Should Oregon restrict no-cause evictions? Senate takes up bill passed by House
SALEM, Ore. - A bill restricting no-cause evictions passed by the Oregon House received a first hearing the Senate on Wednesday.
House Bill 2004-A would restrict no-cause evictions after a renter has lived in a property for 6 months.
The hearing brought out advocates from both sides of the argument. Even the overflow room at Wednesday's hearing was packed with people.
According to the organization Stable Homes for Oregon Families, 40 percent of Oregonians rent their homes and are at risk of no-cause evictions.
Allison McIntosh, a housing advocate with Neighborhood Partnerships, said that no-cause evictions are on the rise across the state. She says landlords are unfairly kicking out tenants in order to raise rents and take advantage of a growing demand for housing.
"Right now what's happening is because there are 5 or 10 or 20 tenants waiting to take every available properties," McIntosh said.
Krya Kespin is a single mother with two children living in Portland. She said that in October, right before the holidays, her landlord posted an eviction notice on her door saying she had 60 days to get out. Krespin said she did violate any policies and paid rent on time.
"Clearly I want to provide stability for my daughter," she said. "She's in the first grade. I want her to go to the same school. I want to find a landlord that I can work with, that I can do business with."
On the other side of the argument: People who say the bill would hurt landlords who use no-cause evictions to get rid of nuisance tenants without going through a lengthy and potentially expensive legal battle. Sometimes it can be hard to prove that drug transactions are taking place inside an apartment, for example.
"If we go through a for-cause proceeding, then we have to hire an attorney," says third-generation property owner Michael Faves. "It takes months to go through the judicial system. And it's a bad deal for the tenant."
Faves said a legal battle can leave a mark on a tenant's rental history, making it harder for them to rent in the future.
Some landlords testified Wednesday in support of the bill.
To pass, the bill needs 16 votes in the Oregon Senate. A vote could come in the next few weeks.
Other landlords testified at Wednesday's hearing, showing support for the bill.