Revised tenant protection measures scheduled for Thursday
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly will try again Thursday to convince a majority of the City Council to support new tenant protection measures.
The measures are intended to limit the reasons that landlords can reject a rental application and regulate when security deposits can be withheld, among other things.
Eudaly has revised her measures after they were first heard by the council on April 3 and 4. At that time, they were strongly opposed by landlords, who complained the screening requirements could force them to rent to convicted criminals. Landlords also called the new requirements too complicated to understand and follow.
Some developers also objected to restrictions on how much potential tenants have to earn, arguing that lenders require tenants to early at least three times the monthly rent for projects to be financially viable.
The Portland Tribune also learned after the first hearings that the City Attorney's Office has sent council member a memo summarizing the legal risks faced by the original proposals. Mayor Ted Wheeler characterized the risks as "low to high," depending on the issue.
Wheeler said that Chloe has been working with Commissioner Nick Fish to craft a compromise that will pass the council and withstand legal challenges.
As first reported by Willamette Week, the revised measures introduced last week are simpler but still restrict landlords from requiring potential tenants to earn no more than 2.5 times the rent. They are now available on the city's website here.
Landlords and developers have yet to respond publicly to the revisions. The hearing on them is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 22 in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
The council cannot vote on the measures Thursday because they have been changed since the first hearing. Votes could be held the following week.
You can find the measures as items 483 and 484 on the council agenda here.