Slog AM: High-Heeled Crocs Exist; Cicadas Grounded a Plane; Watermelons on Mars?



From KOMO:
«SEATTLE — A recent decision by the Seattle City Council... has fueled a growing resentment that some property owners say could force them to abandon the rental market.»

Oh no! Force property owners to abandon the rental market?
The horror!
And have competent non-slum lords pick up their slack?!
Oh the very threat!


@1 how dare you insult landlords. They provide the very essential service of being middlemen for banks.


Passive income? The landlords I've known are nervous wrecks. If it's not one thing going wrong, it's another.


It sounds more like reckless scooting killed the man on the electric scooter.


I seem to have as much sympathy for landlords as I do renters. aren't both put in a bad spot thru no fault of their own? why can't they be made whole and payments delayed, interest forgiven, etc, as well?

“… Brittany Hopper, 29, and Kelsey Hopper, 28 … two allegedly [!!!] drove around Cincinnati shooting homeless people with a BB gun.”

‘patriots’ in-the-making
thru and thru just
wait’ll they
Come for

“… Fastly Inc., the company responsible, blamed the issue [the [[temporary]] Breaking of the Innernet] on a software bug triggered by one of the company's customers changing their settings…” sure. sounds Good.

or yet another in an insidious string of Dry Runs for “republicans” in their blatant Theft of our Government? gotta Shut Down the Innernets if you wantchyur Coup d'etat to go well.

these lads are nothing if not Thorough.

so this Billionaire guy
walks up to the Table
takes 99 of the Cookies
and says to the poor White guy
hey that (insert racist term here)’s gonna
Steal YOUR Cookie. You just gonna Let ‘im?

and so on


Man, if they're not careful with those renter protections all those landlords are gonna move to Canada just like the great 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020 election migrations. Then where will we be?


Nitpicking as usual, but I have to say I'm fascinated that the Stranger and Slate both think the jet bringing journalists to cover Biden is a single engine plane ("the engine"). The Stranger linked to Slate which linked to the NYT, which got it right: "the engines."

Carry on.


And from the people who tried to revive public masturbation to gross porn as a thing, the Strangler introduces SCOOOP!


No one is shedding any tears for landlords who can sell in a hot real estate market and make a tidy profit but the net result of these regulations will be the continued removal of rental inventory from the market especially single family homes. So basically you are going to accelerate displacement as many of these families will need to move out of the city since an apartment won't work for them. It seems to me this wasn't really a problem that needed solving, it was just populist points against an easy target for a politician under fire.


"No one is shedding any tears for landlords who can sell in a hot real estate market... "

how bout their Tenants?
do they come with?


Just googled the landlord they quoted & this article from 2019 came up where she complained that new rental application laws might force her off the rental market. Seems like maybe this drama is just one whiny property owner concern-trolling about “tenant’s rights” to preserve her own greedy interests.


And here she is suing the city over fair housing rights


From what I have seen upzoning does not produce low income housing it actually lessens it. Development in Ballard sees older rentals being torn down and new million dollar townhouses replacing them.
Every landlord forced to sell by the unintended consequences of SCC legislation will sell to developers who will build high-end townhouses.
How they can’t see the obvious is baffling.


Remember that most music venues reopening aren't near places with lots of dining.

Except in Fremont and Ballard.

But don't drive, we have excellent bus and mobile service.


@11-12 For nearly three years now, Yim has been in ongoing litigation challenging Seattle Municipal Code § 14.09, which prevents landlords from considering a prospective tenant's criminal history. She's not trolling, she's actively working to change the law.


1) unless the house is paid off, it's hard to make money renting a single family home
2) anything over a 4 plex is fairly profitable to rent
3) if a city council put laws in place that interfered with my ability to engage in a contract freely with another adult, I would be mad too
4) when a city council put laws in place that made it hard to make my rental house no pets by calling every single animal a 'comfort animal', I simply jacked up the security requirements and deposits required. This filtered out people who are on the lower income end of the spectrum. Landlords in Seattle will/can do the same thing. The end result is making less affordable rentals available to those who need it


I had totally forgotten about Trump's Tik Tok ban. The ban he put in place not because the app is basically Chinese malware, but because... wait, why again?

Oh, that's right, because teens on its userbase coordinated to make Trump look like a fool at his (near empty, thanks to their efforts) Tulsa rally. Hahahaha!!!


