Greetings! Remember me?
It’s been 2 years since I last left my position as President of Rental Housing Alliance, Oregon. But now I’m back.
It seems like just yesterday, right? Well, actually no…. So much has changed in the last 24 months. Our industry has seismically changed since 2018, and many landlords are ruing all that we’ve lost in the way of our traditional property rights.
In 2019, SB 608 brought us rent control and the loss of our rights to safely manage our rentals by eliminating No Cause terminations. In 2020, Portland’s F.A.I.R. ordinance dealt us the loss of our ability to safely screen prospective renters and to adequately charge for tenant damages at move-outs. Now entering into 2021, we have even lost our basic rights to successfully collect rents through the Governor’s eviction moratorium policies.
With the Corona virus RHAO has, like all businesses, lost a lot too – including the member benefits of monthly dinner meetings, live training programs and networking opportunities.
Loss is often associated with nostalgia and even sadness as we long for those “good ol’ days”. But loss can also mean something good. It is by its very nature replaced with something found.
For me personally, since I left this position at the end of 2018, I have lost 65 pounds. I have never been healthier in my whole life. Losing some of my bad habits gave me the opportunity to find new ones and replace them with better choices in diet and exercise. Waking up one morning and recognizing I was an ideal candidate for a stroke and heart attack turned out to be a lifesaving epiphany – once I took action.
Was I scared? Yes. Was I prepared? No. Was I determined to try something new? At that point, the only answer was not really – but what else was there left for me to do?
And so this sense of necessary determination is what I hope to bring back to our organization. No, we may not be individually equipped to change the tides of our time. Oregon has a nearly Super-Duper Single Party Majority and it is decisively pro-tenants’ rights. Our state just re-validated this in November. Anger, protests, lawsuits or outrage may be the normal and legitimate responses if you have been adversely affected. But those reactions are not likely to invoke substantive change. Crying foul and wanting to keep things “normal” is a ruse that thwarts improvement. Recognizing your threats allows you to review your options. Emptiness is an excuse for avoidance. Sometimes the need to dig deep is the only option. Sometimes we need to pivot and against old advice, we need to change oars in the middle of the stream.
Many people have asked me what my new diet is. When I begin to say what works for me, (an apple a day and no gluten) they normally begin to repel or even debate. Running 25 miles a week and giving up all dairy may not be your best bet. But relying on old patterns can also seal one’s fate. I will be 67 this year and I am on Medicare and Social Security. I didn’t start my new regime until I was 65. There is plenty of time and opportunity for improvement, wherever we are.
Rental Housing Alliance Oregon is a service group designed to aid small landlords in their ability to run their individual businesses. We provide forms, advice, training, vendor introductions and more. We even have our own lobbyist to help promote our interests with lawmakers and to keep us informed, in order to remain in compliance with ever-changing legislation.
We have been in existence since 1927! Talk about having been through the ups and downs of economic forces! I hope our members recognize that adapting to the market and whatever new realities it brings to bear has been a core process for us for almost a century. All the while we have continued to help rental property providers be the best that they can be in the housing market, through whatever direction that market was headed, at any given time. Yes, it is rapidly changing now. So must we.
Now here I am, back again in the Covid era of Zoom meetings and no social gatherings. With all this being said, I can honestly say you’ll be “seeing a lot less of me”. 😊