Is Seattle really that bad for landlords?

21 Replies | Seattle, Washington

I always hear folks saying Seattle is not landlord friendly, so I should not buy an investment property in Seattle. But reading up on the tenant/landlord rules, I don't really see any concerns. What is everybody worried about?

There is no rent control. I can increase rent as long as 1) I give 60 days notice if its above 10%, and 2) it's on a month-to-month. 

Before COVID even existed, Seattle passed a "winter eviction ban" that prevents a Landlord from evicting a non-paying tenant in the winter. Tenant could move in November 1st and pay their first month of rent, then stop paying for several months knowing there's nothing you can do about it.

Now they're trying to prevent the evictions of families with school-aged children during the school year because it will interrupt their learning. Somehow they feel it's the Landlord's responsibility to ensure children have a stable home, not the parents.

https://www.seattletimes.com/s...

I'm sure people can successfully invest in Seattle, but it's going to become increasingly difficult as they continue to pass these laws that favor bad actors and hurt the investor.

Originally posted by @Jason Chung :

I always hear folks saying Seattle is not landlord friendly, so I should not buy an investment property in Seattle. But reading up on the tenant/landlord rules, I don't really see any concerns. What is everybody worried about?

There is no rent control. I can increase rent as long as 1) I give 60 days notice if its above 10%, and 2) it's on a month-to-month. 

 My guess is you have not actually read all the rules or you don't understand the implications. Seattle is has some of the most tenant friendly policies in the country. Seattle is probably a toss up with San Francisco as the least landlord friendly place in the country. You may mistakenly think if you do your best to follow the rules that you will be fine. The problem is bad tenants can easily exploit these protections and good landlords are left powerless.

Here are the major areas that people see problems:

1. Extra protections on tenant screening. This means the local laws go beyond Federal Fair housing with additional protected classes. This includes source of income, which means you can't prohibit someone from renting that is on government assistance. These extra rules all make it harder to navigate and it opens you to many ways you can be accused of discrimination. (Keep in mind that even if you think you didn't discriminate, denying a protected class gives the appearance you did). Additionally there is a First-In-Line law which requires a landlord to rent to the first applicant that meets qualifications. You must maintain written qualification standards and keep records of when each application is received. If you are denying someone, be prepared to cite a specific criteria. In general this is all fine, but it puts extra responsibility on the landlord and leaves you open to accusation of improprieties. In most states you can pick whomever you want and don't have to give any justification.

https://library.municode.com/w...

https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/def...

2. Just cause eviction rules limit the reasons you can ask a tenant to leave. If you want to rehab a property, you need to give longer notice and even pay relocation costs in some cases. In most states you can just "not renew" and you are not required to provide any reason.

https://library.municode.com/w...

3. Evictions can be difficult. Tenants get free legal representation and can delay legitimate evictions for no reason. It can take considerable time and money to reclaim a property. Courts are tenant friendly. These free attorneys will find any technicality to keep the tenant in the property and it leads to having to pay off the tenant to leave. The courts are not fair and even less fair if you don't keep immaculate records. 

4. City and state continues to expand tenant protections. Just this month (June 2021), the Seattle city council approved three new tenant protection bills. These protections make it harder to get bad tenants out of your property. For example, you cannot evict a family with children during the school year. So they stop paying September 1 and you can't evict until June! Another bill requires landlords to give tenants "right of refusal" for lease renewal. That means you are forced to renew leases unless the tenant has violations or other just cause reasons to make them leave. Sometimes tenants are a pain or cause problems that don't raise to the level of "eviction", so landlord use non-renewal as a way to just find a new tenant. Now you are stuck with someone forever once you sign that lease. The city council will continue to extend more protections in the future, so this will get harder and harder for landlords. 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news...


There are landlords who successfully navigate, but you really need to be well versed on the law and have bullet proof processes in place. This is easier if you operate at scale, but for a mom and pop running a few properties, it can be difficult. 

I will also add that beyond the landlord issues, there is a major concern with crime that is affecting desirability to live or operate a business in the city. In the last year, over 250 police officers have resigned. That is almost 20% of the police force. Businesses are closing. Drug use is out of control. The reality is that good people leave an area when crime gets out of control. 

