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South Portland extends its eviction moratorium for another six months

South Portland is extending an eviction moratorium and a cap on rental increases as it moves towards the creation of a rent stabilization policy.

The city passed a six-month moratorium in June, after tenants of South Portland's Redbank Village apartments faced rent increases of hundreds of dollars. The moratorium applies to any landlord operating more than 10 units in the city.

The new policy extends the moratorium into next May, and still allows for a rent increase of up to 10% a year.

Councilor Misha Pride said that the extensions should give the council needed time to craft and debate a rent stabilization policy, without harming tenants in the meantime.

"That's why I'm for continuing a moratorium, so we can continue to be thoughtful, and make this decision with as much thought as possible," Pride said.

The council also approved a policy requiring landlords to provide 90 days notice of any rent increases beginning next year. The city had required 75 days notice. But Councilor Kate Lewis said the new ordinance will provide a bit more time and protection to tenants in a housing market with limited supply.

"I think extending the time period is extremely reasonable, given the environment in which we all live today," Lewis said.