PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Voters in Portland voted "no" on Question 1 Tuesday, rejecting limits on rent. The final vote tally was 64 percent "no," 36 percent "yes."
Voters were asked to approve new rules for landlords in an effort to rein in rent increases, which supporters say are among the highest in the nation.
If approved, rents in Portland would have been limited to inflation, even if a unit is renovated or sold. Landlords would have been required to get an OK to increase rent from a seven-member rent board made up of mostly tenants. Increases would have been capped at 10 percent.
More than half of Portland's population rents and the rent board would have overseen more than half of 18,000 rental units throughout the city. Landlords and developers said an approval of Question 1 would have been disastrous for the city's housing market and made it difficult to evict a problem tenant, with that timeline extending from seven to 60 days. Supporters said the proposal would have stabilized the market.
Portland voters also rejected Question 2, which sought to require neighborhood approval for zoning changes. That final tally was 53 percent "no" and 47 percent "yes."
The question would have allowed neighbors to stop rezoning proposals from moving forward, allowing 25 percent of registered voters living within 500 feet of a zone change to stop it by signing a petition.