Oregon to Ban Landlords Rejecting Renters Primarily based on Prior Marijuana Convictions


Oregon legislators have handed a invoice that may prohibit landlords from rejecting potential tenants primarily based on prior convictions for minor marijuana convictions. The measure, Senate Invoice 970, would additionally ban landlords from contemplating a housing applicant’s standing as a medical marijuana affected person when making rental selections.

The invoice was handed by the Oregon Senate on April eight by a vote of 17-9 after which the state Home of Representatives voted 36-21 to approve the measure on Might 28, receiving little debate in each homes of the state legislature. SB 970 has since been referred to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.

The foremost focus of SB 970 are measures that prohibit the operators of manufactured residence parks and boat marinas from interfering with renters’ selection of actual property brokers and locations restrictions on subletting a rental unit that’s up on the market. However the invoice’s cannabis provisions apply to all rental properties within the state.

Landlords’ Group Opposes Invoice

The provisions in SB 970 that ban utilizing a rental applicant’s conviction for a minor cannabis offense or standing as a medical marijuana affected person have been opposed by the Rental Housing Alliance Oregon, an trade group representing landlords statewide. Ron Garcia, the group’s legislative chair, wrote in a letter to the Senate Housing Committee that the invoice is unfair as a result of it solely applies to landlords and never others prone to carry out background checks on candidates, similar to employers.

“Asking the owner, who should make selections impacting a complete group of individuals, to disregard convictions others can contemplate is fallacious and one thing we urge you to not do,” Garcia wrote.

Metropolis leaders in Portland are contemplating their very own ordinance to make it simpler for residents to acquire rental housing. A measure that may encourage landlords to be extra forgiving of an applicant’s legal file or credit score historical past was proposed in March. Below the possible ordinance, landlords might select to make use of a streamlined approval course of outlined by the town or their very own system, which might be topic to extra mandated steps that may add time and value to the method.

Expungement Invoice Additionally Advances

One other invoice pending earlier than the Oregon legislature, Senate Invoice 420, is headed for a remaining vote within the Home this week. Below the invoice, Oregon residents with prior convictions for cannabis offenses which are not unlawful might have their convictions robotically reversed. Below the measure, the Oregon Division of Justice can be directed to establish outdated convictions and notify prosecutors for reversal. Sen. Lew Frederick, the sponsor of the invoice, stated that the method below an earlier measure that was handed to permit for the expungement of previous convictions “is each lengthy and dear.”

“We have now plenty of individuals who have convictions now of possession of a managed substance—possession of marijuana—the place in the event that they have been now carrying the identical quantity or promoting the identical quantity, or it was of their residence, it could not be even thought of as against the law,” Frederick stated. “And they’re then battling housing and schooling and jobs, et cetera, due to that.”

Frederick informed native media that he didn’t ask for the measure to be numbered SB 420.

“I want I might say I used to be that prescient, nevertheless it was completely a coincidence,” Frederick stated. “It’s maybe a pleasant omen.”


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