Portland City Council considers changes to rental laws

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council heard public testimony Thursday on the new ordinance that would change how landlords screen applicants and handle security deposits.

The goal is to help reduce barriers to affordable housing. Almost half the people who live in city limits, rent.

Some of the changes — led by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly — include having to allow a tenant who has a criminal history. Specifically, if it’s been more than three years since a misdemeanor sentencing or seven years from a felony, which would include murder.

However, not everyone is on board with the plan. Those opposed argue not all crimes are equal.

Another change eases up identity restrictions. Any non-governmental document or combination of would be allowed for verification of identity. There are also proposed changes to security deposits and the standards of what qualifies as damage.

Opponents added that the new rules wouldn’t give landlords adequate protection.

City council had a meeting Wednesday afternoon that included presentations and invited testimony, however, Thursday’s meeting will be open to the public. That meeting starts at 2 p.m. 

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