This may be obvious, but it needs to be said: Landlords are not necessarily evil.
If you keep an eye on the Oregon Legislature — or until recently on the Bend City Council — it would be easy to get a very different idea.
Just a few weeks ago, the Bend City Council made it harder for landlords to get rid of bad tenants. That wasn’t the council’s intent, but it’s what the council did by extending the required notice for some evictions.
The war on landlords is progressing in the state Legislature, too. Some lawmakers have been salivating over the prospect of limiting how much landlords can raise the rent. Sure enough, a bill allowing rent control is up for consideration this session.
And now, fresh from his demonization of “huge, out-of-state corporations” and their “rich stockholders,” State Rep. Phil Barnhart, D-Eugene, has bestowed a haymaker on the increasingly contested notion that landlords should be free to control the use of their own property. It’s a pair of bills — House Bill 2510 and 2511.
The bills allow residential and commercial tenants to install electrical vehicle charging stations, even if their landlords do not want their property to be altered in that way.
In other words: Electric cars, your time has come! Landlords, shut up! Your tenants’ consumer choices now trump your property rights.
Barnhart probably sees nothing sinister about his bills. Green is good, right? People who own electric cars deserve special consideration because — as we all know — their vehicles are the future. Next thing you know, tenants will be free to install solar panels on the roofs of their rental homes, regardless of what their owners think.
Given the low regard in which so many lawmakers seem to hold landlords, not to mention their property rights, no one should be surprised to see people look for other things to do with land. Housing affordability will change accordingly.