In a state with one of the most challenging housing crunches in the country, Oregon renters could face the highest possible maximum increase since the Legislature enacted limits on rent hikes three years ago.
Starting Jan. 1, 2023, landlords in Oregon may legally increase rents by up to 14.6%. This year, the cap is 9.9% – marking a 4.7 percentage point jump from one year to the next.
According to apartment rental company Zumper, the average rent as of Tuesday for a 1-bedroom residence in Portland is $1,500 per month. In 2023, the same unit could climb to up to $1,719 monthly – costing its renters $2,628 more for the year – if their landlord decides to institute the 14.6% maximum increase.
How did the state reach this rate for 2023?
Following the passage of SB 608, a statewide rental control law in the 2019 legislative session, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis must calculate the rental increase cap amount as 7% plus the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, West Region, as most recently published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
SB 608 applies to rental residences in Oregon that are 15 years or older. It does not apply to housing that was built more recently.
Although rent increases have only been capped since 2019, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services created a table showing how much rent would have been allowed to rise each year since 2000 if the current formula had been in place earlier. The maximum increase would have been around 10% each year, the agency said.
Heightened prices at historic levels for gas, groceries and other needs have hit American wallets through the summer. Overall, the rise in housing costs has slowed slightly in the past few months after climbing during the pandemic, though affordability remains a struggle for many.
If a renter faces an increase, Oregon law requires notices in writing and served to the tenant to be legally effective.