Real Estate Show with Tia Politi Landlord Tenant updates for Oregon

Real Estate Show with Tia Politi Landlord Tenant updates for Oregon

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Real Estate Show with Tia Politi

Alice Lema: [00:00:00] Well, hey, Southern Oregon, welcome back to the Real Estate Show. Gosh, it's so good to have you back. I'm Alice Lema. I'm a local broker here in beautiful southern Oregon with John L Scott Real Estate, and I'm so excited to welcome back to the show today, Ms. Tia Politi. She we lovingly call her the Walking Encyclopedia of all things landlord Tenant, and she is the president of the Oregon Rental Housing Association.

She's also the president of Owner's Association of Lane County. She's the forms chairperson for O R H A and a columnist for Mind Your Business, and she monitors five landlord help lines. Wow. So we love Tia. She's very tuned into the conversations that are happening right now in the state of Oregon regarding landlord tenant law. And you want to hear this because she's not only on the bleeding edge. She's quite funny, quite nice, and just a wealth of [00:01:00] information.

So before we bring Tia back on, let's take a quick look at our local stats, cuz I know there's a lot of gloom and doom out there, but I just wanna point out the data. We wanna use data, right? So in Jackson County, our five year appreciation is 41.3%. Prices are up 41.3%. The average days on market in Jackson County are now 68. That's two months. A normal market is more like 120, 180 days. So we're still in a little bit of a seller's market, just not as much as we were last year.

Our prices in the one year category in Jackson County are actually down a little bit. The one year price change is minus 3.4%, but just reminder, the five year change is. 41%. We're also tracking foreclosures and short sales now just to see if something's gonna start happening. And in the last quarter in Jackson County, we only had seven [00:02:00] foreclosures that sold and one short sale.

And Josephine County is holding their own as well. The five year change in Josephine County for prices, they're up 50.9%. Congratulations. The average days on market this year are 62, so not that far from Jo Jackson County. It's still a couple of months. The prices in Josephine County are down a smidge as well. They're down minus 5% in just this last year.

But a reminder, they're up 50% for the five year mark in Josephine County. In the last quarter, we've only had three foreclosures close and zero short sales. So yes I know the world is scary. I agree. But Southern Oregon is holding its own in the housing department, so good for us. But we'll check it every week, and if it changes, we'll let you know. In the meantime, we're gonna take a quick break from our sponsors and bring in Ms. Tia Politi. Don't go away.

Well, [00:03:00] good morning, Southern Oregon and welcome back to the Real Estate Show. I'm Alice Lema, broker John L. Scott, and we are talking to one of my favorite all-time people, Tia Politi. Welcome back, Tia.

Tia Politi: Thank you, Alice. It's always a pleasure to come on your show.

Alice Lema: Well, we're super excited this time because there's stuff happening in the legislature.

Tia Politi: Yes, there is a lot. We are in the midst, midst of our, of our odd year long session. And our legislatures have many fun things in store for landlords this year. The, the one benefit or, or good thing about this year's session is at least the Democrats don't have a super majority anymore, so they have had to reach across the aisle to get some of these things passed. But we are seeing some bipartisan support for, for some of the measures that are coming. And I'm happy to talk about whatever part of that you'd like me to chat about.

Alice Lema: Well, I'm hoping we have time to cover it all. [00:04:00] Why don't we start maybe in order, like is there an order?

Tia Politi: Is there an order? Well, let's see.

Alice Lema: Addressing, or do you wanna do most traumatic to least traumatic?

Tia Politi: Yeah, let's do why don't we start with what's likely to be coming extremely soon. And that's House Bill 2001. Okay. This is governor Kotek's very urgent priority. And, and it is part of her homeless reduction program. And what it's gonna mean for, for landlords is a return to some of the covid era protection. So back. Yeah, I mean, why is, is a whole philosophical question my dear.

And, and we can, I can get into why, I think why, but, but the basic contents of that, and what we're going to be familiar with from Covid is we are gonna be eliminating the 72 and 144 hour notices for non-payment of rent. And going back to the 10 and 13 day notices for [00:05:00] non-payment of rent that happened during Covid.

