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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Housing Bureau

Solving the unmet housing needs of the people of Portland.

Phone: 503-823-2375

fax: 503-823-2387

421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204

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4. How does a Landlord claim an exemption from paying Relocation Assistance?

The following descriptions of the criteria and procedures for claiming an exemption are significantly simplified.  Please carefully read the Interim Administrative Rules (available on the Rental Services Office website) for a full description of each exemption and the criteria for claiming it.

When determining whether a Dwelling Unit qualifies for an exemption, “Dwelling Unit” is defined by city code (see PCC 33.910).  Under this definition, multiple Tenants living in different bedrooms but sharing a kitchen and/or a bathroom are considered to share a Dwelling Unit.

There are 12 situations in which a Landlord may claim an exemption to the requirement to pay Relocation Assistance:    

  1. Rental Agreements for week-to-week tenancies
  2. Landlords whose Principal Residence is in the same Dwelling Unit as the Tenant.*
  3. Landlords whose Principal Residence is in the same Duplex as the Tenant. *
  4. Tenants who live in an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on the same property as the Landlord.
  5. Landlords who temporarily rent out their Principal Residence during an absence of 3 years or less. *
  6. Landlords who temporarily rent out their Principal Residence during an absence due to active duty military service.*
  7. Termination of a Rental Agreement so the Landlord can move an immediate family member into the Dwelling Unit.  The immediate family member CANNOT be the Landlord, their spouse, or any person who has been an owner of the Dwelling Unit within the past 12 months.
  8. Dwelling Units regulated by federal, state or local governments as Affordable Housing for a period of at least 60 years.
  9. Dwelling Units undergoing acquisition, rehabilitation or demolition for federally funded projects subject to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970.  These Dwelling Units are subject to federal, rather than city, relocation assistance laws. 
  10. Dwelling Units rendered immediately uninhabitable NOT due to the action or inaction of the Landlord or Tenant.  Such events include, but are not limited to, natural or human-caused disasters.
  11. Dwelling Units rented for less than 6 months while subject to a demolition permit submitted BEFORE the Rental Agreement began.
  12. Dwelling Units where the Landlord provides a fixed-term Rental Agreement (example: 1-year lease), notifying the Tenant in writing BEFORE the Rental Agreement began that upon expiration of the lease the Dwelling Unit would be sold or permanently converted to a use OTHER THAN as a Dwelling Unit subject to Oregon’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

To claim exemptions # 3-7 or 11-12, a Landlord must submit a Relocation Exemption Application Form (REA) to the Rental Services Office and receive an Acknowledgement Letter certifying they meet the criteria.  The Landlord must provide a copy of the Acknowledgement Letter to the Tenant BEFORE giving any notice which triggers Relocation Assistance, or they will NOT be able to claim the exemption and MUST pay Relocation Assistance to that Tenant as required by the Ordinance.  For Rental Agreements beginning after March 8, 2018, any Landlord wishing to claim exemptions # 3-5 or 12 must provide a copy of the Acknowledgement Letter to the Tenant BEFORE the Rental Agreement begins.  Exemptions # 1-2 and 8-10 may be claimed without submitting a Relocation Exemption Application Form or receiving an Acknowledgement Letter.

* Principal Residence is defined by the Interim Administrative Rules