent prices in Oregon may stop increasing or decrease if more housing becomes available or if a significant economic downturn reduces the demand for housing.

What can a landlord not do in Oregon?

In Oregon, landlords cannot discriminate against tenants based on protected characteristics like religion, race, or disability. They also cannot retaliate against tenants for exercising their legal rights, make unauthorized entries into a tenant's unit, or fail to pay a required relocation assistance fee when terminating a tenancy.

Do you have to make 3 times rent in Oregon?

No, you do not need to make 3 times the rent in Oregon to qualify for an apartment. There is no statewide law or rent regulation that requires renters to have an income of 3 times a month's rent.

Important Note: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be taken as legal, accounting, or tax advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for such services. Always consult your own legal, accounting, or tax counsel before taking any action based on this information.

Nichole Stohler

Nichole co-founded Gateway Private Equity Group, with a history of investments in single-family and multi-family properties, and now a specialization in hotel real estate investments. She is also the creator of NicsGuide.com, a blog dedicated to real estate investing.

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