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Government Affairs Resources
Here are a few recent bills that directly impact the real estate business. Please refer to these guides to help you learn about the new legislation and how to implement the changes. For more information on Oregon REALTORS® legislation issues contact the Government Affairs team at [email protected]
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2021 Legislative Session Recap – July 23, 2021
Oregon REALTORS® and the Government Affairs Key Committee is proud to bring you this comprehensive summary of the important work accomplished this session to defend homeownership, encourage housing development, protect property rights, and uphold and expand fair housing principles throughout the State during the 2021 Legislative Session.
Click the image to view online or download the PDF here.
Legislative Update: Love Letters – June 10, 2021
On June 8, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2550, which requires seller’s agents to reject communications written by potential homebuyers and given to sellers for the purpose of winning favor for their offer on the basis of an intangible connection separate from the merits of their offer. Often referred to as “love letters,” such communications were targeted by the 2021 Legislature as potential sources of Fair Housing violations, and Oregon REALTORS® engaged the bill’s sponsors early on to ensure it would not be overly burdensome or difficult to comply with. Now passed, House Bill 2550 will be enrolled in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 696.805. It becomes effective January 1, 2022.
NAR has recommended against these letters since late 2020, but in the interest of supporting fair housing for all, Oregon moved to become the first state to make acceptance of these communications on the part of a real estate licensee acting as a seller’s agent unlawful.
While compliance policies will need to be set by each brokerage, we recommend that real estate licensees (both seller’s agents and buyer’s agents) have a discussion about love letters with their clients at the beginning of the agency relationship and agree with their client in writing that love letters will not be developed, accepted or transmitted in any transaction. Seller’s agents can include in the MLS remarks that love letters will be rejected.
Want more info on tricky issues that come up in multiple offer situations?
Love letters tend to be more common in multiple offer situations. Oregon REALTORS® has developed guidance on multiple offer situations that can be found here. We will also be hosting a webinar on dealing with multiple offer situations on June 28 at 11am.
As additional details emerge about this legislation and how it will be interpreted and enforced Oregon REALTORS® will update here.
Legislative update – May 19, 2021
On May 11, Senate Bill (SB) 282, the latest bill affecting the landlord/tenant relationship in Oregon, overcame its final legislative hurdle when it passed the House on a vote of 39-17.
- What does the bill do? SB 282 extends the expiration of the “grace period” for repayment of residential rent, charges and fees accrued during the COVID-19 emergency period from June 30, 2021 to February 28, 2022. It also permanently prohibits landlords from reporting tenant nonpayment accrued during the emergency period (April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) to consumer credit reporting agencies.Importantly, this bill did not extend the ban on evictions for nonpayment of rent, which remains in place until June 30, 2021. On or after July 1, nonpayment of July, August, and future rent will again be grounds for termination of a tenancy, and tenants may be served with a 10-day termination notice in accordance with ORS 90.394. However, it is important to remember that such a notice must clearly state that:
- Eviction for nonpayment of rent, charges and fees that accrued on or after April 1, 2020 and before June 30, 2021 is not allowed before February 28, 2022; and
- Information regarding tenant resources is available at www.211info.org.
Additionally, landlords must continue to follow the revised “order of payments,” rules that have been in place under the COVID-19 eviction moratorium. When landlords receive payments from tenants, they must apply them in this order:
- Rent for the current rental period,
- Utility or service charges,
- Late rent payment charges, and
- Fees or charges owed by the tenant under ORS 90.302, or other fees or charges related to damage claims or other claims against the tenant.During the grace period (extended to February 28, 2022 under the bill) landlords can communicate with their tenant about the unpaid balances that accrued between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, but if a landlord does so the landlord must also include a statement that eviction for nonpayment of rent, charges and fees accrued from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, is not allowed before February 28, 2022. The notice may also include information regarding tenant resources and may offer a voluntary payment plan for the nonpayment balance, but only if the notice states that the plan is voluntary. The notice may include a request that the tenant contact the landlord to discuss the voluntary payment plan.
