The Portland City Council recently passed a new ordinance that will require landlords to register all of their rental units with the city and pay a $60 yearly registration fee per unit.
While regulated affordable housing will be exempt, other types of rentals, like mobile homes, will still be subject to the fee. It is almost certain that landlords will pass on the increased costs to their tenants.
During one council meeting, current landlords noted that the registration fees will siphon money away that could be used for maintenance. They also said that increased housing regulations will discourage potential developers and landlords from wanting to build new rental units in the city. Many landlords are incentivized to sell their units, rather than rent them, because of the increased regulation.
The money raised by the fee will fund the Rental Services Office, a new, needless expansion of Portland’s bureaucracy that will only serve to grow the number of rules placed on housing in the city.
This ordinance adds to the long list of policies that disincentivize the operation and construction of rental units in Portland. If the Portland City Council keeps pursuing policies like these, rents will continue to go up and rental housing will continue to disappear.
Micah Perry is a Research Associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.