Back in 2019, an Oregon rent control law allowed landlords to increase the rent up to 7% plus inflation, but did not have an upper limit. Then, in 2023, another law raised the allowable rent hike up to 14.6% after inflation soared. Now, the newly approved Senate Bill 611 is reigning in the price hike cap to 10% when inflation is rampant, but in years when inflation is slower, the increase remains at 7%.
Had this law not been approved, the maximum rent increase would have been at 12.6%.
While rent prices on average haven’t increased at rates that would meet the maximum, there are many landlords who do in fact cap their rent prices as high as the new laws will allow them. According to real estate website Zillow, the median rent in Oregon is $1,820.
The 10% cap also only applies to buildings that are at least 15 years old and will not apply to subsidized housing. Essentially, a property manager at a newer building could set their rent at whatever they see fit, reasonable or not. Tenant advocates, along with Senator Wlnsvey Campos, tried to keep the price lower. The West Coast consumer price index calculates today’s inflation at 5.6%, so under Campos’ original bill, the rent would have been capped at either a maximum of 8% or 3% plus inflation.
Landlords are only allowed to raise rent once a year, cannot raise rent during the first year of tenancy, and need to give tenants at least a 90 day notice before raising the rent. They’re also not allowed to evict a tenant just to raise rent. Should a landlord break any of these rules, they are liable to pay tenants three months rent plus alleged damages.