Police Train Landlords on Ordinance

EUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene Police Department offered a training Tuesday for local landlords about tenant laws, but one rule in particular had property owners’ interest.

After Monday night’s city council vote, many Eugene landlords are curious how the social host ordinance will change their business. Part of the ordinance holds landlords accountable for social host violations.

The room was packed at the landlord training, which was scheduled weeks ago to provide safety and crime prevention tips. But at the event, landlords were more curious about their new responsibilities.

The city of Eugene wants help from landlords to prevent unruly parties.

“If one of your tenants gets a social host citation, we want you to send them a letter, something in writing that says, ‘Hey, I know this party happened. I know you got a social host citation. This is a written warning to you,'” said Kelly Putnam, EPD West University Station Manager.

Part of the new ordinance would also fine landlords if too many citations were happening on their properties. But Putnam, one of the original authors of the ordinance, says it’s really not meant to punish property owners.

EPD just wants help from landlords to hold problematic tenants more accountable.

“All you have to do is show documentation that you made a good faith effort to correct the problem,” Putnam said.

The new ordinance raised a lot of questions for Eugene landlords. But after learning more, some of them are relieved about the changes.

“The police are backing us before we’re even involved in it. I’m not asking them to come out and back me. They’re saying please come out and back them,” said Traci Dunlap, Valleyridge Apartments Manager.

EPD says based on their research, not a single property owner would have had to pay a fee for citations if the ordinance had been around in 2012.

The police are confident that one citation will be enough for party hosts to get the message. They say the ordinance is really meant to help the property owners who have unruly tenants.

“Obviously, we’re not trying to ding landlords here,” Putnam said.

There’s plenty who have opposed the ordinance in the past, but for now landlords look to be on board.

There are still several unanswered questions about how the social host ordinance will change living in Eugene, but EPD says it remains confident that property owners have little to worry about.

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