PORTLAND, Ore. — Residential landlords are allowed to raise rents by up to 14.6% in 2023, the highest rate yet since Oregon instituted statewide rent control three years ago.
It's a far cry from the unregulated days before 2019 when no statewide limits existed. But the newly released rate, forced up by inflation, stands much higher than the 9.9% allowable in 2022. State officials arrive at the rates by adding 7% to the 12-month average change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, West Region published most recently by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Inflation is so hot right now that even if Oregon rent control were the law back in 2000, next year's limit would still be the highest yet, state and federal data show. Rent control doesn't affect newer construction in the state.
The Fed continues to try to cool inflation, which was up year-to-year in August and has implications for Oregon.
"For anyone who's been paying attention, it's not a surprise," said state economist Josh Lehner of the new max rate. He added: "We tried to flag it. We put it in our forecast document. We actively brought it up with policymakers."
Even so, market rents overall don't tend to increase at the same rate the state sets, Lehner said. They instead usually follow incomes.
The topic of rent control has long proven controversial in Oregon and beyond. In 2019, HFO Real Estate’s Greg Frick wrote that the tactic “leads to a reduction in the available supply of rental housing in a community. Far fewer investors have the ability or the will to buy or build rental homes in a place with rent control. “
For more on the state’s new rent increase provisions, visit the Portland Business Journal.