There is no worse place to be a landlord then Seattle. Regulation is all in the pipeline to limit what you can and cannot do. You mention rent control? FYI all landlords in the State of Washington have been prohibited to rise rent since 3/2020. As well you cannot discuss future rents with your tenant's. Its illegal. So given the fact that taxes and fees are skyrocketing and you cannot mitigate that with raised rents then yea...Seattle is a lousy place. Honestly the entire rental landscape is pretty bleak. Far superior returns in the markets. 

Six counties (Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane and Thurston) have been chosen to participate in the pilot Eviction Resolution Program (ERP). Each ERP will operate in accordance with the enabling order from the Washington State Supreme Court, and a standing order of the local superior court. These orders will require landlords to undertake efforts to engage tenants in pre-filing resolution efforts including direct negotiation, facilitated conciliation services, and, upon agreement of both parties, formal mediation.

King County Sheriff: Will not serve writ of restitution or perform physical evictions until further notice.

Unincorporated King County: Provides defense to evictions through March 1, 2021.

Seattle:

  • Emergency order extended to June 30, 2021 currently.
  • The exception for sale or owner occupation is not included in mayor's orders.
  • Any eviction history during COVID-19 moratorium cannot ever be considered in tenant screening. Statement to this effect must be included on rental application.
  • Seattle city council has passed legislation that will extend eviction bans for 6 months after the end of the Mayor’s emergency orders
No rent increases or notices to increase rent through 6/30/21 (retroactive to 2/29/2020).
  • Do not give notice of rent increase or offer renewal with rent increase, even if actual increase is set to take place after 6/30/21.
  • A landlord, property owner or property manager of manufactured housing may now provide a notice of rent increase to a tenant if the rent increase was included as terms of the lease agreement and the notice clearly states that the rent increase will not take place until after the moratorium expires.
No enforcement of rent payment if tenant was unable to occupy premises due to COVID-19 related circumstances.

No charging of late fees through 6/30/21 effective retroactively to February 29, 2020, for rent not paid during the ban.

Seattle: No late fees or interest.

Auburn: No late fees or other charges.

No collection of debt incurred after 2/29/2020 without offer of reasonable payment plan, including use of security deposit until after 6/30/21.

Seattle: Must offer uniform payment plans: ≤1 month overdue = 3 installments; 2 months overdue = 5 installments; > 2 months overdue = 6 installments; or other mutually agreed plan.

Auburn: Payment plan must be proven reasonable based on tenant's financial situation.

I recommend you join the Facebook group "Landlords in Washington State" if you have a Facebook account. You will see many posts from landlords in Seattle and the surrounding areas. It's a great source of information. 

Not sure if you are speaking to me but will answer. I have been a landlord in this area for decades. Not much I will glean off any Facebook club that I dont already know. I have been selling my rentals 1-2 per year due to changing landscape and every one sold has netted 200-800% profits in the market from the funds. Not to mention funds placed in the right place spin off dividends that are tax free until stock is sold. 

Times do come that are attractive for a real estate investor. This just isn't one of those times. To create wealth you take what any market gives you. Any real estate investor now looking for deals or properties IMO is just desperate and will pay a premium. No Thanks

Originally posted by @Jason Chung :

First in line makes sense. I don't really see that as a concern as long as you specify what makes a qualified tenant without discriminating against one of the protected classes.

Sure, go for it. Tell us how it turns out.

 

As mentioned Seattle is one of the worst places in the whole country, for all the reasons listed and more. In the future it will only get worse, not better. Lord only knows what kind of crazy laws they can cook up regarding real estate. I grew up most of my life in western Washington, and lived in Seattle proper for 15 years... I finally left last year for Idaho. 


EVERYTHING is falling apart there because the place is run by lunatics. As I told people for the last several years I was there, as everything was falling apart, "There's a difference between being liberal, and being bat s**t crazy. These guys have crossed that line." Seattle was plenty liberal when I moved there, but the politicians were still living in reality, and trying to actually make things functional. At this point they're passing bonkers laws, that will obviously have horrible effects in the real world, simply so they can virtue signal. That isn't a good sign for investing there, or anything else. If something cannot work in reality, but you do it anyway to prove how kind hearted you are, all that will do in the long run is destroy everything. There's a reason millions of jobs and people are fleeing from places like CA, WA, NY, etc. I wish the whole world was sunshine, rainbows, and kittens too... But it's not, so you need to work within what is possible and practical. These people don't do that anymore.


