Federal court allows Portland renter protections to start
Portland's landmark package of rental screening rules will go into effect as planned March 1, despite a last-minute effort by a coalition of landlords to block the regulations three days before they were slated to start.
The landlords had filed a federal lawsuit against the city last week, alleging the rules were poorly constructed, cumbersome and poised to make owning property in Portland nearly impossible. It was not an entirely unexpected legal action, as Multifamily NW, a trade group representing the region's landlords and the main plaintiff in the suit, had been an outspoken critic of the rules, known as the FAIR ordinance, leading up to their passage last June.
But the timing of the suit — and the fact that the landlords were asking for a temporary restraining order, which would block the rules just days before they were set to begin — turned some heads, including the judge's.
"Everyone has known about these ordinances since June," said U.S. District Judge Michael Simon Thursday at the initial court hearing on the lawsuit. "And yet just the week before they go into effect, I get a temporary restraining order motion?"
Simon appeared displeased that the rush had led to him receiving court filings at five minutes to midnight the night before. He noted such an ask was not a way to endear yourself to the court.
Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can read the rest of their story here.
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