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High Desert, high rents: What’s the cause?


Rents are on the rise all over Central Oregon. Some even jumped $300-$400 within a month.

Property management companies get a lot of the blame, but say it’s all about tight supply and high demand.

“I haven’t seen it like this in 20 years,” Michael Kozak, owner of Kozak Property Management Co., said Monday.

According to the Central Oregon Rental Owners Association, rental prices have increased 25 to 30 percent in just four years.

So who is to blame?

“The reason the rents are going up is very little supply, and there’s a huge amount of demand. And that’s the bottom line,” Kozak said.

During the recession, rents were lower and vacancies were high.

“In the recession in 2007-2008, our vacancy rate was 12 percent. We were buying little color TVs and giving people color TVs if they’d rent one of our units,” Kozak said.

If an owner wants to raise the rent, the property management company is there to advise. Kozak said he advises his clients not to raise rents too quickly, in order to keep the tenants.

“Most of the owners truly understand that having a vacancy is not a good thing,” said Kozak.

Experts said whether you’re a tenant or an owner, look at the market value of your property.

“It’s important for people to realize that when they pay a rent, they’re renting the property for the real market value at that time,” Kozak said.

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