Lane County's problem with rising rent

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EUGENE, Ore. — Last week, we reported on a Eugene couple who received an eviction notice without being told why.

Those parents of a newborn baby have to find a new place to live, after receiving just a 60-day notice.

Tia Politi, a general manager of Acorn Properties, has been managing properties for more than 14 years. But before that, she actually received a no-cause eviction herself.

Despite her own experience, she supports the right to evict or terminate tenancy without a reason.

"No-cause terminations are one of the landlord's best tools for dealing with the worst of the worst tenant problems," said Politi. "I don't terminate my tenants for no reason, there's always a reason."

In a no-cause termination or eviction, the landlords or property managers like Politi don't need a reason to send you packing in 60 days.

But Politi says even when there is a reason to evict a tenant, it can be hard to prove it in court.

"Nobody kicks out a perfectly good, paying tenant who's taking good care of your property," said Politi. "That just doesn't happen."

When it comes to the story of Stephanie and Ernest Parish, which we told you earlier in October, the couple found their apartment re-listed online for a higher price.

State Senator James Manning Jr. says that no-cause evictions could contribute to higher rent prices across Lane County.

Senator Manning sponsored House Bill 2004 in May, which would have eliminated no-cause eviction. The bill passed in the House, but failed in the Senate.

Politi seems to think that the issue at hand is caused completely by the landlords, though.

"We do not have a landlord problem, we have a housing shortage problem," said Politi. "It's so difficult to build anything in Lane County, it is prohibitively expensive to build affordable rental units."

Politi says that at the end of the day, eviction with a cause or not, rent will go down only if more housing units are available.

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