And, and what that's gonna mean is that certainly, you know, a landlord can still serve a, a notice for non-payment on the fifth which would be the 13 day notice, or on the eighth, which would now be the 10 day notice. It hasn't been signed yet, but as soon as it's signed, actually an attorney down there has remarked that you know, if you've already served a 72 hour notice and, and it hasn't expired and you haven't filed in court yet, you're gonna have to pivot to a 10 or 13 day. You're gonna have to start over is likely, you know, you probably won't be allowed to file on that.

So there's what we're waiting for right now, we've got those forms ready to go. We're letting our associations know they can go ahead and order those now, so that, that when the bill hits, it'll take effective immediately, and hopefully our local associations will have those forms to sell you. It certainly will be available on the Oregon Rental Housing Association forms store site as soon as that law goes into effect.

What we're waiting for right now, in addition to the governor's signature is [00:06:00] for them to be done, they've gotta correct the eviction filing forms that are, that are at, on the O J D online form site. They also need to prepare a one-pager that landlords are gonna be required to provide to the renter with a notice for non-payment.

And, and one of the things I want to clarify here is non-payment doesn't just mean rent, okay? It means non-payment of utilities, late fees, non-compliance fees anything owed to the landlord other than damage to the premises. The landlord can can serve a 10 or 13 day notice for non-payment of rent. But in regards to other amounts owed that the tenant may owe on their account, those notices go on what I call a 30- 14. It's a notice of termination with, cause. Some people call that a 1430, I call it a 30 14 or both saying the same thing. It's a 30 day notice of termination with a 14 day right to cure.

So if you're serving one of those notices for the tenant to pay you past due, [00:07:00] Slate fees or, or non-compliance fees or utilities or something. You're also going to have to include this one pager. The one pager is going to provide the renter with resource information as to where they may be able to get rent assistance.

So that's the great thing that Governor Kotek has done for us and we do appreciate it. Just like during Covid, you know, if the landlord had to wait to get paid, but the state made us whole in the end as long as we followed the correct processes. So in this case, we're not gonna be required to delay.

That was one thing we did successfully negotiate out of the bill. We're not gonna be required to delay any action for 60 days, which was their original proposal if the tenant applied for rent assistance. But in addition to extending the timeframes that the tenant will have to repay, you know or excuse me, the notification timeframes that the landlord has to provide the tenant, the tenant is also going to have an extended timeframe during which they can cure that notice.

So, [00:08:00] Another delay as part of the non-payment process is that any eviction claim brought for non-payment, whether it's rent or as I said, other charges owed by the tenant, not including damage to the premises is going to go from a seven minimum eight day first appearance to a minimum 15 day first appearance.

So it's going to delay our first appearance in court by about another week minimum. And then the court can extend that to seven more days to accommodate the court's schedule. So it's going to extend the timeframe it's gonna take us to get to court on non-payment. And then if the tenant requests a trial, I don't believe we're going to be able to do what we've been doing, which is you know, if a tenant wants to counterclaim on non-payment of rent, typically the statute's allowed that the landlord can demand that the court require the tenant to pay rent into court to show their good faith that they're not withholding rent based on inability, in inability to pay. But based on the fact that they actually have a [00:09:00] legitimate defense to, to bring forth. And then if the tenant requests a trial, the trial's gonna be set out a minimum of, of 15 days.

So like, that's gonna be a big change for us here in Lane County, where trials are typically scheduled within a couple of days, couple of business days. But in other, you know, venues, like in Roseburg for example, they usually set 'em out 14 days anyway approximately. So it's, it's gonna be a bigger impact in some counties than others. And then the court can go ahead and extend it out to a maximum of 30 days if they wish. So the entire non-payment of rent process could take up to two months.

It's going to allow the tenant to cure up to trial, right. So they can come and pay the amount owed up to trial. One of the things that I'm unclear about, but I think an attorney has shed light on, is, so if the tenant cures, does that mean they have to pay not only the rent that was on the notice, but all the rent to current?