A Bill Clinton in the 90s kinda liberal can try to be soft around the edges, and compassionate, and whatever... But at the end of the day they still realized some stuff was not possible, too crazy, etc. The people running these hyper woke areas give zero consideration to real world outcomes. It will not end well. I think this is an already in progress repeat of the 60s/70s when people flooded out of major metros because they went to hell in a hand basket. Time will tell.


I'm more or less libertarian, so line towing conservatives definitely annoy me on some issues too, but in 2021 I'll take those issues over the crazy in progressive areas in a heartbeat. At least conservative areas have functional societies. It seems like hardcore progressive are literally trying to destroy civilization in the places they run.

Any which way, if investing in Seattle were the only option the world, yeah you can probably make it work... But it's not. So why invest in an area where the pricing is already so high there can't be much more meat left on the bone (to equal the returns over the last 7-8 years in percentage terms you'd need 3-4 million dollar 3 bedroom houses in 2030. Does that seem realistic?)... The laws are waaay slanted against you now... The laws will only continue to get worse... At a time when big tech has finally realized they don't need to concentrate their whole workforce in a half dozen cities... I could go on. I don't think SF and Seattle have bright futures without some major changes being made


Invest somewhere that's more favorable, and has more meat on the bone. I wish I'd had more cash to deploy a few years ago as I saw several areas as coming up before most people did. But I'll do fine going forward where I'm at now, so no complaints.

Originally posted by @Vaughn K. :

As mentioned Seattle is one of the worst places in the whole country, for all the reasons listed and more. In the future it will only get worse, not better. Lord only knows what kind of crazy laws they can cook up regarding real estate. I grew up most of my life in western Washington, and lived in Seattle proper for 15 years... I finally left last year for Idaho. 

EVERYTHING is falling apart there because the place is run by lunatics. As I told people for the last several years I was there, as everything was falling apart, "There's a difference between being liberal, and being bat s**t crazy. These guys have crossed that line." Seattle was plenty liberal when I moved there, but the politicians were still living in reality, and trying to actually make things functional. At this point they're passing bonkers laws, that will obviously have horrible effects in the real world, simply so they can virtue signal. That isn't a good sign for investing there, or anything else. If something cannot work in reality, but you do it anyway to prove how kind hearted you are, all that will do in the long run is destroy everything. There's a reason millions of jobs and people are fleeing from places like CA, WA, NY, etc. I wish the whole world was sunshine, rainbows, and kittens too... But it's not, so you need to work within what is possible and practical. These people don't do that anymore.

A Bill Clinton in the 90s kinda liberal can try to be soft around the edges, and compassionate, and whatever... But at the end of the day they still realized some stuff was not possible, too crazy, etc. The people running these hyper woke areas give zero consideration to real world outcomes. It will not end well. I think this is an already in progress repeat of the 60s/70s when people flooded out of major metros because they went to hell in a hand basket. Time will tell.


I'm more or less libertarian, so line towing conservatives definitely annoy me on some issues too, but in 2021 I'll take those issues over the crazy in progressive areas in a heartbeat. At least conservative areas have functional societies. It seems like hardcore progressive are literally trying to destroy civilization in the places they run.

Any which way, if investing in Seattle were the only option the world, yeah you can probably make it work... But it's not. So why invest in an area where the pricing is already so high there can't be much more meat left on the bone (to equal the returns over the last 7-8 years in percentage terms you'd need 3-4 million dollar 3 bedroom houses in 2030. Does that seem realistic?)... The laws are waaay slanted against you now... The laws will only continue to get worse... At a time when big tech has finally realized they don't need to concentrate their whole workforce in a half dozen cities... I could go on. I don't think SF and Seattle have bright futures without some major changes being made

Invest somewhere that's more favorable, and has more meat on the bone. I wish I'd had more cash to deploy a few years ago as I saw several areas as coming up before most people did. But I'll do fine going forward where I'm at now, so no complaints.

Tell us what you Really think. Lol 

You are spot on.

 

Originally posted by @Mike Hern :
Originally posted by @Vaughn K.:

As mentioned Seattle is one of the worst places in the whole country, for all the reasons listed and more. In the future it will only get worse, not better. Lord only knows what kind of crazy laws they can cook up regarding real estate. I grew up most of my life in western Washington, and lived in Seattle proper for 15 years... I finally left last year for Idaho. 

