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Helping Shape Policy | Rental Services Commission Meeting

On Friday, September 28th, the Rental Services Commission met and discussed Security Deposit and Screening Criteria drafted by the Office of Commissioner Eudaly.

The draft included updated Screening Criteria that allows housing to those convicted of certain crimes. This would create a great deal of risk for landlords.

“The draft ordinance includes a list of crimes that are not to be judged by landlords as meaning a tenant convicted of them would likely harm the property or cause the premises to be unsafe, if the applicant was sentenced at least three years prior or released from prison one year prior. The list includes felony assault and battery, felony burglary or breaking-and-entering, stalking and misdemeanor domestic violence, dealing or manufacturing illegal drugs, and non-forcible sex offenses, among others.”

–  Gordon R. Friedman (The Oregonian)

During the Public Testimony, Dan Hayes was the first to speak on the matter, followed by landlords and tenants of the community.

Hayes began by thanking those who have put hard work into the policy and those in the industry. He continues by stating he is in opposition of the proposal, but notes that it is a “much better path than what was originally proposed.”

“I don’t think that the proposal balances the increased risk of litigation that those of us in the industry will face as the result of this screening criteria.”

Hayes says that the adoption of the screening criteria which does not require an individualized screening assessment is a step in the right direction. He asks that the commission works to make it more streamlined and allows flexibility for landlords. This flexibility would allow landlords to properly assess and mitigate risk. 

“I believe that this proposal will have unintended consequences … Our costs will go up and those costs will be passed on to those that it is intended to serve.”

Hayes agrees that criminal history should be mandated to consider criminal history against time. “Something should not be held against somebody forever,” Hayes continues, “But also know that history has a tendency to repeat itself.”

In his final comments, Hayes encourages proper training and educating landlords and tenants. This education is necessary for both sides of the transaction, and creates expectation on roles, responsibilities and rights for each party.


We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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