Comments

1
It seems such a Liberal Big Hearted place like Seattle would be more accommodating and humane to the less fortunate.
2
Washington CAN got their data by snoball sampling which tells people to ask their friends to take a survey or ask a question - not by random sampling. So the data shows a skewed picture that a large number of people need these reforms when in actuality this may only really be a help to a small number of people.

Yes Move-In fees are expensive but that is why the fees are set up. When you move to your next place, your last months rent is already paid so you can save that for the move-in fee at your next place.

This proposal asks the landlord to allow 6 months for payment of the move in fees which amounts to requiring landlords to give interest free upfront loans to tenants. If banks won't do this should landlords be required to? 2 months - I can see that but 6 months seems too long. I've had people ask for 6 month leases from time to time.

Renters must be reasonable when proposing new legislation. If the 6 month part was dropped I'm sure most landlords would be fine with this.
3
The payment plan is based on the length of the lease (so if you are month to month you pay half the first month and if you stay another month you pay the second month).
4
@1 fuck you.
5
@2 "When you move to your next place, your last months rent is already paid"

"This proposal asks the landlord to allow 6 months for payment of the move in fees which amounts to requiring landlords to give interest free upfront loans to tenants"

So it's ok for landlords to get a 12+ month interest free loan from the tenant? Biased much?
6
@5 That's essentially what last month's rent is and I think it's reprehensible. I never collected it as a landlord. Security deposit makes sense, as it protects against those who bail on you (happened to me after a $50 rent increase). And I would be happy to pay back interest on that deposit to the tenant, like San Francisco requires. (http://sfrb.org/topic-no-103-interest-se…)

The idea that last month's rent is there to help the tenant be responsible in saving their money for the next rental is laughable.
7
@5&6
'Last month's rent' protects you if people leave before the lease is up, and the security deposit is meant to cover damage to the unit.

Last month's rent is there to protect the landlord, not to help the tenant.

I live in - and own property in - Detroit, where property values and rent are a bit lower.
I have a question:
If you can't afford $6,000 to move into an apartment, how can you afford the $2,000 a month rent?
8
@7 people who don't have $6k lying around should just be homeless?

9
@4,5,8 Thanks for bringing such wisdom to the slog, but next time you have a thought... just don't. We all thank you for it.

In that nice over simplification you've put up there, if someone doesn't have 6k lying around to afford moving into a 2k per month apt perhaps they should move someplace with cheaper rents. I mean there's all this great mass transit going in, so surely someone could commute easily.
10
@9:

Why is it, the answer from people like you is always, "don't like it (can't afford it) here, move somewhere else cheaper?" See, here's the thing: it's NOT cheaper when you factor in the additional expense of commuting a longer distance (because, guess what? Most people can't move their jobs like they can move their domiciles), the extra time involved in commuting, the greater distance to services like your doctor, dentist and optometrist, not to mention the fact that rents are going up all over the area, not just in Seattle, so one still has to come up with a sizable chunk of cash to pay for the first/last/deposits for those places as well. As it is, 63% of U.S. citizens have less than $1,0… for emergencies, of which a sudden relocation due to out-of-control rent escalation certainly qualifies. So in reality, your "option" isn't actually a viable one for many people struggling just to make ends meet in the current market. Sure, they can pile it onto a credit card (assuming the landlord even takes them), but given the average household in this country already owes more than $15,000 in credit card debt, that might not be an option either.
11
"What makes Seattle great is the mix of diverse people that live here, work, and play here."

