Portland Relocation Fees Are Now Permanent and Even More Strict

Relocation fees are here to stay, and they now apply to single unit landlords

On March 7, 2018, Portland City Council voted to make the Relocation Guidelines a permanent ordinance. Originally introduced in 2017, the ordinance was introduced as an emergency measure that mandated landlords to pay fees ranging from $2,900 - $4,500 when they tendered tenants no-cause notices of termination or rent hikes of 10% or more.

That ordinance is now going to be a permanent fixture in Portland’s rental real estate landscape, and now the law has gotten even stricter with the closing of a single-unit exemption. The new rules apply effective immediately.

Single unit owners now included

There was a loophole previously that exempted owners of a single rental unit in Portland from paying relocation fees. That has now changed.

Landlords, regardless of how many rental units they own, are subject to pay relocation fees under the following conditions:

  1. A fixed-term lease or a month-to-month rental agreement is not renewed
  2. A tenant chooses to vacate after a 10% or more rate hike is given
  3. The tenant is served with a no-cause notice to vacate

Exemptions to the law

There are still minor exceptions to avoid relocation fees:

  1. Relocation fees do not apply when a fixed-term lease is signed and it is explicitly understood that the unit will be sold or converted to a condo at a certain point in the future.
  2. If immediate family members are moving into the rental unit then relocation fees do not apply.
  3. Landlords who rent out the other half of a duplex that they also live in are not subject to relocation fees.
  4. Landlords who are renting their primary residences for three years or less will not have to pay relocation fees.

Additional Changes

The City makes further changes by now requiring Portland landlords to report to the city when they pay relocation fees to tenants, or when they plan to claim one of the above-mentioned exemptions. Mayor Wheeler stated that this should help the City keep track of the efficacy of the ordinance.