And I believe the answer to that is no. So it's advisable [00:10:00] if you do , if you do serve a nonpayment of rent notice and you're in the midst of litigation that and another month comes up, and they haven't paid, that you serve another non-payment of rent notice because you're gonna have to get going on that right away.

So that's a problem. It's going to dramatically length in that time. The good news is, is that it's going to provide the renter with resource information as to where to get rent assistance if they need that. And hopefully, the state has learned a lot from the Covid Pandemic about the, the need for timeliness in processing rent assistance applications because you're, you're aware that was one of our big problems.

Right. Back, back in the day O H C S had Margaret Salazar. Oh yes, legislator legislature. Absolutely. We can get that done in 60 days, even though there's thousands of applications coming around the state. Well, she was, ridiculously laughably wrong. They couldn't even do it in 90 days. It took for me January more than six months for [00:11:00] my renter's application to be processed.

So, you know, good luck with that. We'll see how that goes. But there will be money there, there will be money there to help renters. And as an eviction specialist, I can tell you the vast majority of people that, that I, you know, I'm hired to take to court is, is for non payment. And, and this, this whole new paradigm can potentially help people stay housed when their only issue is, is needing a bridge to get over a month or two where they've been unable to pay rent.

You know, I mean, things do happen to people. People lose their jobs. People get into an accident. You know, we, we really don't have a good, a good enough safety net in this state, or we haven't until this point. So for that, you know, I will say thank you Governor Kotek. It, it, it's going hand in hand giving, giving the tenant more time to access this rent assistance.

And it's my understanding that similar to what happened during Covid if the rent assistance is granted, if the, if the renter does qualify, that it will cover not only the [00:12:00] back rent, but it will cover potentially rent through the current day, or at least maybe ahead a little bit. Maybe it'll will even cover court costs and late fees.

Right. We just don't know. At this point, it's, the program is too new. But that's it in a nutshell. As far as the big thing that's coming, that's going to be a pretty big paradigm shift for landlords. For this reason, one of the things I'm gonna be recommending that landlords consider is using a new form that we've created. It's called Notice of Security Deposit Increase, and I finally served my first one yesterday.

Alice Lema: Oh, that's interesting.

Tia Politi: Yeah. After the first year of, of tenancy, a landlord can increase the renter's security deposit. Now it has to be reasonable, right? Everything in landlord tenant law has to be reasonable and in good faith, is it reasonable that if you've had a tenant who is struggling on and on, who is continually paying their rent late to require a higher security deposit to mitigate the higher risk that they pose and that this new law poses [00:13:00] to the landlord in regard to being able to get reimbursed for, for eligible tenant charges. I think it is.

So this letter I sent yesterday was for tenants who, by the way, have been working all through Covid. Oh, they're still working and just keep not paying their rent. We'll see how it goes. We've asked for a double deposit. Their, their deposit was, I think eight 50 and their rent was 1100. So we're asking for them to increase that security deposit. The law does allow a landlord to do that. It, it requires that the landlord provide a minimum of 90 days to pay that increased security deposit.

Certainly a landlord can give more time if they wish. You'd say, okay, if you can do an extra a hundred a month till it's paid off, you know, you might wanna have a promissory note signed, et cetera, but that can mitigate the risk, right? One of, when I'm teaching my classes, one of the things my favorite songs is Money Makes everything Better.

And when you're, when you're screening an applicant, [00:14:00] you know when you're screening someone, right? Screening is a risk assessment and, and if someone poses a higher risk, certainly you're gonna require a higher deposit. Well, at this point, landlords might wanna start considering a double deposit as a base amount.

Alice Lema: So when you say double deposit, you mean a double security deposit. Okay. And just so the listeners are clear what is the difference between a security deposit and like a cleaning deposit?

Tia Politi: That's a great question. So a security deposit covers any tenant defaults in relation to the rental agreement. Including rent late fees, damage to the rental unit, damaged by animals. You know any eligible lawful charge, of course not including normal wear and tear, that that the landlord can assess to the tenant upon the termination of tenancy. So those are lawful charges. A cleaning deposit, the problem with charging what they call a designated deposit is that those deposit monies can only be used [00:15:00] for that designated item. So, you know, if the tenant leaves the, the place immaculately clean but owes you three months of rent, you're gonna have to return the cleaning deposit even though they owe you money on the other side of the ledger.