Nonsense. Seattle is, and always has been, one of the least diverse cities in the country. It's a great city, but I've never considered it's homogeneity one of it's assets. And no amount of legislation, however well intended, is going to change that.
12
We have a housing crisis, but it's not caused just by property owners... the city itself shares a lot of the blame. By allowing and often encouraging the closing of Single Room Occupancy hotels (these used to be known as "flop houses", terrible but necessary and inexpensive housing). Also, not allowing more imaginative housing options in the city such as more rooming houses, apodments, mobile home parks, cottage housing and mother-in-law and easing ADU requirements. Also, remember, the Seattle Housing Authority owned acres and acres of land they they sold to developers who put in townhomes and fancy SFR's .... they could have put larger multi-story buildings in, more Single Room Occupancy rooms, all kinds of denser housing but they didn't do this.... The owners of a little house or apartment buildings shouldn't be sharing all the blame and carry all the responsibility for bad decision-making in the last 30 years in Seattle.

Sometimes there are unintended consequences.... in this case, some owners of rental property will not sign a lease and just go month-to-month so they can collect their deposits in 2 months instead of 6. The security deposits are just that.... they offer a property owner SECURITY that when they hand over the keys to what might be a property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the tenant will take care of it. Without that security, they'll have to raise the requirements to rent the home plus charge more rent for it. This may also be just enough to push some small landlords over the edge so they sell their property to someone, essentially taking it off the rental market. Owners of larger complexes may turn them into condos rather than be forced to offer no-interest loans to strangers. By putting so much pressure on landlords, the City Council is running the risk of having less rental property available, not more.
13
For some reason, the landlord contingent here seems to imply that renting is either A - something new to landlords that they are just trying to figure out how to make profitable, or B - landlords are sitting on million dollar properties trying to make their money back with rent. Both are just hogwash.

Landlords are charging what the market will bear, not what they need to cover their expenses plus a modest profit, and most of the rentals are somewhat shabby 100K-150K homes, with maybe a few years left on the 1K/month mortgage, itching to figure out some way to sell or refinance a second home without paying out the wazoo in taxes before the market for Chinese buyers craters.

Real estate has become anathema to the American Dream. What should be a 300-500K refurbished home (especially if we're talking the old fashioned 28% of income) is selling for a million dollars. Stupid money that will come crashing down at some point.
14
MarvinM: Yes, I believe that many small landlords are new to "landlording". They may have bought a small house and then when they want to move to a larger one, instead of selling the first one, they rent it out. With the average home sales price in Seattle being around $550K, they may be shabby, but they're certainly not valued in the $100K-$150K range. If that were the case, then every renter could be a homeowner. Since these small landlords are the ones who may have worked years to save their money for the downpayment and then pay their mortgages faithfully over the years, paying the utilities and property taxes, making repairs, replacing roofs, wiring, plumbing, taking care of the landscaping, etc, then perhaps they do want a bit more than their expenses and a "modest profit". That is their right, it is their property. If Seattle is having a "housing crisis" it's not their fault. First Boeing, then MS & Amazon are bringing all these workers to Seattle.... why not ask them to help and build dorms for their workers? Vulcan's upscale dorms in SLU start at $2K a month.... perhaps they could build more low-income housing for the people who serve their Amazon overlords.
15
@8
No, they should find a place they can afford. Maybe Seattle is too expensive for them.
(For instance, I live in Detroit, where the cost of living is much lower. )
@9
Many years ago, when I was 17 and getting ready to move out on my own, my Grandfather told me that I should never pay more than 25% of my income for housing.
I followed that advice, and even though I lived in some very run down neighborhoods in my youth, I managed to save money.

If you can't save money you will never have any sort of financial stability.
16
Gene: "With the average home sales price in Seattle being around $550K, they may be shabby, but they're certainly not valued in the $100K-$150K range."

No, I'm saying that's likely what the homeowner paid for them 20 years ago.
17
I've been a landlord in Seattle since 1991. One of my alki cottages rents for $875. It has a little yard and laundry room. I own several affordable rentals in Alki. Like many others in the area I'm selling to developers because Seattle has become a hostile place for landlords. The landlord registration act, requirement to rent to first applicant and now not being able to turn down felons broke the camels back. I've liked my tenants but I'm done. As leases come near their end my tenants are getting their notices.

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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