EVERYTHING is falling apart there because the place is run by lunatics. As I told people for the last several years I was there, as everything was falling apart, "There's a difference between being liberal, and being bat s**t crazy. These guys have crossed that line." Seattle was plenty liberal when I moved there, but the politicians were still living in reality, and trying to actually make things functional. At this point they're passing bonkers laws, that will obviously have horrible effects in the real world, simply so they can virtue signal. That isn't a good sign for investing there, or anything else. If something cannot work in reality, but you do it anyway to prove how kind hearted you are, all that will do in the long run is destroy everything. There's a reason millions of jobs and people are fleeing from places like CA, WA, NY, etc. I wish the whole world was sunshine, rainbows, and kittens too... But it's not, so you need to work within what is possible and practical. These people don't do that anymore.

A Bill Clinton in the 90s kinda liberal can try to be soft around the edges, and compassionate, and whatever... But at the end of the day they still realized some stuff was not possible, too crazy, etc. The people running these hyper woke areas give zero consideration to real world outcomes. It will not end well. I think this is an already in progress repeat of the 60s/70s when people flooded out of major metros because they went to hell in a hand basket. Time will tell.


I'm more or less libertarian, so line towing conservatives definitely annoy me on some issues too, but in 2021 I'll take those issues over the crazy in progressive areas in a heartbeat. At least conservative areas have functional societies. It seems like hardcore progressive are literally trying to destroy civilization in the places they run.

Any which way, if investing in Seattle were the only option the world, yeah you can probably make it work... But it's not. So why invest in an area where the pricing is already so high there can't be much more meat left on the bone (to equal the returns over the last 7-8 years in percentage terms you'd need 3-4 million dollar 3 bedroom houses in 2030. Does that seem realistic?)... The laws are waaay slanted against you now... The laws will only continue to get worse... At a time when big tech has finally realized they don't need to concentrate their whole workforce in a half dozen cities... I could go on. I don't think SF and Seattle have bright futures without some major changes being made

Invest somewhere that's more favorable, and has more meat on the bone. I wish I'd had more cash to deploy a few years ago as I saw several areas as coming up before most people did. But I'll do fine going forward where I'm at now, so no complaints.

Tell us what you Really think. Lol 

You are spot on.

 

Oh you don't want to hear what I REALLY think! LOL

But seriously, it's a bummer. A lot of the best places to live in the country have been completely ruined as livable places by morons doing things that have tried and failed countless times, and that anyone with common sense knows are awful ideas. It's frustrating, especially for someone who grew up in 2 such areas (my dad bailed out of the Bay Area when I was a teenager), and who has now had to move twice when I didn't want to to get away from the stupid.

I just don't get how they don't deploy common sense with a lot of this stuff. As I said you can try to be "compassionate" where you can, within reason. Personally I think almost all big government fixes fail, but as long as you keep it within reason I can put up with some of it. But they've just strayed too far from what can actually work or maintain a functioning society. It's not like these are all new ideas, they've been tried and failed a ton of times just in recent history. Funny thing is talking to most people in Seattle on a 1 on 1 basis almost nobody actually agrees with most of the super crazy stuff. They want it all fixed/changed. They're liberal as heck for sure, but not totally bonkers... Yet for some reason in public nobody will say it out loud (Probably because they don't want to be fired from their job for wrong think or be called a Nazi for having a mere center left opinion I guess...), and they vote for the extra crazy folks. It's nuts. 

I hope the spectacular fail happens quickly and we return back to running things in a sane manner. I'd consider moving back to western Washington if the policies got rolled back to like they were 15-20 years ago when the state was actually pretty well managed. The taxes were like half or less what they are now, AND somehow the state STILL had a balanced budget most of the time, maintained infrastructure, did all the stuff a government needs to do, etc. And the crime was vastly lower. What a HORRIBLE way to do things, right? 

 

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :
Originally posted by @Jason Chung:

I always hear folks saying Seattle is not landlord friendly, so I should not buy an investment property in Seattle. But reading up on the tenant/landlord rules, I don't really see any concerns. What is everybody worried about?

There is no rent control. I can increase rent as long as 1) I give 60 days notice if its above 10%, and 2) it's on a month-to-month. 

 My guess is you have not actually read all the rules or you don't understand the implications. Seattle is has some of the most tenant friendly policies in the country. Seattle is probably a toss up with San Francisco as the least landlord friendly place in the country. You may mistakenly think if you do your best to follow the rules that you will be fine. The problem is bad tenants can easily exploit these protections and good landlords are left powerless.

Here are the major areas that people see problems:

1. Extra protections on tenant screening. This means the local laws go beyond Federal Fair housing with additional protected classes. This includes source of income, which means you can't prohibit someone from renting that is on government assistance. These extra rules all make it harder to navigate and it opens you to many ways you can be accused of discrimination. (Keep in mind that even if you think you didn't discriminate, denying a protected class gives the appearance you did). Additionally there is a First-In-Line law which requires a landlord to rent to the first applicant that meets qualifications. You must maintain written qualification standards and keep records of when each application is received. If you are denying someone, be prepared to cite a specific criteria. In general this is all fine, but it puts extra responsibility on the landlord and leaves you open to accusation of improprieties. In most states you can pick whomever you want and don't have to give any justification.

https://library.municode.com/w...

https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/def...

2. Just cause eviction rules limit the reasons you can ask a tenant to leave. If you want to rehab a property, you need to give longer notice and even pay relocation costs in some cases. In most states you can just "not renew" and you are not required to provide any reason.

https://library.municode.com/w...

3. Evictions can be difficult. Tenants get free legal representation and can delay legitimate evictions for no reason. It can take considerable time and money to reclaim a property. Courts are tenant friendly. These free attorneys will find any technicality to keep the tenant in the property and it leads to having to pay off the tenant to leave. The courts are not fair and even less fair if you don't keep immaculate records. 

4. City and state continues to expand tenant protections. Just this month (June 2021), the Seattle city council approved three new tenant protection bills. These protections make it harder to get bad tenants out of your property. For example, you cannot evict a family with children during the school year. So they stop paying September 1 and you can't evict until June! Another bill requires landlords to give tenants "right of refusal" for lease renewal. That means you are forced to renew leases unless the tenant has violations or other just cause reasons to make them leave. Sometimes tenants are a pain or cause problems that don't raise to the level of "eviction", so landlord use non-renewal as a way to just find a new tenant. Now you are stuck with someone forever once you sign that lease. The city council will continue to extend more protections in the future, so this will get harder and harder for landlords. 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news...


There are landlords who successfully navigate, but you really need to be well versed on the law and have bullet proof processes in place. This is easier if you operate at scale, but for a mom and pop running a few properties, it can be difficult. 

I will also add that beyond the landlord issues, there is a major concern with crime that is affecting desirability to live or operate a business in the city. In the last year, over 250 police officers have resigned. That is almost 20% of the police force. Businesses are closing. Drug use is out of control. The reality is that good people leave an area when crime gets out of control. 

Good overview!

As Doc would say to Captain Kirk. "It's worse than that, worse than that Jim, he's dead Jim, dead Jim".  The patient is dead. Only the uninitiated will walk straight into That trap.

 



Seattle in particular, and Washington in general has become a hard places to invest.

We certainly want to be more practical than political.  To that end, I testified before the state legislature 3 sessions ago as the crazy policies were ramping up.  I said, "The practical outcome of these policies will be that we end up with government and corporate housing and nothing in between".  Come to find out, that's exactly what they want!  They have voiced their position as being "Housing as a right" (per the United Nations 1948), They are of the opinion that  "Nobody should profit off someone's home".  

So their policies are intentionally pushing independent housing providers out of the market leaving fewer available homes at higher prices -predominantly in multifamily situations.  The end result is not to the benefit of the tenant (screening has become much tighter and fewer marginal families are finding housing), we can't terminate rule violators and otherwise undesirables - leaving the good tenants that can, to go elsewhere.  

Now we are hearing that they want to give tenants first right of refusal when you decide to sell ... SFR and Multi-family (tenants, together with non-profit or government agencies to purchase) potentially removing the opportunity to bid up to the highest value.

To invest as a landlord in Washington State you will need good professional management and a good attorney.  With each jurisdiction defining their own set of rules it is hard to keep up and manage the added responsibilities.  

Chair of Sustainability and Renter's committee is socialist whose goal is to abolish private property. I watched a couple of Seattle City Council meetings recently (e.g. one where 10 months eviction ban was discussed), they are unstoppable. I will not be surprised that Seattle will ban using credit reports and credit score next, expand eviction ban next year and will continue all of this nonsense.

@Jay C. - very nicely and detailed list of issues and problems. Thank you.