Alice Lema: So what you're saying is the security deposit can be used to help reimburse the landlord for back rent, which I was not aware of that. That's amazing. . Okay, so. How often can you do the notice of increased security deposit?

Tia Politi: Well, there's no, there's no restriction in in the law. But again, everything we do has to be fair and reasonable. So I always say, whenever I'm making a decision about what's reasonable, I, I imagine myself standing in front of a judge justifying my decision.

Alice Lema: That's, that's a good idea, right?

Tia Politi: How is a judge gonna look at what I've done? Is are they gonna consider it reasonable and fair or not? So I think with the increased risk to landlords that that a double deposit as a base amount, [00:16:00] makes sense to me just because they've made it much more challenging for us to, to terminate for non-payment. So money makes everything better to a point, at least is no, not perfect, but better. And, and so that's how you mitigate that risk.

Alice Lema: So we've gotta take a quick break. We're talking to Tia Politi she's one of our favorite guests and she's very, very involved and an eviction specialist. We'll go over her credentials right after the break.

Well, welcome back to the Real Estate Show folks. Alice Lema here, your host. We're talking to Tia Politi and she's the president of the Oregon Rental Housing Association. She's also president of the Rental Owners Association in Lane County. She is an eviction specialist and she staffs and runs five helplines for landlords in the state of Oregon.

She's very up to date on what's going on in the legislature as it's happening, and that's why we have Tia Politi today. Thanks for coming back.

Tia Politi: Thanks so much [00:17:00] Alice, and I would like to explain to your, your viewers thank you for allowing me to appear in my bathrobe. I am home sick today.

Alice Lema: So, and I'm, I'm the green meanie that wanted her to still talk cuz everything's so critical right now.

Tia Politi: That's right. And I really wanted to get on here because we have a lot of things that are, that are coming at us.

Alice Lema: So, well thank you. Thank you for doing this.

Tia Politi: Yeah, so one of the next bills we're tracking is Senate Bill six 11, and we are expecting this likely will pass. And, and for landlords it is gonna mean a pretty big shift not a huge shift, but, but for some it will be more impactful than others.

So what it, what this bill is purporting to do is limit the amount that we can raise rent each year. So back in 2019, senate bill 6 0 8 put a rent cap in place. And that rent cap basically said if you have a property older than 15 years old, you are limited to raising the rent each year [00:18:00] by a maximum of 7% plus the West coast C P I.

Alice Lema: Which is cost of living, right?

Tia Politi: Which is the consumer price index for the West Coast. And so that amount, that infl, that's the rate of inflation is probably the easiest way to understand it. And that since that law is impact implemented, that has varied anywhere from 2.1% to this year's, which is super high because inflation is super high of 7.6%.

So, so landlords this year have been granted a bit of a wind fall in regards to how much they can raise rent, and that maximum currently is 14.6%. Now I would think that, that for most landlords, they don't need to, you know, whose rents are in the market.

Alice Lema: Yeah, I would, 7% is high.

Tia Politi: Really kind of 7% is, is a big jump. Yeah. I mean, I don't raise, once I get a renter in place, I, I tell 'em, I'm gonna raise your rent about 5% every couple of years just to cover [00:19:00] inflation and cost of things.

Alice Lema: And that's what I did have tell them ahead of time for sure.

Tia Politi: You know, I do like, as a runner, would you wanna know if your landlord's gonna jock your rent to the max every year?

Alice Lema: Yeah. Before they, before they, you know, move in. Yeah.

Tia Politi: Yeah. It's. I think, you know, I would wanna know what to expect. I would want that, that information. Yeah. And so that's what I tell my renters, unless I do something amazing for your rental. Like one renter, I remodeled her kitchen, so I did raise her rent to the maximum that year.

Yeah. But I have one renter, she's been my fave for many years. She's been with me since 2005, and her rent has increasingly fallen below the market. This year I did do a maximum rent increase on her. And even with that increase, she's still not even in the market. I could probably get 600 a month more for her unit than I'm getting, but she's been amazing.

