Tenants rally for rights in downtown Portland

Demonstrators rally for renters rights in downtown Portland on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (KATU Photo)

A new report is throwing cold water on the renter protections the city of Portland enacted last year.

Critics feel a loophole is letting a lot of landlords off the hook.

Tenants' rights groups made their voices heard Friday downtown. They're upset with the city's renter relocation law.

It requires landlords to compensate tenants who are either evicted without cause or forced out by steep rent increases.

But landlords who only rent one unit are exempt. A new study shows that allows some 24,000 landlords to skirt the law.

Protesters say the city needs to close the loophole, because rents are still too high.

“I think that there have been changes that have been made that are making things a little bit better, but the problems are not over yet and simply continuing to build is not going to solve the problems,” said Candice Aiston, a fed up renter.

Last year, supporters of the one-unit exemption said it was necessary to protect people who only owned a second home or ADU to supplement their income.

The City Council is currently reviewing the renter laws with an eye to making them permanent.

Mayor Ted Wheeler issued a statement, and with regard to the one-unit exemption he said, "Good data help to inform the creation of good policy. I have instructed the Portland Housing Bureau to refrain from amending the one-unit exemption at this time.”

The mayor says he's continuing to take feedback and he's open to change.

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