March 31st was the deadline for registering 5-9 unit buildings throughout the city of Seattle for the Rental Registration & Inspection Ordinance (RRIO). After registering, properties are inspected every 10-ish years confirm they meet basic maintenance and safety standards. You may be tempted to ask "Why register? How would they know if my place is a rental?" The answer being, there's a draft amendment to the RRIO moving through the city council that would prevent landlords from evicting tenants if their property isn't registered.
We registered a 6-unit apartment building ahead of the March 31st deadline and were immediately called for an inspection (surprise!). You have the option of selecting a city inspector or private inspector (who is a regular home inspector on RRIO's approved list- we went this route), and he inspected the units the city requested, plus the exterior, roof, common areas...
The inspection passed, but it was interesting - in conversation, the inspector mentioned that the RRIO standards are vague, open for interpretation, and keep updating as they discover some standards are more stringent than the code requirements would have been for some properties, depending on property age.
I had some concern that tenants could be put off by the experience, as it's intrusive, but we had a great inspector who introduced himself, reiterated that he wasn't there to inspect their possessions or how they live, just make sure things were in working order, and it turned out fine.
Regulation vs the Fourth Anendment. Seems regulation always wins ...
Great to hear, thanks for sharing!
@Steve Babiak The real shame is, instead of targeting sub-standard housing providers, they're imposing fee increases and increasing regulation for all providers. Ultimately renters will be impacted most - from increased housing costs and a possible reduction in housing supply, if the regulation serves as a barrier to entry for some investors.
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Oh Seattle! It's a quick slide into a worse housing nightmare within the city limits! You are definitely a braver person than I am.
@Melissa Melia how much are these inspections running? $100 per door??
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