Understanding Oregon Rent Increase Laws in 2024 for Tenants

As a renter in Oregon, you need to be aware of your rights and the laws governing rent increases. In 2019, Oregon enacted statewide rent control, setting limits on how much landlords can increase rent in a given year. This guide offers a detailed understanding of Oregon’s 2024 rent increase laws and how they can impact you as a tenant.

Oregon’s Rent Control Law: An Overview

Oregon’s rent control law (ORS 90.323 and ORS 90.600) is a groundbreaking piece of legislation. Key parts of the law affecting tenants include:

  • Limits on Annual Rent Increases: Landlords face a cap on how much they can increase rent in a 12-month period. The annual cap is adjusted each year.
  • 90-Day Notice Requirement: Landlords must deliver a written notice at least 90 days before implementing any rent increase.
  • “No-Cause” Eviction Restrictions: After a tenant has lived in a unit for a year, landlords need a valid reason, as outlined by Oregon law, for eviction. This helps shield tenants against unreasonable evictions used to bypass rent control.

How Much Can My Rent Be Increased in 2024?

The annual rent increase cap for Oregon in 2024 is 10%. This limit means that landlords cannot increase your rent by more than 10% within any 12-month period. The percentage is determined each year based on this formula:

  • 7% + the September-to-September change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers for the West Region (Portland metropolitan area).

Important Note: The CPI measures inflation, so as the cost of living increases, the maximum allowable rent increase also rises.

Notice Requirements for Rent Increases

Under Oregon law, your landlord has specific obligations when it comes to giving notice of a rent increase:

  • Written Notice: The landlord must provide a written notice of the rent increase. Verbal or informal notices are not valid.
  • 90-Day Minimum: Landlords must provide a minimum of 90 days’ notice prior to the effective date of the rent increase.
  • Content of Notice: The notice needs to specify the new rent amount, the effective date of the increase, and clearly state that the tenant has the right to remain in the unit even if they decline the rent increase.

Exemptions to Rent Control

Several situations are exempt from Oregon’s rent control law:

  • New Construction: Rental units first available for rent within the past 15 years are exempt from rent control.
  • Certain Housing Types: Single-family homes, duplexes, owner-occupied accessory dwelling units, and certain government-subsidized housing may be exempt.
  • Initial Lease Term: Rent control does not apply during the first year of a tenancy.

What if My Landlord Raises the Rent Too Much?

Tenants should know their rights in case of an illegal rent increase:

  • Do Not Pay Immediately: If you believe your landlord has raised the rent beyond the legal limit, don’t automatically pay the increased amount.
  • Contact Resources: Contact legal aid services or tenant advocacy organizations for advice (see resources section). They can verify if the rent increase is unlawful and provide support.
  • Document Everything: Ensure you save a copy of the notice from the landlord, along with proof of your past rent payments.
  • Landlord Retaliation: It’s important to remember that under Oregon law, landlords cannot retaliate against tenants who exercise their rights around rent control.

Additional Resources for Oregon Tenants

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This section provides swift answers to common questions Oregon tenants might have.

  • Q: My landlord raised my rent, but didn’t give me a 90-day notice. What should I do?
    • A: A 90-day written notice is mandatory. Reach out to your landlord explaining the error. If unresolved, contact an Oregon tenant advocacy organization for further assistance.
  • Q: Am I protected against eviction if I refuse an unlawful rent increase?
    • A: Yes, in general. Oregon’s “no-cause” eviction protections help safeguard tenants from this type of retaliation, but it’s wise to consult an expert if you face eviction due to a rent increase dispute.
  • Q: Are there any cities in Oregon with stricter rent control laws?
    • A: Yes. The city of Portland has additional tenant protection ordinances, including potentially stricter limits on rent increases and relocation assistance requirements. Always check local ordinances where you live.
  • Q: My building is over 15 years old, but I just moved in last month. Does rent control apply to me?
    • A: No. The 15-year exemption period for rent control applies to the building itself, not the start of your tenancy. However, after living there for a year, you gain the “no-cause” eviction protection.
  • Q: Where can I find the official language of Oregon’s rent control laws?

Additional Tips for Oregon Tenants

  • Know Your Lease Agreement: Carefully review your lease agreement to understand terms about rent increases, notice periods, and other crucial details.
  • Stay Informed: Keep updated on the latest changes to rent control laws, as they can be adjusted over time. Check resources like the Oregon State Bar and tenant organizations for current information.
  • Communicate Openly: Maintain civil communication with your landlord whenever possible. If you have concerns about a rent increase, express them respectfully and try to find a collaborative solution.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help: If you face confusing or unfair situations, don’t hesitate to seek help from the resources listed previously.
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MBS Staff
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