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Oregon Just Became the First State to Impose Rent Control

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Rent control has never before been imposed on a statewide basis, but it has been tried many times by cities, always with negative consequences.

By Hans Bader                                                                        @fee.org

Oregon’s legislature has passed the first statewide rent control law in the country, which Governor Kate Brown (D) will sign into law. It will cap rent increases to inflation plus 7 percent for all units that are 15 years or older.

As Andrew Moran notes, the new rent control law also “bans no-cause evictions, so any landlord must offer a government-approved excuse for evicting a tenant.” So a landlord may now be forced to continue renting to tenants she finds personally disagreeable, even those living in close proximity to her own family. This is an incentive for people not to rent out housing units in the first place lest they lose their freedom to choose whom they associate with.

Economists say rent controls are destructive.

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