SOUTH PORTLAND — The City Council will vote Tuesday night on an emergency proposal to freeze rents and evictions for six months in the wake of actions by the new owners of Redbank Village Apartments.

In recent weeks, JRK Property Holdings of Los Angeles has raised rents as much as $598 per month and moved to evict tenants throughout the 500-unit complex. Some tenants receive rent subsidies through the South Portland Housing Authority and other agencies.

Councilors and other residents called for emergency action to prevent tenants from becoming homeless in a hot real estate market and keep other landlords from imposing similar increases.

The moratorium would help ensure tenants don’t become homeless while city officials work on a rent stabilization ordinance that’s scheduled for a council workshop on June 14, said City Manager Scott Morelli.

The moratorium would be retroactive to May 31 and run through the end of November. It requires a unanimous vote of six councilors to be enacted as an emergency measure Tuesday night. Otherwise, it would require a second vote at an upcoming meeting and take effect 20 days later.

The freeze wouldn’t apply to some rental situations, including landlords who own fewer than 11 units, tenants at will, nonprofit residential elder care facilities and retirement communities, school dormitories, homeowners who rent out part of their property and short-term rentals.

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