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At the beginning of February 2017, the Portland City Council adopted new housing laws that give tenants additional protections from the stressed housing market. Tenants affected by these new laws may be entitled to thousands of dollars in compensation from their landlords. Here is what you need to know about the new laws:

Relocation Assistance – Cash from your Landlord

Under certain circumstances, if a landlord displaces you from your Portland home, they must pay you cash to help make your transition easier. The amount of cash they owe you depends on the size of your home:

    For a studio or single room occupancy: $2,900.00
    For a one-bedroom home: $3,300.00
    For a two-bedroom home: $4,200.00
    For a three-bedroom home or larger: $4,500.00

The new law applies in three different circumstances:

1)Your Landlord Gives You a No Cause Notice of Termination

If your landlord gives you a written notice that they are terminating your tenancy without stated cause, this triggers Portland’s new law. The landlord’s cash payment to you will be due at least 45 days before your tenancy actually terminates.

2)Your Landlord Refuses to Renew Your Lease

The cash relocation assistance requirement also applies if your landlord refuses to renew your fixed-term lease when it expires, on substantially the same terms as the existing lease. Note that the landlord can offer you a renewal with an increased rent without having to pay relocation assistance.

3)Your Landlord Increases Your Rent by 10% or more

The cash relocation assistance requirement also applies if your landlord raises your rent by 10% or more within a 12-month period, but only if the rent increase means that you choose to move out rather than stay and pay the increased rent. And, you must quickly provide your landlord a written notice of your intent to move out in order to qualify for the payment.


As always, the law contains some exceptions. The law does not apply to:

    A landlord who rents out only one home in Portland;
    A landlord who temporarily rents out their own home while they are gone for no more than three years; or
    to landlords who share a home with their tenant

As with all landlord-tenant laws, things get very technical, and minor mistakes by either side can make a big difference. Don’t let dishonest landlords deny you the money that you are owed. If you want to be sure that your rights are protected, hire a lawyer from Portland Defender.

Milwaukie, Oregon has become the second Oregon city to enact new, important tenant protections. Milwaukie’s new protections, located at Chapter 5.60 of the Milwaukie Municipal Code, require landlords in Milwaukie require no-cause termination notices to give tenants at least 90 days advance notice. The new protections largely mirror those adopted by the City of Portland in November 2015.

The new law does not apply to tenants and landlords who share a Dwelling Unit as that term is defined by ORS 90.100.

If you are a tenant and your Milwaukie landlord violates this law, you can sue your landlord for up to three months’ rent, plus actual damages, reasonable attorney fees and court costs.

The City of Portland has just enacted new protections for tenants living within the city limits.

Here is what Portland tenants need to know:

Beginning in November, if a landlord wants to terminate a month-to-month tenancy without stated cause, that landlord must give the tenant written notice of the termination at least 90 days before the termination date. In the rest of Oregon, tenants are only entitled to 30 days advanced notice, or 60 days if they have lived in their home for more than a year.

Important note: this does not apply to tenants who share a dwelling unit with their landlords.

Also beginning in November, if a landlord wants to raise a tenant’s rent by more than 5% in a 12-month period, the landlord must give the tenant written notice at least 90 days before the rent increase takes effect.

If you are a Portland tenant, and your landlord violates these new rules, your landlord will owe you an amount up to three months’ rent, plus your actual damages, reasonable attorney fees and costs.

The specific text of the new ordinance can be found here: http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=50265&a=548233

KATU 6.22.15

Last night, Portland Defender attorney Troy Pickard was interviewed once again as an expert in Landlord-Tenant law. The story featured local residents of an apartment complex in Tigard who will have their air conditioning units removed this week, just before a major heat wave will hit the Portland area. Troy spoke with reporter Ian Parker about the legality of this action.

Read the Full Article Here

Photo Credit: KATU News

This afternoon in Portland, a Multnomah County jury unanimously agreed that managing attorney Troy Pickard’s client was not guilty of domestic violence. Specifically, the six jurors agreed that the defendant had not caused any offensive physical contact with the intent to harass or annoy the alleged “victim.”

Although the prosecutor argued that the defendant had slapped the complaining witness on her own front porch, attorney Troy Pickard convinced them otherwise.

Not Guilty – Clackamas County Theft Trial thumbnail

Today, in Clackamas County Circuit Court, a jury unanimously found managing attorney Troy Pickard’s client not guilty of both theft in the second degree and theft in the third degree. Had he been convicted, this defendant could have received a sentence of several years probation, several days in jail, thousands of dollars in fines and the loss of his job. Thanks to the hard work of the lawyers at Portland Defender, this hard-working man is free, keeping his job, and sleeping at night knowing that his lawyer proved his innocence.

The Clackamas County prosecutor’s office had accused the defendant of stealing a mobile phone that a customer had left behind at the restaurant where the defendant worked. Although the prosecution tried to tell the jury that the defendant was untrustworthy, attorney Troy Pickard showed the jury the truth about his client: [click to continue…]

Today, in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Portland Defender’s managing attorney Troy Pickard prevented an eviction won several thousand dollars for his client, a Portland-area tenant, in an eviction trial. The rental home in question had serious problems with its electrical and heating systems. The landlord refused to fix these problems and refused to negotiate about lowering rent. Even worse, the landlord sent the tenant a termination notice in retaliation for complaining about the problems – something that is illegal under Oregon law. [click to continue…]


Flood damage to local residents’ home (Photo courtesy KATU News)

Last night, local news station KATU covered a story of another Portland family struggling with damage to their home and a laggard landlord. Troy Pickard was interviewed by KATU reporter Chelsea Kopta as an expert in Landord-Tenant law. Troy spoke with Chelsea about how many landlords feel that it is ok to allow their tenants to live in conditions they would not stand to live in themselves. Troy encouraged tenants to know their rights and to contact the Community Alliance of Tenants with any questions. The full article is here.

Once again, attorney Troy Pickard was featured on the local news. See below for the full story and interview:

Tenants say management ignored their concerns


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Many low income and disabled people living in a SE Portland apartment complex said on Monday that the management company has forced them to live in unsafe conditions.

Residents at Garden Park Estates, 3208 SE 136th Avenue, said the management company at the complex has bullied them when they have spoken up about unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

A city inspector said the complex currently meets code but only after months of complaints from residents.

“The straw that broke the camel’s back is one day I came home and the tip of my shoe caught one of the ripples in the carpet and I fell and when I fell, I fracture my collar bone,” said Janie Tate, a resident at Garden Park Estates.

[click to continue…]

Many tenants call Portland Defender every week with questions about security deposits and fees charged by landlords.

We’ve just put together an informative article that can help answer some of those questions: click here to learn more.