On December 19, 2023, the City Council approved the following amendments to the Rent Registry Ordinance, the Rent Adjustment Ordinance, and the Ellis Act Ordinance. The City Council also approved amendments to the Regulations that implement the Rent Adjustment Ordinance on December 5. All these changes have taken effect immediately.

Rent Registry Ordinance Amendment (OMC Section 8.22.510):

Amended the 2024 Rent Registration deadline from March 1, 2024, to July 1, 2024.

Rent Adjustment Ordinance Amendments (OMC Section 8.22):

Changed as follows:

OMC Section 8.22.090(A)(4)(b) deleted

No tenant is required to be current on the rent or lawfully withholding to file or respond to a petition.

OMC Section 8.22.090(A)(3)(b)

The restitution period for a decrease in housing services is limited to three years before filing the petition.

OMC 8.22.030(B)(2)(b)

A Certificate of Exemption is a final determination of exemption from the Rent Adjustment Ordinance absent fraud, mistake, or a change in the law or circumstances. This includes if the Certificate is no longer valid due to an intervening material change in law or circumstances.


A tenant may file a petition regarding a claim that an owner has undeclared capital improvement benefits.


A property owner may show evidence of exemption from the rent program fee as an alternative to showing evidence of payment of the fee.

Rent Adjustment Regulations Amendments

Regulation Section 8.22.020

Added several defined terms and deleted references to LIBOR (London Interbank Offer).

Regulation Section 8.22.030.B was deleted.

For consistency with the Rent Ordinance, the substantial rehabilitation exemption was deleted.

Regulation Section 8.22.040(A)(5)

Rent Board regular meetings now start at 6:00 pm.

Regulation Section 8.22.040(A)(11)

Allows alternate board members to participate in discussion and deliberations, even when they are not filling in for a regular board member and are, therefore, unable to vote on matters before the Rent Board.

Regulation Section 8.22.070(B)

Reorganized to set out the justifications for rent increases above the CPI.

Updated to address rent increases based on capital improvements, including correction of terms used and clarification about documentation required.

Regulation Section 8.22.070(C)(1)(a)(7)

The amortization period for mandatory and voluntary seismic retrofits is increased from 20 to 25 years.

Regulation Section 8.22.070(C)(1)(c)

Updated to address rent increases based on increased housing service costs, including correcting references to where “deferred maintenance” is defined and the principle that property tax is not a housing service cost (8.22.070.C.1.c).

Regulation Section 8.22.070.D

Updated to address rent increases based on decreased housing services, including clarification as to the calculation of utility costs.

Regulation Section 8.22.090.B-C

Updated to remove petition and response requirements that duplicate the same requirements in the ordinance.

Regulation Section 8.22.100.B(e)

If either party fails to appear for a properly noticed mediation, the hearing officer will refer the matter for administrative review or hearing on the petition, whichever is appropriate.

Regulation Section 8.22.110(B)(1)

Provides for a good cause appeal process for a dismissal for failure to appear at a hearing.

Regulation Section 8.22.110(E)(3)(b)

A party has a right to introduce exhibits if they are provided to the Rent Adjustment Program and served on the opposing party(ies) not less than seven (7) days before the hearing or can show good cause as to why they were not.

Regulation Section 8.22.110(E)(3)(g)

A party who fails to file a timely response is limited to cross-examination, absent the ability to show good cause for the failure to file a timely response.

Regulation Section 8.22.110(F)

Deleted the requirement that a hearing officer state the effective date of a rent increase when an increase is granted.

Regulation Section 8.22.120(A)(3)

A party responding to an appeal must file any response to the appeal and any supporting documentation and serve it on the opposing party within thirty (30) days of the service of the appeal along with a proof of service on the opposing party(ies).

Regulation Section 8.22.120(C)(4) deleted

Parties can no longer mutually agree to an appeal hearing postponement.

Regulation Section 8.22.120(D)(2)

Parties are limited to six minutes per party to argue an appeal before the Board.

Regulation Section 8.22.120(I)(1)

If the Appellant does not appear, the hearing can proceed or be postponed at the discretion of the Board.

Ellis Act Ordinance Amendment

OMC Sections 8.22.460(B)(1)

The State’s Ellis Act allows property owners to terminate tenancies based on their decision to leave the rental market. If they do, certain legal restrictions are imposed up to year 2 (two), year 5 (five), and year 10 (ten) from the date the units are withdrawn from the rental market. Those dates are now defined by the actual date the units are withdrawn from the rental market instead of the filing date with the Rent Program.

Posted: January 8th, 2024 10:44 AM

Last Updated: January 8th, 2024 10:58 AM

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