Eugene passes renter protection rules with compensation for some evictions
Eugene’s new renter protection rules will require that some landlords pay their tenants to relocate.
Eugene’s City Council passed the ordinance in a 5-2 vote Monday. Landlords will have to pay two months rent to tenants when evicting them without cause, or if they end a lease in order to sell a property, renovate or have a family member move in.
Landlords could be exempt from the payments if they also live on the property.
Mayor Lucy Vinis said after five years of discussion, it was time for the city to act.
“Every delay impacts people who are very vulnerable in a merciless rental market in this community,” she said. “This was put forward because tenants are suffering.”
Some local landlords and members of the business community are concerned. Kathryn Dunn, a Eugene real estate agent and landlord, told the City Council that the ordinance creates new financial risks.
“This will not keep tenants housed when landlords start selling off their rentals, which has already begun, and when investors who could add to the rental supply decide to invest in other cities without such stringent laws,” she said.
Gary Fisher, the deputy executive director of Multifamily NW, said in a press release that restricting landlords is the wrong tactic to address housing instability.
“In the short-term, we need to get resources to vulnerable Oregonians through a robust rent assistance program, and in the long-term, we have to focus seriously on dismantling the barriers that have led to a startling undersupply of rental housing,” he wrote. “Housing providers are not the cause of housing instability.”
Councilor Lyndsie Leech voted in favor of the ordinance, despite sharing concerns about its effects on the rental market.
“I am a landlord, and I believe in renter protections,” she said. “I think we're at a really critical moment in our community right now that people are becoming homeless because of no-cause evictions.”
The ordinance also caps the costs of security deposits and creates penalties for landlords who fail to report evictions. Additionally, landlords will be required to review rental applications in the order they receive them.
Eugene City Council will review the impact of the new rules in 2025.