I don't wanna hurt anyone. I just do need to, you know, start catching up a little bit. So we've got a bill coming forth that will, will fur further limit a landlord's ability to increase rent. The proposal is that a landlord would be able to increase rent a [00:20:00] maximum of either 8% or 3% plus the CPI. I believe it says whichever is greater.

So again, that's not a huge deal for landlords whose rents are in the market, who it's really gonna impact our landlords whose rents are still like mine far below the market. And for that reason, if you're one of those landlords who has had ridiculously low rents for years, this bill, if and when it passes, which I think it likely will, it will only apply to rent increase notices served on or after the effective date of the governor's signature.

So if you're in this position, serve that rent increase notice now. Remember, you, you only have to give a minimum of 90 days. I, I got a call on one of my help lines the other day and, and she's like, could I serve a notice now for a rent increase of 14.6% in January? And I'm like, I think you can. Right.

I think you can. Okay. On the other hand, we have to look at, you know, because that's the law right now, but, but one of the cautions I would give is that, remember [00:21:00] that C P I is set each year. So I would advise, make it, you know, December, because the CPI rate's gonna change, and I don't want you to be the test case.

But let's say you raised, let's say you raised your tenant's rent last September. Well, you can serve a, a maximum rent increase notice now. Even though it's more than 90 days for this coming September, if you need to get that rent up, do it now.

Alice Lema: That's really good advice.

Tia Politi: Yeah. Yeah. So that's one thing that's coming.

The other thing that we, we see as coming is they're trying to increase the relocation fee required when a landlord serves a notice for the qualifying, one of the four qualifying landlord reasons. Currently, if a landlord holds an ownership interest in more than four residential rental units in Oregon, they're required to pay the tenant one month's rent as a relocation expense if they serve a notice of termination for one of the four qualifying landlord reasons. Do you want me to go over those reasons briefly?

Alice Lema: Yeah. Yeah, let's do that real quick.

Tia Politi: So let's let's summarize that. [00:22:00] So, reason number one, the landlord intends to demolish the unit or convert it to a different use, Other than residential use within a reasonable time. Reason number two, the landlord intends for the landlord or a member of the landlord's immediate family to occupy the unit as their primary residence. Reason number three, the landlord is renovating the unit and the unit is unsafe for, unfit, for occupancy, or will be unsafe for unfit for occupancy during renovations. Please be careful about saying your unit is, is unsafe or unfit for occupancy. You're basically admitting and writing that your unit's uninhabitable and a tenant attorney would just love to get ahold of you.

Alice Lema: Well, and you, you know what else landlords are are telling their tenants, they have to move out because they're painting and putting in new carpet. And I don't know that that qualifies, but there's some of them are getting away with.

Tia Politi: Well, sure. If the tenant doesn't challenge you, you can get away with it.

Alice Lema: Yeah. So I agree. Be careful, right?

Tia Politi: Be very careful if you, if you wanna be the test case, we would so [00:23:00] appreciate that , because you know, we're all wondering where the line is. Yeah. The attorneys that I've spoken to have said it better impact habitability. Yeah. You know, so if you have substantial peeling paint in a, in a house built before 1978 and it could, you know, inside and it could be lead base paint, you know, that might qualify might.

I'm, I'm a bit of a risk freak, so I'm always looking at ways that tenant an attorney could get ahold of one of my owners and rip 'em to bits and and charge them for the privilege. So I always tell my clients it needs to be substantial. You need to be tearing out the only bathroom, tearing out the only kitchen dealing with hazardous materials like asbestos, you know, popcorn texture on the ceiling, asbestos tiles in the flooring.

You're, you're dealing with substantial rot, things like that. You know, I've, I've had, I've had realtors try to question me, well, we need to replace the roof. I've replaced roofs with tenant's in place. Oh, of course we need to, we need to replace the windows. You can do that from outside. You can do that.

We need to paint. I've painted with tenants in [00:24:00] place. We need to replace the carpet. Not good enough. You can't do that. Not good enough. Yeah. You know, unless it gets by the tenant and the tenant doesn't challenge you. We're seeing a lot more renters show up at court a lot more get represented by an by attorneys.

