Portland Rent Board Recommends Major Fine for Landlord in Rent Control Case

Portland Rent Board Recommends Major Fine for Landlord in Rent Control Case

After a rent control argument, a landlord in Portland was caught retaliating against her tenant, which is against the law. Right now, the landlord could be fined hundreds of dollars.

The Portland Rent Board decided Wednesday night that the owner should be fined $8,700 because he had broken many rental laws.

Bradley Davis, the Portland tenant who complained to his owner, said, “The place that you live, have lived, and have turned into your home doesn’t belong to you, and at any time, someone can take that away from you.” Davis said this in a shocking way.

In March, Davis said that his offer to renew his lease was too high and broke Portland’s rent control law. His owner took back the offer to renew after he complained.

What we thought was that our lease would be extended with a rent that was legal. Davis said. “We took the hit and learned from it.”

The rent board in Portland said that breaking the lease was an act of revenge. They also found that the landlord had broken a number of other rules, such as charging too much rent and not registering the flat with the city. Wednesday, they told the city that the owner should pay $8,700 in fines.

Some people on the rent board weren’t sure.

“It’s a little scary to think that we need to punish people in order for them to make the right choices,” said Kristen Carreras, a member of the Rent Board.

The city has never given out big fines since the rent control law went into force in 2023. A city representative said that instead of fining landlords, staff usually works with them to get them to follow the rules.

But some rent board members say fines are needed to get people to follow the rules.

“The idea that the only punishment is for the landlord to pay back the extra money doesn’t make landlords less likely to do this in the future,” said Anne-Laure Razat, a member of the Rent Board. “It makes them want to avoid getting caught even more.”

Davis says that he is in talks with his landlord to come to an understanding on a rental agreement. But Davis says he wants the city to change how they police the rental law, even if she does follow it.

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