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New Oregon bill would ban charging pet rent

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Three Oregon lawmakers are looking to give renters a break by eliminating the special fees landlord charge for pets.

It’s often known as “pet rent” and lawmakers say it’s unnecessarily driving up rental costs. 

House Bill 2683 would wipe out the monthly fees and with the exception of a deposit, it would prohibit landlords that allow pets int heir units from charging tenants additional rent or fees simply based on possession of pets.

Read the full House Bill 2683

The lawmakers who sponsor the bill said it would also prevent rent prices from going up further than they already are in a tight housing market.

Renters in Northwest Portland told KOIN pet rent can run anywhere from $25 to $75 a month. If HB 2683 were to pass, it would be huge savings for those renters.

“On the one side, I understand not paying a fee because I love my dog and I want her to come with me anywhere I live and if we’re renting a place I’d love her to be there,” dog owner Mahinda Ratnayake said. 

Ron Garcia with the Rental Housing Alliance said he feels the bill is misguided and will hurt the people it’s trying to help. He said because those fees are needed to compensate for pet wear and tear and he feels landlords will end up charging more for deposits. 

“The opposite of that in the traditional way before pet rent was adopted, is creating pet deposits and those can go $250 to $500 per pet, which makes the barrier to entering housing much more difficult,” Garcia said. 

MultiFamily NW, an organization that represents rental providers across Oregon, opposes the bill. 

“It does not address the real problem in Oregon: housing affordability,” said MultiFamily NW Executive Director Deborah Imse. “We want to help policy makers focus on real solutions. Economists all agree that the way to address housing affordability is to increase supply. Eliminating pet rent is a distraction from this core issue.”

Rep. Tawna Sanchez, one of the lawmakers sponsoring the bill, provided the following statement about the bill: 

“Having been a biological parent, foster parent, and a pet parent, I can say children do more damage than pets and no one charges more for each kid.  So why should people be required to pay additionally for a pet beyond an initial deposit?”   

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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