So, you know, it's a tougher process than it used to be. So that's reason number three. Reason number four the landlord is selling the property to a buyer. They've accepted an offer from a buyer who intends in good faith to occupy the unit as their primary residence. So each of those four reasons requires a minimum 90 day written notice. Not email, not text written with certain specific requirements. I still see landlords mess this up. I talked to one of my own members yesterday and I, I saved her just in time. She had put something in the mail. She called me as she's still in the parking lot of the post office telling me what she's done.

And I'm like, go back, get what you mail. See if they'll give it back to you cuz what you did was wrong. She sent some letter about this 90 day notice just because she was marketing the property for sale. [00:25:00] Can't do that. Can't do that. You have to have an accepted offer. And she didn't, she didn't, you know, have on the, on the notice the Veteran's Disclosure, any of the other myriad requirements for service of notice in Oregon.

You know, I just see landlords messing this up. I. My head sometimes just wants to pop right off. I see them. I mean, landlords can be some of the chinzy, cheapest people on the planet. I swear. They, they don't wanna spend, oh, I don't wanna pay you $75. I can do this myself. And then they end up blowing it and pay a tenant attorney a thousand dollars to dismiss a case.

I call it stepping over a dollar to pick up a nickel. And know, trying to save money, you're gonna cost yourself a whole lot more about it.

Alice Lema: Yeah. And you know, the the Oregon Rental Housing Association of which you're the president of has amazing forms. And they're legal. They're easy to fill out, what are they, five or six bucks, and then you're not in trouble and the instructions are on there. You can also call or email Tia directly [00:26:00] one of her five landlord hotlines and she'll help you.

Tia Politi: Or hire me, you know, or hire other, or hire other people. Yeah. Yeah. There's other people like me and you know, one of the things I tell people is like, well, they maybe I'll just do an attorney. And I'm like, there's nothing actually, that's a great choice. Sometimes a letter from an attorney is far more impactful than a letter from little old me, you know, so, so I'm seeing a lot more of the bigger management companies just go straight to an attorney. And I don't think that's a bad choice either. It's kind of like having a guy with a badge on his chest and a gun on his hips serve your court papers rather than on me, right?

It can make a bigger impact. So so, and, and certainly I'm not an attorney. All right, so let's get back to the qualifying landlord reasons. What I was talking about was how relocation fees are gonna increase to three times the monthly rent, and those relo fees will only apply that, I'm not seeing that change in the law, although be prepared.

What I'm telling you right now could change. There's this process in the law that legislators love and it's called gut and [00:27:00] stuff. It's where they take what's called a placeholder bill. They, they wait till the last minute. They gut what's in it and they stuff in what they want. So which could be really bad for.

And it has been in the past. We've gotta really keep track of that. And our lobbyist and our, our deputy legislative, our, our legislative director and deputy legislative director are monitoring those constantly to, to see what's going on there. But it's going to increase that relocation expense to three times the monthly rent.

And it, it still is holding open that you'd have to have a five or more units in Oregon. And then it's also purporting to limit the rent increases as well. So if you're planning to serve one of those qualifying landlord reason notifications in the next year, do it now. Do it now.

Alice Lema: Cause it doesn you're saying 90 days it can be a year or two.

Tia Politi: It can, you can always give more time. You just can't give less. So, you know, consider that, especially if you [00:28:00] have a, a renter who's super below market. But yeah, there, there, they're implementing these things in a, in an effort to help renters. But what they're really doing is going to cause landlords to have to raise their rents to recoup these costs.

Any, you know, a a, as I learned in e economics 1 0 1 at LCC back in the day you know, it's supply and demand, and if you raise costs on a business, they're forced to raise costs on their customer. Because no business, you know, operates to not make a profit, to not have a return for the business owner of some reasonable amount.

And that's why we're seeing a lot of owners selling out, moving, taking their properties or their money out of state, buying another states that are, are more landlord friendly. Yeah. So then it makes it worse.

