Horrible Landlord laws are being proposed in Olympia

18 Replies

I apologize in advance that the pdf link is through a vendor but I am working on closing the year, month and a lot of other year end stuff and am super busy. Among other horrible things, this seems to require a 6 month rent increase notice if you increase rent by more than 3% and then the tenant can immediately vacate even if there is a lease in place. Their only requirement is they pay you to the point they vacate. No mention of completing the current lease. If increase is less than or equal to 3% then you only have to give 60 days notice.

Late fees would be capped at .05% of the monthly rent. So that would mean $5 per every $1000? Yeah, huge deterrent for being late. 

(5) Late fees for past due rent may not exceed one-half of one
percent of the monthly or periodic rent.

So much frightening stuff going on this term.



http://www.orcainfo-com.com/uploads/HB2779RentControl.pdf





Wow!!!  I used to live in Lakewood only a few miles north.  Whereas I cannot help with this problem, when I owned properties in Puyallup, we never had this kind of restriction.  It could actually cause you a lot of grief.  Elections have consequences.  Can you get some other together who are landlords and send a collective letter to the people responsible for these regulations?  It sounds like you need numbers to fight this.  Is this a proposal or a law?  If a law, it must have gotten by all of the landlords and property managers in the area.  Good luck.  If I still lived in Washington State I would be there to organize a change.

@Brian Berry No I haven't but I think it may have pretty recently been made a bill in the house. The company that sent it to me did so minutes before I posted it. They are pretty good about staying on top of these things since they are a tenant and employee screening company. Long time Anacortes company. I hope it doesn't make it anywhere but there have been a batch of rental unit bills that have been coming up and with the make up of the state legislature I could see them all passing.

Being an accountant sucks. I have been working 60-70 hours per week since the beginning of December. Barely managed holiday time off. I have not had time to address any of this. I know there is/was a day on the hill planned that included some of our landlord organizations. I feel like my rights will continue to slip away while I work myself to death.

@Sharon Rosendahl

This is interesting. I did not read the article but only the post. I will check it out. As of now I only have one SFR left in Washington state and this is exactly why. Very tenant state. Not that it makes it a bad place or an impossible place to invest. I just don't like it. I choose other asset types in WA State.

@Justin Frank we have a couple houses we really want to keep and probably will sell the rest. We are very fair with our tenants but don't want to be forced to lose money. We have been discussing where to take our money next.

@Sharon Rosendahl  We had 250 landlords from across the state at the legislature Friday before last to voice opposition to the Just Cause legislation.  We had another sizeable group for the Landlords Day On The Hill this past Thursday.  We filled the committee room where they were updating the bill to eliminate Criminal History from being considered in your rental criteria.  Our show of solidarity is having an impact, but we need people emailing their legislators and the committee members proposing these damaging bills.  

You MUST be involved and make your voice heard in the legislature, city and county councils.  If you don’t belong to a landlord association, it’s time to join one!  
Washington State Landlord Assoc. https://www.walandlord.org/
Or Rental Housing Association of Washington at https://www.rhawa.org/

Our efforts are only as effective as our input.  Due to our activities I have heard the Criminal history bill is likely to fail.  Not many legislators are ready to fight for rent control in this current session, so it will likely also not get out of committee. 

You can track these bills at: https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsum...

Bills we are watching include: 

HB 2520; OPPOSE: addresses excessive documentation to withhold from security deposit

Han 2453; OPPOSE: State wide Just Cause

SHB 2069; SUPPORT: Concerning a property owner's or tenant's liability for delinquent and unpaid utility service charges

SB 6490 OPPOSE: endangers tenants

HB 2779 OPPOSE: Rent Control


@Curtis Bidwell  Do the association's post when, where, and what time to be in Olympia for these meetings.  I would show up for some of them if I knew when they were scheduled however it seems I only hear about him after it's done and over. Thank you for all that you do we really appreciate it.


I sent this e-mail to Nicole Marci, one of sponsors of this Bill:

Dear Ms Marci, If you want property owners to continue to offer rental housing in the city of Seattle and the state of Washington, you need to recognize the impact your proposed bill would have. I have sold some of my other rental properties in Seattle, (keeping some on Kitsap and Mason County) because the laws were getting too tenant friendly and restricting my rights as a property owner/landlord. As a rental property owner, I make an investment and take risks. I also take pride in my properties and provide renters with quality clean safe homes. But I need to be able to evaluate and determine who the appropriate tenant is for my property. I also need to be free to determine what rents I charge based on a free market economy and raise them accordingly. I also need to be able to hold tenants accountable and charge a meaningful late fee, as needed.

