Last week, WW wrote about a proposed limit on how much landlords can raise rent in Oregon ("Under Control," WW, Jan. 2, 2019). A legislative concept would cap the amount landlords can raise rent at 7 percent a year, plus inflation. If approved, Oregon would become the first U.S. state to legislate rent control. Here's what readers think.
William McClenathan, via Twitter: "As a past landlord, I never screwed renters over. But many did and still do. So yes, if people won't be accountable on their own, the rule of law should be made to hold them accountable."
Georgette McClelland, via Facebook: "My mother's rent was increased every few months last year, her Social Security was not. City governments need to get involved; we have a homeless crisis for a reason."
Todd Hutchens, via Twitter: "The people who bring higher taxes on property now want to tell property owners how much they can charge. Brilliant idea. What am I missing?"
David, via wweek.com: "I own rental property. It is my capital at risk and my decision to say how much rent I will charge in order to protect, maintain and provide sufficient return."
Debe S Sherwood, via Facebook: "I moved out of a $500-a-month one-bedroom apartment in Albany three years ago, and that same apartment is now $850. I need to move back to the area to help with a family member who has had a stroke and can't find a place to live."
surgingchaos, via Reddit: "Why is there not a bigger conversation about how devastating inflation is to the poor and working classes? They are the ones whose only source of income is to sell their labor for a currency that gets constantly devalued, and their primary expense is in a commodity that is oh-so-conveniently left out of the consumer price index.
"Policymakers need to realize that trying to stop rent increases (which is inflation) by decree is only going to lead to massive unintended consequences. We need to abolish byzantine zoning regulations that are keeping new housing from being built."
Oceans1, via wweek.com: "What investor is going to waste time fixing up a building if it doesn't make them money and they can only raise rents so much a year?"
Nancy Lee, via Facebook: "I'm a landlord who hasn't raised my tenant's rent in five years. I'm the dumb one. If this law passes, I'll raise it to the limit I can annually."
Molly Andersen, in response: "Cool, Nancy, you sound rad."
Scott Pesznecker, via Facebook: "Affordable housing for the working poor is something most politicians don't want to deal with. I'm glad our state is doing something to tackle this growing problem."
Kevin Bender, via Facebook: "And you thought your landlord didn't make timely repairs now."