Alice Lema: We are seeing much of. and, and when we do put something on the market that has a tenant in it, the buyer's agents a lot of times are, are skittish and they don't wanna show it, or they, you know, [00:29:00] recommend a different property. When they do sell, they're usually sold to owner-occupied people. Right now, investors aren't buying 'em.

Tia Politi: Yeah. And, and just for your reference and other realtors and and owners who are considering selling, I've just re redone my, my article, it's called, I have a column I write, it's called Mind Your Business. Tia's Tips for Better Rental Management. And I just redid my article on overcoming Barriers to selling a tenant occupied property. And that is available for all of you, for free on my website is my name, tia So check that out.

Alice Lema: We gotta take a quick break. It's just so interesting to have you on Tia. Please do not change the dial. We'll be right back with more great information from Tia Politi.

Well, hey, Southern Oregon, welcome back to the Real Estate Show. We're talking to Tia Politi. She's the president of the Oregon Rental Housing Association. She's also the president of the Rental Owners Association of [00:30:00] Lane County. I call her the walking encyclopedia of all things landlord Tenant , in Oregon. And she also is running five help lines for landlords, and she's all up to speed on what's going on with the Oregon legislature right now. So, Tia, what's next?

Tia Politi: Yeah. Thanks again for having me on, Alice. I always enjoy coming on your program. I wish more folks were doing this around the state. So we were tracking a, a number of bills that you and I discussed leading up to this segment. The, the next one that's gonna be pretty pretty consternating for mostly landlords, is the childcare bill. And this my understanding, they, they attempted to push it through last short session and it failed.

It didn't get outta committee in time, but this year it is looking like it will come to be and it has bipartisan support. So, you know, most people are probably aware that we have somewhat of a childcare crisis. You know, COVID really brought that into stark relief. [00:31:00] And so because of that, the legislature is going to require landlords to allow certified childcares to be run in their rental properties.

And most of the reactions I hear to that are shock, horror, and, oh my God, I'm selling and I'm getting outta here. It's, it's really scary to think about the type of liability, you know, we've all heard the horror stories about children being molested and killed or, you know, accidental deaths or whatever at childcare facilities.

So it's super scary. The bill does provide us with some protection. The way I understand the bill is that the, the renter will have to have a licensed, certified home. And when I looked at the, the rules for that, in fact I had it up on my computer here. They're going to have to be in, in compliance with the rules of the early learning council.

And there are some pretty hefty duty restrictions and rules. There's rules about how much space [00:32:00] each you need, how much square footage you need for each child, upstairs, downstairs, how much yard space you need. All sorts of different things. They have to meet all sorts of pretty intensive requirements.

So this doesn't mean that your tenant can just go, hey, neighborhood kids, come on. You know, or tell the parents, you can come and I'll babysit your kids for money. They have to be licensed and certified. And, and yet the liability concerns are huge. So what , what they're allowing for landlords to do is require one of three things.

Either a bond, a liability bond, the tenant will have to purchase liability insurance. The tenant will have to purchase, or the landlord can require that the parents the, the care provider have the parents sign waivers eliminating the landlord from responsibility. I'm, I'm always concerned about those, but you know, I don't.

Alice Lema: Why would you be concerned about that? Would the parent sign.

Tia Politi: Is a waiver good enough? You know, I don't know. You know so so what we're doing now, so I am also chair of the forms [00:33:00] committee for the Oregon Rental Housing Association and we had our meeting in Medford last week. And what I told the committee and the board was, I, I'm usually feel pretty confident trying to draw up a draft of an agreement and I said, I don't feel comfortable at all with this.

I don't know what to a, advise our owners to do as far as which of the three options are the best for them. I don't. What to do. So what I want is for us to get legal advice. So they approve me to go and spend a certain amount of money to have an attorney give us some guidance into how to develop a childcare agreement, what to look for, and then I'm trying to find information on, you know, how to, how to educate owners on what the requirements are.

I've, I've managed properties where, you know, my renters have done adult foster care, and I believe the Department of Human Services is who oversees that. And this, the requirements are very stringent. So that was a good thing. I had really good experiences with that because, you know, the state really [00:34:00] holds 'em to a high standard.