Up Zoning along is a very blunt instrument. It's flaw is of course relying on exactly the same mighty market myths that get's cities into housing crunches in the first place. But all the instruments a city has in a capitalist system rely on blunt instruments that are always exploited by developers and speculators. But Up Zoning is unfortunately one of the only tools available (and the easiest mechanistically and financially) in our stupid system so that is what cities will utilize.

What other more successful cities have done in the EU is invest in more public housing and retuning larger swaths of land to public ownership. AND ALSO allowing the development of SFH on that land in mixed use zoning. It takes some long term and very well navigated oversight. Which is very hard in the divided and fickly US political environment so corrupted by monied interests. It's difficult have an executive system with consistent policy and people to look after these assets over the decades they exist in America. Pirates and bad actors inevitably sabotage such a thing.


@3: Yes, that "passive income" line really brings home how little Nathalie and indeed the rest of the Stranger staff writers seem to understand about the actual mechanics of renting. It can be very laborious work at times, depending on renters, age of property, etc. I know a number of landlords who own several properties, and it's more than a full-time job. As far as people renting out rooms in their own homes, most people who are not hugely biased/blinded by class-driven anger can understand it's difficult to give up autonomy over the terms under which you allow someone to live under your own roof. And while I understand there's a housing crisis in this city, rents have actually come way down over the last couple years and there is plenty of inventory available at prices not seen since at least the early '10s. So I'm not even really sure if this ultimately helps...if fewer people decide that renting is worth the trouble, maybe that inventory starts to drop.

Finally, not every homeowner is some richy-rich sitting on a giant goldmine. Many people who aren't tech millionaires have sacrificed and stretched like crazy to get into a house over the last 5-10 years, and while they have realized some equity gain they're also often still pretty house-poor. That room they're renting may in fact be the only way they can make the mortgage. So maybe can the attitude a little.


@10 nope. my understanding is selling a property is still an allowable cause for eviction. Just my opinion but I think the school policy in particular will result in more people being displaced than if the SCC had continued with allowing evictions. The thing is it will take years to fully understand the ramifications of these policies and by then the pols who have ambitions will be long gone.


@19 Renting rooms? Come on. This is not 1937. We're talking AirBnB which are not even pat of the housing market and are bad for cities.

BTW it was property owners and large landlords who lobbied against allowing boarding houses in the first place.

I'm a landlord, though I do not have residential rentals in the city. While I'm on the fence about some of these new laws (and frankly nobody knows how it will all shake out) the "landlords" with real pull in this city are not these mythical mom and pop landlords that get trotted out. They are property management companies and real estate investment groups who will lobby against ANY changes and they will use the sheep's wool of the mythical mom and pop landlord no matter what the city proposes.

So let's just slow the roll here.


@19: "...rents have actually come way down over the last couple years and there is plenty of inventory available at prices not seen since at least the early '10s."

Where the hell is THAT the case? Let's see some URLs to back up that assertion.



@22: Do a search yourself and find that multiple articles describe a significant plunge in 2020 in Seattle rent prices, but are ticking back up again, and that Seattle vacancy rates are high (currently 8%).


"High-heeled Crocs cost nearly $1,0000:"

Um, HOW much do they cost?


@22: says there's a 10% decline in rental prices from this time last year. And as @24 mentions, 2020 was down from 2019.

@21: I don't know how you are missing the many, many homeowners in this town who are renting out a room to help cover the mortgage. At least 3/4 of the new townhomes going up in my neighborhood here in the CD have a room with a kitchenette and an exterior door as part of the residence. Sure, some are on AirBnB, but many are realizing long-term rentals are easier. At least, at the moment. I mean, maybe AirBnB will actually start to be easier, and is that what we want in a town experiencing a housing shortage? It is not.

I do agree they don't have a lot of pull with the powers-that-be, but that doesn't make their predicament any more palatable.


@24: I'm not about to do the legwork to prove his assertions. Not all of us here compulsively expend out own effort to cover the asses of others as you do.

