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Eugene City Council Proposes Phase II Renter Protections: Here's What You Need to Know

May 31, 2023
Authors: HFO Investment Real Estate
Publishers: HFO Multifamily Marketwatch

The Eugene City Council has scheduled a work session on its Phase II Renter Protections Draft Ordinance for Monday, June 26, at 5:30 pm.

The ordinance calls for the following:

Limiting security deposits to 2x monthly rent. (including security, cleaning, and last month's rent). This would not include pet deposits.

Process applications in the order received. The ordinance mandates that landlords process applications for publicly advertised rental housing units on a first-come, first-served basis, EXCEPT for:

  • Affordable housing units
  • Rental units occupied by both the landlord and tenant
  • Middle housing units when the landlord resides in another middle housing unit on the same lot or parcel
  • ADUs with the landlord's principal residence on the same lot
  • A dwelling unit that will be shared with an existing tenant who has a separate agreement for the unit 
  • A unit not advertised or rented to the general public.

Displacement Prevention Assistance (relocation fees). Requires rental owners to pay relocation assistance for legal no-cause evictions, substantial lease changes, or substantial rent increases. The amount of the displacement payment would be determined by the City Manager or a specific amount adopted by the council with an escalation provision tied to CPI or some other method yet to be decided. Displacement payments would be required on the following:

  • Legal no-cause evictions
  • A rent increase of 5% or more in 12 months causes the tenant to move
  • Landlord-based reasons for termination, including landlord occupancy of the unit as a primary residence
  • Non-renewal of a fixed-term lease
  • Conditioning renewal or replacement of an expiring agreement on substantial changes to the lease or the tenant's agreement to pay an increase of 5% or more in 12 months

Request for Reimbursement of Relocation Fees by *Small Landlords*

The city is allowing landlords defined as those:

  • Owning four or fewer units, including those through legal entities
  • With household income at 80% of Area Median Income (AMI)

Landlords meeting the definition could request reimbursement of the relocation fees:

  • Within 60 days of payment
  • One time annually

The Penalties Due to a Renter for a Landlord's Failure to Pay Required Relocation Fees Include:

  • Payment of three months' rent
  • Actual damages
  • Relocation fees
  • Attorneys fees and costs 
Eugene's proposed tenant relocation fees mimic those in Portland which were ruled legal by the Oregon Supreme Court in November, 2021. The Oregon Supreme Court said the intent of the Portland ordinance was legal because its purpose was to curb the displacement of low-income renters and not to impose rent control through other means. 

The Eugene City Council plans to add additional tenant protections in Phase III this fall.


  1. Review a draft of the ordinance and accompanying information from the City of Eugene here. 
  2. Read more about the plan and timeline, sign up for information on how to watch virtually, or sign up to testify. Click here
  3. Sign up to receive email notifications regarding Eugene's Tenant Protection Activities. Click here
  4. Continue to let your Eugene Mayor and City Councilors know that their plans to restrict landlord rights will only result in more pain to renters as landlords sell properties or increase rents to cover the increased costs of doing business in the city.

If approved, this ordinance will have a major impact on multifamily values in the long run and significantly reduce the appeal for potential investors interested in purchasing properties in Eugene. We need only look to Portland, where similar measures were passed, to gain insights into the potential outcome. 

We are interested in hearing your perspective on this matter and will certainly keep you posted on further developments.

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