And every time I was in that place, it was perfect. And, and it was really a, a, a neat thing. I assume that, that it's the same for childcare, if not even more stringent. So that makes me. A little bit better about this. I also think you're gonna find that a lot of the, the homes are not gonna be certifiable.

Right. For various reasons. So right now I'm trying to educate myself on exactly what those requirements are so landlords can kind of see whether, gee, would my unit even be a possibility for that? Or do I not need to worry about it at all?

Alice Lema: I think we're gonna have to do some recon with our landlords for as soon as we have the physical building requirements for the childcare. Yeah. So that people can be in front.

Tia Politi: Right. So we don't know what that's gonna look like, but it is doesn't mean just any tenant can start watching kids for pay.

Alice Lema: Oh, right. You know, that's So I'm, this is why we like talking to you , because [00:35:00] you have the data. It's not emotional, and then we can go forward with the truth. That's just beautiful.

Tia Politi: Well, thank you. I do appreciate that. I, you know, I try and I'm, I'm balanced. I, I was a renter my whole life, you know, we never owned our own home. And so, you know, I, I, I think so often landlords and tenants are portrayed as being in opposition to each other. And that's really a painful thing because we're not. My renters are my valued customers and I take really good care of them, and they take really good care of me, and it's a beautiful relationship when it works.

Alice Lema: And that's the free market working. But this is not a political show.

Tia Politi: There you go. There you go. So, but I will say that, you know, all of these restrictions end up requiring landlords to increase rents and, and it's causing a lot of landlords to sell. So why are they doing what is going to impact the market even more? Well, I guess it's to make themselves look good.

Alice Lema: Okay, so they don't have, do they ever, do the legislatures ever talk about the motivation behind. [00:36:00]

Tia Politi: No, but like we've got some things happening here in Eugene and I wrote a pretty scathing letter just saying, you know, it's obvious that this is political maneuvering because I, if it weren't, you wouldn't be doing this. Because what you're doing will actually hurt, not help the people you say you wanna help. The marginalized, the historically disenfranchised, those who need a second chance. How is this gonna hurt them? Well, rents are gonna go up. People are gonna sell. So there'll be fewer single family and duplex home options.

But it's also going to make it much harder to get into housing in the first place. Landlords aren't gonna be able to afford to, to be second chance landlords anymore. Right. We, we. And we're gonna have to raise our security deposits to cover, you know, the, the excess risk that they're putting on us. And that's how this hurts renters.

You know, I'm all in favor of reasonable restrictions. I, you know, as a, as a child growing up, I, you know, I saw my mother being sexually harassed by property, a property manager. Yeah. She was a beautiful woman. And you know, and so I know the kind [00:37:00] of power a landlord can have over a tenant and, and we do need reasonable regulations that ensure that tenants are protected from that type of behavior and other unscrupulous behaviors.

And those are not the people we represent. In fact, I've kicked, we've kicked people out of our association for unethical behavior.

Alice Lema: Yay for you.

Tia Politi: Absolutely. I'm not here to support you being a slum lord or violating the rules. I'm here to support running a lawful business that treats your customers with the respect and dignity they're entitled to. But I also will help you get rid of those people who are not following their agreement.

Alice Lema: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it's a great service that you provide in the minute we have left. Can we get your phone number and your website again?

Tia Politi: Sure. My phone number is 541-953-4142 you can read about me on my website. My website is my name, My name is spelled T I A P O L I T I. I spend a lot of my work life on the [00:38:00] phone, so might be best to email me my email address and all of my contact info, my credentials and all of my articles are available on my website.

Alice Lema: It's a fabulous website. Yeah. And it's it's great because Tia does respond to emails. She's fairly quick about it and always to the point, and with good humor.

Tia Politi: But if you're not a member of one of the five landlord help lines we staff, be prepared to pay for a consultation.

Alice Lema: Yeah. And it'd be worth every Penny Abs. Absolutely. Well, thank you Tia. We're gonna have you back on later in the year to update us. This broadcast will be repeated tomorrow at 6:00 PM Have a beautiful weekend. Hug those you love. Bye now.

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