Landlords vow to sue if moving cost proposal passes

Lawyers say ordinance conflicts with Oregon state law

A house for rent in Portland, July 27, 2015 (KOIN)
A house for rent in Portland, July 27, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A prominent attorney and lobbyist says to expect a lawsuit if the Portland City Council approves an ordinance that would require landlords to help pay moving costs for tenants evicted without cause or compelled to move by a steep rent increase.

John DiLorenzo contends such a rule would conflict with Oregon state law that prohibits rent control. He says the suit will be filed on behalf of Multifamily NW, an association of companies that own or manage apartments.

Portland’s newest city commissioner, Chloe Eudaly, proposed the tenant-protection rule. She tells The Oregonian/OregonLive the ordinance does not infringe on landlords’ rights to raise rents, and predicts it will pass legal muster if approved Thursday.

DiLorenzo has sued the city at least seven times over the years, including a case over misspent utility money that dragged out for more than five years.

This is the ordinance proposed by Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly: