Also looks like all formatting with the app is lost ... sorry for the hard to read post.
If Seattle gets the chance they almost certainly impose rent control. It's probably the most left city in the country. If they passed "first come first serve" then rent control is only a matter of time.
I'm based in Seattle and have half my rental door count in city limits.
Thanks for the article link. That didn't take long, given that the WA legislature only flipped (just barely) to full democratic control with the election this past november.
Oregon has been having a similar fight, only they already have a fully democratic state government, and I believe they were unable to repeal their statewide ban, though like WA portland and various activitst groups are trying to impose everything it can short of actual rent control.
I'm hoping that the legislature here (with plenty of representatives that are NOT from super-lefty urban areas) will be willing to consider that the downsides of allowing rent control would outweigh any benefits long term, and there are other approaches to ease homelessness and housing availability crunch that should be considered instead (encouraging more housing construction, incentivising and underwriting riskier tenant pools instead of forcing landlords to take them; reinvestment in mental health and drug treatment programs and transitional housing, working with employers to site new job centers in underdeveloped/struggling areas, etc.)
I'm certain that if the state constitution is amended Seattle will implement some kind of rent control. (In their nomenclature, "rent stabilization") Every other 'tenants rights' ordinance the last few years has sailed through city council either as proposed or getting more extreme on the way. The question would only be how burdensome this one would be.
If imposed it would likely cause a substantial reduction in market activity (buying anyway) if not an immediate increase in properties for sale and commensurate drop in rental property values. How bad and for how long would depend on exactly what the regulations state.
Anybody in Seattle right now, be getting your rents up to market rate as soon as you can within the law. I'm sure if RC is imposed, it will include some kind of clause to stop owners from responding by raising rents at the last moment before imposition.
@Brian Hughes thanks for the thoughtful reply. Definitely is a bit of a “wait and see” but seems like something that passes in some form based on track record of the state.
update on this: the rent control prohibition repeal ordinances (house and senate version) introduced for 2018 in the WA state legislature both failed to get out of committee. However, it is very likely they will be reintroduced next year.
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