Over the last three years, the City of Portland has been responding to a housing supply shortage by dramatically expanding their regulation of the industry. From inclusionary zoning and permit requirement changes, to paid relocation assistance and rental unit registration. Owners must be aware of current and future/proposed changes. The ‘Rental Services Commission’ is currently making recommendations to the city council, who is creating legislation very quickly. The officials at the City of Portland have expressed little opposition to some of the most extreme measures. If you are interested to learn more about the city and their goals, click here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/phb/72622

Challenges already effecting landlords in Portland:

Paid Relocation Fee to Tenants issued a No-Cause Notice:

  • $2,900 (studio)
  • $3,300 (1-bedroom)
  • $4,200 (2-bedroom)
  • $4,500 (3-bedroom or larger)
  • Rent Increase limitations (limited to 10%, or pay fee above if tenants seek assistance; our Rent increases today are average 3%)
  • Substantial changes to Rental Agreement (incur relocation fee above)
  • Leases do not end – only roll Month to month. If tenants are asked to vacate at the end of their lease, the above fee is required.

Some exceptions may apply, see https://www.portlandoregon.gov/phb/74544 for more details.

Regulations still being refined, but these are currently in the pipeline:

  1. Restrictive Rental Criteria Limits
  2. Restricted Deposits
  3. Regulated Tenant’s Final Accounting Practices
  4. Rental Unit Registration & Mandatory City Inspections

No tenant should pay for unit upgrades and damages that occur as normal wear & tear. However, some owners not protected by our team are less informed or seek to take advantage of their tenants. Our firm’s strong and experienced accounting practices protect our owners from violating these new rules as they continue to evolve, but some changes will be necessary to the way we perform our final accounting.

As active members on the Multifamily NW Legislative Committee, we have a seat at the table with other industry leaders to evaluate and respond to these dramatic changes. The market & regulations will continue to evolve, and we are evolving our processes just as quickly.

Ways we are adjusting includes:

  1. Utilizing attorneys more frequently to refine and evaluate our tenant correspondence & management strategy
  2. Coaching owners to direct their actions in order to prevent costly pitfalls
  3. Process and procedure planning: we are ready to implement as new rules come online
  4. Training: full day training classes to draw everyone together for comprehensive review
  5. Changed our unit evaluation processes – multiple eyes in the reports for deeper evaluation & increasing tenant accountability
  6. Staying Informed – educating ourselves, educating property investors

Our corporate mission: “to serve people through our professional property management services, caring for absentee residential investors & tenants with respect, integrity, honesty and excellence.” Investors have an opportunity to make money through owning rental property in Portland. Our customers should not fear these new rules, as InterWest Properties has been utilizing best practices, and is ready.

We are committed to serving you, the property owner, as we navigate these new waters together.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


The Broker’s at InterWest Properties, along with our InterWesting Family

Kimberly A Johnson (Principle OR)

Bj Newman (OR)

Samantha Edwards (OR)

Robert Johnson (WA)

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