Hey Landlords, It's Our Responsibility to Support Eviction Reform in Washington State

Comments

1

Make it harder for me to kick out bad tenants and I'll simply make it harder for them to get in.

2

I don't disagree with the extended notice period. However, here's the problem with HB5600:

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RCW 59.18.220 and 2003 c 7 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

(1) In all cases where premises are rented for a specified time,by express or implied contract, ((the tenancy shall be deemed terminated at the end of such specified time)) upon expiration and absent an agreement to renew the lease or rental agreement, the tenancy shall be construed to be a tenancy from month to month with rent payable on the same terms and conditions in existence at the time of expiration and subject to the protections of this chapter.

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The issue here is probably not obvious to most readers. What this does is automatically create a month-to-month tenancy at the end of a lease if a new lease is not signed. The problem with that is that under Seattle's just-cause eviction ordinance, a landlord is essentially barred from terminating a month-to-month tenancy except for certain specified reasons.

This means that once you have rented an apartment to a tenant, the decision as to how long they will live there is ENTIRELY up to the tenant and the landlord loses all control over the property (they can either keep signing leases, or accept creation of a month-to-month). This is an enormous change in the parties' rights under a lease and violates a landlord's freedom to contract (you might want to only rent a place out for a certain length of time for any number of reasons).

There is a lack of simple fairness in this, that I think is pretty obvious. As @1 noted, this kind of provision creates an even higher incentive for landlords to avoid accepting tenants who they think might be problematic.

3

Name a tenant any typical landlord doesn't think may be problematic - oh, right, anyone who's not a white male working in the tech industry.

4

@3 - A tenant with a credit score of, say, 650 or better, with gross earnings of 3x the rent and a good reference from the previous landlord is generally A-OK. Sorry not to be as racist and/or sexist as you hoped. But don't worry. The City has made sure that the inherent racism in all landlords is enshrined in law (see the "first-in-time" ordinance).

5

@3 - You don’t know much about high tech if you think white is the only adjective that’s applicable. Include Indian, Asian, and even Black.

I suggest you walk around Amazon, Microsoft, and Google in our area and see for yourself.

7

I do have one rental and can tell you how important it is for a renter to be on good terms with the landlord. If you have a problem talk to me about it. Don't ever assume, the landlord may have bills to pay as well. It should be a partnership.

8

@5:

I never implied there aren't any POC working in the tech industry, only that many landlords would prefer to rent to the white male ones.

9

@8 When I had rental property, tech bros were the last people I would consider. Older, single women, regardless of race, were my ideal tenant.

11

@3 - Actually you did imply it otherwise I wouldn't have commented.

12

@10- Nope. Again, WA state property taxes are among the lowest in the nation. Average of 0.99% /yr in King County. I pay just shy of 2% on some property I have in the midwest. Rent is high because the standard equation (at least as I was taught) is that you want your monthly unit rent to be equal to 1% of the purchase cost or current value of your property. so a $400,000 unit should rent for $4000/mth. Obviously that can't happen, so it alters the finances for owners. In other places (like the midwest), it isn't too unusual for owners to get 1.5% or even 2% on a unit). It makes investing/building rental units a tough sell to banks.

13

@#8: OK, if we are going to stereotype potential tenant groups, give me some middle age lesbians (ethnicity irrelevant) for the ideal tenants. Stable, quiet, super prompt with the rent, wouldn't think of trashing the place. Chuck in a few kids to up the reliability / stability factor. That is, if we think in these kind of terms.

14

@2 I'm not familiar with the specifics of Seattle's ordinance, but in other cities refusing to sign a lease is considered just cause for eviction. Moreover, landlords in Seattle have few restrictions on how much they can raise the rent. It's perfectly legal for landlords to increase the rent for tenants in a month-to-month situation to be higher than if they sign a new lease. And many landlords are fine with the additional uncertainty of a month-to-month tenant, so long as they're being compensated for it.

15

Monica Anney doesn't own any property in Thurston county per the assessors website which really calls into question the integrity of this article.