- What else does it do? SB 282 prohibits a landlord from considering tenant nonpayment accrued on or after April 1, 2020 and before March 1, 2022, or any eviction that occurred during that period, when evaluating rental applications. Additionally, the bill extends an increased penalty for retaliatory conduct on the part of a landlord through February 28, 2022. The increased retaliation penalties include payment of up to three months’ rent or three times the actual damage sustained by the tenant.The bill also prohibits, until March 1, 2022, landlords from enforcing restrictions on maximum occupancy limits for their property that are lower than required by federal, state, or local law, or from limiting the maximum duration of a guest’s stay. With this change, the bill expressly allows a landlord to require their tenant and the tenant’s guest(s) to sign a temporary occupancy agreement for stays longer than 15 days and allows for the screening of tenants’ guest(s) based on a landlord’s ordinary screening criteria, except for criteria related to credit reports, references, or income.Finally, the bill clarifies that landlords may assess a fee allowed by ORS 90.302 or terminate a tenancy based on the conduct of a tenants’ guest(s) or guests’ failure to comply with conduct standards or the signing of the temporary occupancy agreement. The bill clarifies that guests who sign a temporary occupancy agreement are not tenants under the law.
- When does SB 282 go into effect? The bill contained an “emergency clause” which means it becomes law as soon as it is signed by the Governor. It should be considered in effect as of May 14, 2021.
Legislative update – February 3, 2021
Oregon REALTORS® helped defeat HB 2238. This bill would have given the Governor broad power to seize private property for use any time she declared an emergency.
Oregon already has a system for using private property during an emergency and fairly compensating landowners. We are proud to help protect private property owner rights while allowing for fair emergency access.
Real Estate Transfer Taxes – January 29, 2020
Additional taxes imposed on current and future homeowners will only make our housing crisis worse and will further drive the dream of homeownership out of reach for Oregonians. Oregon REALTORS® has been supportive of numerous affordable housing funding mechanisms, including a document recording fee. Oregon REALTORS® will continue to support general fund and bonding requests for affordable housing preservation and construction. In addition, the Oregon REALTORS® HOME Foundation will continue to build on the over $1.7 million donated to organizations that create, expand, and encourage homeownership opportunities for Oregonians at or below local median income.
Why did Realtors® support the passage of Measure 79?
Voting “YES” on Measure 79 stopped governments from being able to impose real estate transfer taxes on homes. These taxes are an additional tax that is charged each and every time property is sold or transferred. Voting “YES” is the only way to truly ensure that governments will not impose double taxes on homes.
Senate Bill 608
SB 608 ends no-cause evictions and limits annual rent increases to 7% + CPI after the first year of occupancy. It was signed by the Governor and took effect on February 28, 2019. Oregon REALTORS® opposed the bill, but it sailed through both Chambers with no opportunity to amend and only perfunctory hearings. One of the most challenging parts of the law for REALTORS® and prospective homeowners is the requirement that a tenant be given 90 days’ notice when a home is sold to a buyer who intends to occupy as a primary residence. For your reference, please see summary below.
House Bill 3427
It was inevitable that some large business tax increase would pass in the 2019 legislative session to fund the priorities of the Joint Committee on Student Success, which crisscrossed the state in 2018 talking with students, teachers and parents about needed investments to boost Oregon’s high school graduation rates. Legislators landed on a $1 billion per year ($2 billion per budget cycle) package that included a tax of .57% on business gross receipts over $1M, with a 35% deduction for either labor costs or cost of goods sold. The package also included minor reductions in personal income taxes. Facing the reality that a new business tax would pass, Oregon REALTORS® worked with key legislators to ensure that only the value of commissions (not value of home sales) would be taxed and that REALTOR® commissions would only be taxed at the REALTOR® level rather than at the brokerage level or at both levels. As a result, the tax will only apply to REALTORS® who have more than $1M in commissions and to brokerages that have more than $1M in revenues after distributing broker commissions. For your reference, please see Fact Sheet below.