As chair of Healthcare and Wellness Committee perhaps your focus should be on cleaning up the streets and addressing the homeless plague. I really don’t feel safe walking downtown at night any longer. The homeless is largely the mentally ill and drug addicted people that are not being offered the needed services. If you push to much on landlords, especially small property owners like me, we will continue to sell our properties to what is becoming owner occupied properties, putting more pressure on the desperately needed rental housing availability.

Originally posted by @Sharon Rosendahl :

I apologize in advance that the pdf link is through a vendor but I am working on closing the year, month and a lot of other year end stuff and am super busy. Among other horrible things, this seems to require a 6 month rent increase notice if you increase rent by more than 3% and then the tenant can immediately vacate even if there is a lease in place. Their only requirement is they pay you to the point they vacate. No mention of completing the current lease. If increase is less than or equal to 3% then you only have to give 60 days notice.

Late fees would be capped at .05% of the monthly rent. So that would mean $5 per every $1000? Yeah, huge deterrent for being late. 

(5) Late fees for past due rent may not exceed one-half of one
percent of the monthly or periodic rent.

So much frightening stuff going on this term.
http://www.orcainfo-com.com/uploads/HB2779RentControl.pdf

You are investing in Washington state. Why should this kind of thing surprise you?

I used to invest in King County and left because they no longer wanted to be reasonable to landlords. Take heed. It isn't going to get better. Sorry.

 

Originally posted by @Brian Cohen :

I sent this e-mail to Nicole Marci, one of sponsors of this Bill:

Dear Ms Marci, If you want property owners to continue to offer rental housing in the city of Seattle and the state of Washington, you need to recognize the impact your proposed bill would have. I have sold some of my other rental properties in Seattle, (keeping some on Kitsap and Mason County) because the laws were getting too tenant friendly and restricting my rights as a property owner/landlord. As a rental property owner, I make an investment and take risks. I also take pride in my properties and provide renters with quality clean safe homes. But I need to be able to evaluate and determine who the appropriate tenant is for my property. I also need to be free to determine what rents I charge based on a free market economy and raise them accordingly. I also need to be able to hold tenants accountable and charge a meaningful late fee, as needed.

As chair of Healthcare and Wellness Committee perhaps your focus should be on cleaning up the streets and addressing the homeless plague. I really don’t feel safe walking downtown at night any longer. The homeless is largely the mentally ill and drug addicted people that are not being offered the needed services. If you push to much on landlords, especially small property owners like me, we will continue to sell our properties to what is becoming owner occupied properties, putting more pressure on the desperately needed rental housing availability.

Agreed.

 

@Curtis Bidwell Thank you for all the info. I will be sending emails. It is time to join a landlord association. I hope that soon I'll have better hours and be able to participate. I really believe getting actual bodies to Olympia will help prevent unreasonable bills.

@Brian Cohen Great letter. Especially regarding endangering other tenants. Without background checks we can't protect our tenants and neighbors. I do rent to people with a criminal history but I also am able to evaluate what they did and whether they will be safe for others.

@Naomi Pinger Yes, that is one of the big benefits of the associations.  Along with help in all things landlording and making landlord connections (forms, contracts, legal and practical questions) They put out alerts, organize a “day on the hill” each year, have active lobbyist to talk with legislators, will put you in touch with your representatives, formulate talking points, etc...



@Naomi Pinger I just joined the WLA. It is an affordable $60 per year. 

The original email that I got regarding this and other laws came from a background check company. The board of directors that I was on uses this company for background checks on our financial people but other than that I have no relation to them. They are very involved in landlord-tenant and employment issues and are all around nice people. They are located in Anacortes, Orca Information. They have a free newsletter that comes about once a month that includes info for landlords. They aren't overbearing in soliciting business.

I enjoy being a member of RHAWA because they help with these issues and protect us landlords. I haven't looked into these issues personally, but I hope that there are smart people that can fight for us!

One of the major gotchas in this proposed rent control bill is the REMOVAL of two other RCW clauses - the ones that preempt local jurisdictions (cities, towns, and counties) from passing their own additional rent control rules.   For example,  if this bill passed,  Seattle city council could then theoretically add vacancy control or further limit the annual increase allowed.

It's a shame what is happening in parts of this state. I still think it's a good place for investment property. Washington has a bright future. I'm happy to hear everyone getting involved and standing up for what's right. With all the input, hopefully we can keep Washington from becoming as dodgy as California or NYC...