Oregon Landlords May See Change in Tenant Screening Rules

by Chris on March 18, 2013

Oregon lawmakers are pushing forward a measure that would prohibit landlords from rejecting prospective tenants who are on government assistance.

A proponent of the bill, who is from Portland, says she is worried that Section 8 and other government program recipients are being segregated into specific parts of that city.

Source of income is already a protected class in Oregon. However, this measure would go further by denying the current exception for recipients of Section 8 vouchers.

An exception remains if income is from an illegal source.

If the bill passes, Oregon landlords would be prohibited from a “no Section 8” policy. Landlords would still be allowed to run routine tenant screening reports. A tenant could be rejected if  “the amount of rent exceeds the income of the prospective renter” taking into account any and all eligible aid. Landlords could reject a tenant who is otherwise unsuitable based on rental history.

The bill directs the state’s housing authority to develop a program for landlords to mitigate damages to rental properties caused by tenants receiving assistance under the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program.

A growing number of states recognize source of income as a protected class relative to rental housing discrimination, and some already prohibit “no Section 8” policies. Landlords should be aware of their state’s policy before rejecting a rental applicant on that basis.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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