I was the lucky recipient of the very aggressive letter from the City of Portland a few weeks ago that promised almost certain death (not really, but felt like it) for failing to register my rental unit in the city of Portland.

Here's the thing: I don't own a rental unit. I am a new homeowner of a condo on Munjoy Hill and I actually live there. The condo was rented out by the previous owner, but I have no intent to rent it out now or in the near future.

The prosecution letter delivered the hits from Associate Corporation Counsel Anne M. Torregrossa and Administrator of the Housing Safety Office, Arthur Howe:

You have failed to register you rental units at the above address and are in violation of the City Code.


The Housing Safety Office has referred this matter to me for prosecution in the event that you do not comply by October 21, 2016.


Your failure to comply will result in the issuance of a summons for you to appear in court, and the imposition of civil penalties in the amount of $100 per day.

City of Portland Letters-1 (dragged)

The letter was threatening and quite unsettling. After opening up the mail on Columbus Day afternoon and finding that unfriendly note from the City of Portland, I immediately called my mother. Yeah, I wanted my mommy. I thought maybe she would have some insight as she is my real estate broker. But alas, she was just as confused as I was.

City of Portland Letters-2 (dragged)

Before I could get to the phone to call the City of Portland, news broke that the scary letter that I hid in a cold, dark place was ACCIDENTALLY sent to 2000 people. City of Portland was penning their apology to me and 1999 other people faster than you could say, "Intent to Prosecute."

Here's are some highlights of the apology from City Manager Jon P. Jennings:

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the tone and content of the violation notice that you received from the Housing Safety Office date September 30, 2016.


I want to reassure you that this is not indicative of the way the City of Portland does business.


I truly apologize for any inconvenience caused by this notice. If you don't own a rental unit in Portland, then please disregard this notice.

City of Portland Letters-3 (dragged)

Did you receive these letters? How do you feel the apology was handled?

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