The REALTOR® Party
We are the REALTOR® Party: An energized movement of real estate professionals fighting to keep the dream of homeownership alive throughout the country. Take time to learn more about the REALTOR® Party at the national level.
Now, more than ever, it is critical for REALTORS® across America to come together and speak with one voice about the stability a sound and dynamic real estate market brings to our communities. At the local, state, and federal level, our elected officials are making decisions that have a tremendous impact on the bottom line of REALTORS® and the housing market.
In Oregon, the REALTOR® Party program is used to assist local boards and associations in implementing grassroots advocacy campaigns that support the values and priorities of REALTORS®. Local boards and associations can request financial assistance to support or oppose local ordinances or use the fund for other types of issue campaigns to influence public policy. The program is not used to support candidates for any political office, as this is the function of the REALTOR® PAC.
Download printable investment cards for distribution at your office or event.
To request funds locally, please contact the Oregon REALTORS® Public Policy Department at (503) 362-3645 (Salem) or (800) 252-9115 (Toll Free).
Why is Oregon REALTORS® involved in politics?
The Oregon REALTORS® is involved in politics to safeguard your business and help protect the American dream of homeownership. Through actively engaging in the legislative process, REALTORS® are able to protect private property rights and maintain housing affordability.
What legislation are we tracking?
The Oregon REALTORS®, through the Government Affairs Key Committee, actively tracks legislation relating to business and real estate taxation, distressed properties and foreclosures, economic development and housing affordability, land use planning, private property rights, and real estate license law. See current legislation.
What is Oregon REALTORS® advocating and why?
The Oregon REALTORS® Public Policy Department advocates before the Oregon Legislature and state regulatory agencies to support legislation and regulations that strengthen housing affordability and attainability. The Association also strives to defeat legislation and regulations that negatively impact the housing market and is committed to protecting buyers and sellers to preserve the dream of homeownership.
Where do my RPAC dollars go?
Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates throughout the nation. In Oregon, the purpose of RPAC is clear: to support candidates and elected officials who share our values on issues significant to the real estate market – promoting homeownership, pursuing sustainable development opportunities and protecting private property rights.
How can I get involved?
As a member of the Oregon REALTORS® you have full access to our Public Policy department and we encourage your participation in our policy and political process. To learn how to become actively involved in one of our policy and political key committees, please contact our association at 800-252-9115.
Who can I contact regarding legislation?
As a member of the Oregon REALTORS® you have full access to our Public Policy department. If you have specific questions regarding legislation you can reach out to the Political Advocacy Director, Jeremy Rogers, or Chief Lobbyist Shaun Jillions.
ORPAC TrusteesRead More
Chair Debra Gisriel, EXP Realty, LLC
Vice Chair Beth Caster, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Stacey Boals, Coldwell Banker Pro West Ashland
Drew Coleman, Hasson Company
Carol Dozois, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Michael Gottlieb, Mountain View Real Estate and Property Mgmt.
Kerri Hartnett, Keller Williams Realty PDX
Dave Hemenway, Re/Max Advantage Plus
Art Kegler, American West Properties
Don Meyer, Re/Max Integrity
Colin Mullane, Full Circle Real Estate
Suzanne O’Halloran, Kohler Meyers O’Halloran, Inc.
George Perkins, 20/20 Properties
Jill Russel, Olson Group Real Estate
Eva Sanders, Meadows Group, Inc.
Adam Schwend, Coast Real Estate Professionals
Randy Shaw, Coldwell Banker Holman Premier
Patrick Sieng, Realty One Group
Greg Steiner, Harcourts West Real Estate,
Michael Warren II, Crook County Properties
Teresa Zamora, EXP Realty, LLC