Renters in Portland who are served a no-cause eviction or encounter any of the triggering events may have the right to be paid relocation assistance from their landlord. Landlords must notify RSO of the payment. For eligible exemptions, see the Administrative Rules.
When is a renter eligible for Relocation Assistance?
- Renter must live within Portland city limits
- Renter does not live with their landlord
- Tenancy is not week-to-week
Note: Does not apply to for-cause terminations
Events that trigger Relocation Assistance
In response to COVID-19, there are eviction moratoriums that may prohibit a landlord from issuing terminations without a tenant-based cause.
See more information about COVID-19 landlord-tenant policy responses here.
Triggering events are, specifically, any of the following:
Notice of non-renewal of a fixed term lease (not becoming month-to-month)
Qualified landlord reason for termination
Rent increase of 10% or more over a 12-month period*
*Any rent increase effective between September 16, 2020 – March 31, 2021. See this FAQ for details about the emergency amendments to this section of code in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Substantial change of lease terms
Note: Accepting Relocation Assistance requires Tenant to move out or return the funds.
Tenants must receive a written notice for any rent increase or termination of the rental agreement at least 90 days before the effective date. The notice must include:
- A description of their rights and obligations, and
- The amount of Relocation Assistance they are eligible to receive
All Landlord and Tenant notifications should be provided in writing, which means a letter that is either given to the Landlord or Tenant in person, or sent by first-class mail—not by email, text, or certified or registered mail.
Assistance amounts by rental size
- Studio or Single Room Occupancy (SRO) $2,900
- 1-Bedroom $3,300
- 2-Bedroom $4,200
- 3-Bedroom or larger $4,500
Residential rental units within Portland city limits
Relocation Assistance applies to residential rental units within Portland city limits, which can be managed by an owner, a sublessor, or property management company. The units can have either month-to-month rental agreements or fixed-term tenancies, such as 6-month or 1-year leases. Also read about eligible exemptions in the section below.
Notifying of a payment
Landlords are required to notify PHB of all Relocation Assistance payments within 30 days of making a payment.
Under very specific situations identified in Portland City Code 30.01.085, a Landlord may be eligible to apply for an exemption from paying Relocation Assistance. Before applying, carefully review the Administrative Rules which covers exemption eligibility, the approval process, and specific definitions.
The order of events is crucial. Some exemptions require that the Landlord must provide a copy of the Acknowledgement Letter to the Tenant prior to the Tenant entering into a Rental Agreement.
- If eligible, review the Administrative Rules and then apply for exemption online or by mail
- Wait to receive the Acknowledgement Letter from PHB
- After it is received, provide a copy of the Acknowledgement Letter to the Tenant before entering into a rental agreement
- Provide another copy of the Acknowledgement Letter with the written notice to the Tenant of a triggering event (90 days before effective date)
Relocation Assistance Exemptions follow a strict criteria
Only the situations listed in the Administrative Rules may be eligible. Most exemptions require a Landlord to file with PHB and receive an Acknowledgement Letter from this office (in most cases, before entering into a rental agreement).
Exemptions 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10, marked with an asterisk (*), do not require filing a form but may have additional stipulations that Landlords must know.
- Week-to-week tenancies*
- Tenants that occupy same Dwelling Unit as their Landlord*
- Tenants that occupy the same Duplex as their Landlord
- Dwelling Unit on a property with an ADU or the ADU itself, where the Landlord and Tenant both live on-site
- Landlord that temporarily rents out their Principal Residence for no more than 3 years
- Landlord that temporarily rents out their Principal Residence due to active duty military service
- Dwelling Unit where the Landlord is terminating the Rental Agreement in order for an immediate family member to occupy the Dwelling Unit
- Dwelling Unit regulated or certified as affordable housing by federal, state or local government is exempt from paying relocation assistance for a rent increase of 10 percent or more within a rolling 12-month period if it is a result of a change in program eligibility and requirements, or otherwise does not increase the Tenant’s portion of the rent payment by 10 percent or more*
- Dwelling Unit that is acquired for public use through eminent domain law and subject to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act of 1970*
- Dwelling Unit rendered immediately uninhabitable not due to the action or inaction of a Landlord or Tenant*
- Dwelling Unit rented for less than 6 months with appropriate verification of the submission of a demolition permit prior to the Tenant renting the Dwelling Unit
- Dwelling Unit where the Landlord has provided a fixed term tenancy and notified the Tenant in writing—prior to occupancy—of the Landlord’s intent to sell or permanently convert the Dwelling Unit to a use other than as a rental unit
Note: City obligations and exemptions are separate and in addition to state obligations.
Failure to Comply
A Landlord that fails to comply with any of the requirements set forth in Section 30.01.085 shall be liable to the Tenant for an amount up to 3 times the monthly rent as well as actual damages, Relocation Assistance, reasonable attorney fees and costs.
Ordinance, Code, and Administrative Rules
Examples of documentation needed when filing for an exemption