How Seattle's Landlord Inspection Program Is Failing Renters

Comments

1
You need to show photos to convince anyone.

Also, these apts look like they need substantial rehab… After rehab they're not gonna rent for current rent.

2
Light rail can't come fast enough.
3
The laws to deal with this type of landlord already exist without the new inspection ordinance. The city already knew this building had code violations as noted in the article. Why doesn't the city act on the code violations or strengthen the existing laws instead of enacting a "money grab" inspection ordinance that does nothing?
4
Cockroaches in Seattle? Is that a thing? I've never seen one here in 17 years. In Texas, every building had them. Every. One.
5
"60 days’ notice that an inspector is coming and notice of exactly which apartments they will look at" -- this is a complete joke.

The libertarians are right, though, that when the building gets less shitty, rent is going to go up and people will be displaced, unless we address that at the same time.
6
@1: Keeping shitty buildings shitty is not a good affordable housing policy.
7
@4 - It's a thing, but thankfully, not as common as other places. Had them bad at my first apartment at 6th and Marion around '93.
8
@Mtn. Beaver: that when the building gets less shitty, rent is going to go up

Every one of Savant's new "tenant protection" laws are driving rents up.
9
@8:

Don't know about you, but after living in Seattle for 30-plus years, I can't recall a single instance of my rent ever going DOWN. Rents ALWAYS GO UP for any number of reasons: inflation, increased valuation of the property, increased demand, added taxes, upgrades, greed, etc., etc. Sawant's legislation is just one small drop in the concrete-mixer sized bucket of things that drive up rents.
10
@6: that's true in the case of landlords who don't do maintenance or respond to tenant complaints. But lots and lots of clean, safe older buildings in Seattle are not 100% to code. Tenants covet these older rentals because they are more affordable than up-to-date units. The problem is that the inspectors are paid to find all code violations (not just major ones) and landlords are forced to bring each inspected unit up to code, which can be very expensive. Once the landlord is forced into action, there is a strong financial incentive to kick the tenant out, do a complete remodel, and jack the rent way up for what is now a "luxury" apartment. If the inspectors just stuck to major violations, the system might work better, but their job security comes from being extremely picky, and the net effect is to make housing even less affordable.