@26: I'll have to take your word for it - and assume you mean within Seattle proper specifically - since the website demands contact information before providing any results. What I know is that while I was shopping for my move last year (I just renewed my lease yesterday, the rent has gone up only $50), prices were absolutely NOT "low." I looked at places I'd lived in the past, and each was at least 15% higher than what I was paying around 2010-2015. Though these are in Bellevue and Redmond, and according to that Seattle P-I link Matt provided in the Slog AM for Monday, they are the two worst markets. I'd also call a 10% decline far from "coming way down" but that's semantics.


@27: Legwork? Let's try intellectual honesty for a change, if you dare.



I haven't pored through the Seattle Laws with a fine tooth comb but I'm pretty certain they do not apply to people in shared living spaces. If you rent out a room in your house but have shared space (bath room, kitchen, entry way, etc.) then these laws do not apply. You do not need to rent to the first potential roommate that shows up.

And that has to be a minuscule market.

Now if you refinished your basement or attic into a stand alone unit with separate entrance, then yep, you're screwed. But it doesn't apply to shared living spaces.

Exaggeration does no one any good, and in the case of the SCC is unnecessary. The stuff they actually pass is crazy, no need to make it sound even crazier.


wowzer dewey why you
always gotta Step in it then
need to taste it to be Certain?

your projections are
no longer amusing.


@26 The percentage of long term room rentals to AirBnb or short term rentals is fucking low my man. An in city Seattle landlord would have to be a fucking idiot to not make the obscene premium amounts for a room you can get on short term apps.

So let's see some data to back that shit up — what is the percentage of mom and pop long term rentals. Come on. Enough with the anecdotes.

I want you take a look at a map of most (not even close to ALL) the short term rentals listed through AirBnd and VRBO:


PS. As of 2019 Seattle had over 8,000 listings on AirBnB alone. With a 69% occupancy. While the pandemic surely impacted the growth of those listings I will bet you will see an explosion of them in 2022 if they remain hardly regulated.


Seriously doubt there will an explosion of Airbnb listings. For one the SCC passed regulations to limit them back in 2017 ( Second pivoting from long term leases to short term rentals creates a lot more work for owners. I’d expect much more to not want to deal with it and sell.


@31 - short-term rentals are a TON Of work. You may think I am an idiot for not wanting to make all that sweet cash, but I have no desire to be in the hotel business. However, I 100% agree that the ever-increasing restrictions may tip the balance in some landlords' minds towards entering the Air B&B-type market.

The other thing that all of the new rules do is make renting to the low end of the market (the affordable housing that the City wants to increase) less desirable than renting more expensive places. One way to avoid dealing with people with criminal histories (and for those who think it really doesn't matter, or it is "unfair" to consider it, how about you lend out your car or your TV set to someone with a history of, say, burglary or drug dealing?) is to have more expensive properties. Those with criminal records are far less likely to be trying to rent in the middle or upper ends of the market.

Same with the inability to enforce your contract with a tenant (i.e., the part where they have to pay rent (this is their major duty under the law). Tenants who can qualify to rent a more expensive place are way less likely to default on their obligations, so you can avoid the hassle by dealing with them instead of poorer people.

I don't know why someone would get into the affordable housing business here in Seattle now. The City has done way too much to make it not viable. If the City wants tenants without much money to be essentially exempt from having to pay for their housing, the only real answer is for the City to build a bunch of public housing. I would support that in an instant. It would be way more effective and fairer than simply saying that those who own rental property have to rent it out to whoever applies, without considering the kind of things that have always been used in rental decisions, and cannot get out of the relationship once a tenant moves in whether they pay the rent or not.


@34 I don't do short term rental because we own mostly commercial and retail space. And I think they are unethical. Besides. The couple of rental homes we have are out in buttfuck nowhere and we've had the same tenants for almost eight years.

But if they were in the city or on Capitol Hill? If I was desperate for the income like the supposed Mom and Pop landlords? Then hell yes I'd do short-term rentals.

My brother, you can easily make $200-300 a night on even a mediocre short term rental property. You can HIRE a property manager for $500 a week to prep units with that money. With an average 69% occupancy (pre-pandemic)? That's a passive income of $50K - $75K per property! Come on.

My sister has two crappy 2BR condo's in Colorado. Not even all that convenient to any fancy ski resorts. Much to my consternation (I think airbnb are scum bags, personally) AirBnB's those units $450 a night. She makes almost $180K. From two properties! She doesn't even live in Colorado, dude. She does almost nothing.