BEND, OR -- Rental housing is tough to come by in Bend, which can make it difficult for evicted tenants to find a new place to live. Bend City Councilors will talk Wednesday about a proposal to extend the amount of notice some renters get before being evicted from their homes. State law requires landlords to give 30 days notice prior to ending a month-to-month lease, if the renter has lived there less than a year; after a year, landlords must provide 60 days notice.
Councilor Nathan Boddie doesn’t think that’s enough time for tenants find a new place to live. "Bend has a vacancy rate for rental properties at or below 1%, and it’s been sitting there for really over two years, now, which is really stressful for a city to absorb that kind of rent stress; people being on the edge of homelessness, losing houses, struggling to find a place to rent."
Boddie is driving the effort to consider changing city ordinance. He tells KBND News, "One of the things that we can do is give folks a little bit longer to find a place, when they lose a home. With that in mind, back in the summer, I started talking about extending the notice from 30 or 60 to 90 days; basically giving them another month, acknowledging that it’s really hard to find a new place to live in 30 days or 60 days in the current housing market."
Councilors will discuss two proposals at Wednesday's Council meeting. "One version would have the notice go from 30 days to 90 days, for anybody in a month-to-month lease, regardless of how long they’ve lived in the house. The second version basically leaves as-is the 30-day notice for month-to-month, for the first year someone has lived in a house, and then it extends it out to 90 days after a year," says Boddie. Or, Councilors could decide not to do anything. Bend's Affordable Housing Advisory Committee recommends against changing the ordinance. Boddie says the group prefers to see a change at the state level.
"The important thing to remember is that most landlords are already doing this; and that’s good," says Boddie. "So, really, this is not a tectonic change of any kind. This is sort of acknowledging that some folks aren’t doing this and need to. I think it’s just a matter of we’ve got to do what’s right for the citizens of Bend and make sure we don’t kick people out on the street without giving them time to find another place to live."