PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling has proposed an ordinance that would establish a number of rules including one-year leases, doubling the notice requirement for rent increases and requiring landlords to rent to people who get government housing assistance.
But landlords say the proposal goes too far, won't hold up in court and would potentially inhibit the development of new apartment projects in Maine's largest city.
The Southern Maine Landlord Association which represents about 250 landlords is describing the proposal as pretty out there. They say the city's hot rental market should play out before placing more restrictions on landlords.
The mayor's proposal comes at a time where one thousand new units are currently under construction as the Portland area deals with a supply and demand issue.
The average rent has increased by 40 percent over a five-year period which has made it tough for many low and middle-income residents to live in the city.
One of the proposals that is getting a lot of attention from landlords is requiring yearly leases as a default unless the landlord and tenant expressly negotiate different terms such as monthly leases.
The City Council's Housing Committee will also consider other proposals including one that would require landlords to assist in paying for the cost of relocating tenants if their leases aren't renewed. 'The idea of this constructive one year lease is just so far beyond I really don't have words for it that anyone who wanted to enter i a short term lease would not be allowed to be forced into a one-year lease,' said Brit Vitalius President. Southern Maine Landlord Association.
'People are feeling the crunch and I don't want the city to be haves and have nots those who are really wealthy and those you use government services ,' said Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling.
The City Council's Housing Committee will also consider other proposals including one that would require landlords to assist in paying for the cost of relocating tenants whose leases aren't renewed under certain circumstances.