When picking a market, it’s not just the local (city) jurisdiction one must assess-@Jason Chung - have you researched what’s been happening at the state level?
I used to live in Seattle but now on the East side. I HAD hoped to return to the city at some point, but I’m so disgusted and appalled by the state of things,I would not— and that would be as a homeowner. Seattle itself has layered on so much restrictions I’m glad we don’t have
rentals there. If you are a cashflow investor, cash on cash is nonexistent. Not mentioned so far is that Seattle requires rental registration, consequences if you don’t. There is also periodic mandated property inspections (and it’s not a just a mere expense item, rubber stamp process).

Rent control would not be the only reason not to invest. need to look at the laws at all levels and all that would impact the way you would manage the property and interact with tenants.

We used to be able to post a 3 day pay or vacate. Not anymore. We used to be able to assess late fees from the first day it’s contractually late-not anymore. The list goes on.

Then there capital gains legislation aimed at landlords in the works, then modified but the desire is there. Inside just extended the moratorium yesterday. A Seattle legislator says if this is not extended, it’ll be 20months of weight on these renters hitting them all at once. Hmmm, nothing about the property owners.

Couple weeks ago I heard of an investor with SFRs in tacoma and is selling them off to get out from underneath. He has some *state*employees who are still working but stopped paying rent. Because he has 11 rentals, it’s too many for him to qualify for landlord assistance.

In tacoma which is more a little more friendly, I have to hand over a pamphlet created by the city and accept security deposit in installments if requested. While I’ve done that before of my own volition, I design so it’s front loaded; it’s my choice. What good does $300/mo security dep over the next few months if they move into a $400k property and start doing damages or stop paying rents of $1700-$2100?

Credit screening might be taken away. Lead time to get your property back is lengthening— if you can service notice or non-renew. Luckily we have our tenants on leases so I’m able to non-renew and they actually moved out. 

We sold a SFR last oct because we didn't know what kind of tenant we could get stuck with. Plus the value has gone up that it'd take me over 20yrs of cashflow to make what I would in selling. Now we will sell another. I'm keeping two tenants who have been great but there is always a risk of them running into hardship and we'd have little recourse (and spend lots of time and or money) to get them out esp if relationship sours.







@Angel Prentiss

Thanks for the comments. You nailed it right here

"We sold a SFR last oct because we didn't know what kind of tenant we could get stuck with. Plus the value has gone up that it'd take me over 20yrs of cashflow to make what I would in selling"


Right there is part of the point. Way to many on this site get all caught up in this accumulation nonsense and miss the reality of creating wealth. Heads up it sure isn't thru leverage. Its buying when prices are right and selling with outsized gains. The current landscape has eroded those seeking income. Taxes continue to climb and regulation is making things difficult.  As I pointed out above the rental game has changed. In most cases permanently. Lawmakers are working full on to slant the advantage to the tenant. Some of these landlord violations are upwards of 1-2 years of profit.  Now I am not just in Seattle. I have several rentals across the state.




@Jason Chung please heed the comments/advice posted here.  I apologize if I'm making assumptions but perhaps you haven't followed Seattle much over the years and don't own property in the city. Have you ever heard of tenantsunion.org? Look that up when you have time. I owned (past tense for a reason) property in Seattle and owned a property management firm there from 2010-2014. It is getting worse and worse every year.  Yes, strong jobs, good rent growth and appreciation in Seattle but do you understand how the city council and mayor run the city and their absolute intent to protect tenants to the extreme?  I no longer wanted my property taxes, rental inspection fees, etc go to support such an anti-capitalist, anti-landlord, anti-sanity city.  I refuse to help clients purchase within the city and encourage them to consider the many other great areas within the Puget Sound.  If you're here on BP, I'm guessing your values and plans to be a real estate investor do not align with Seattle.  But there are plenty out there that still feel the investment is worth it.  I wish them well.  Sorry...this subject always strikes a nerve with me as a person born and raised in Seattle and witness to the decades of decay in its politics.  So ashamed.  Best wishes on the direction you take in your investing goals!

Originally posted by @Mike Hern :
Originally posted by @Jason Chung:

First in line makes sense. I don't really see that as a concern as long as you specify what makes a qualified tenant without discriminating against one of the protected classes.

Sure, go for it. Tell us how it turns out.


First In line ties owners hands. Just because an applicant hits all the criteria does not mean I would want them in my rentals. The criteria is a more objective list. We want applicants who are respectful, clean, not needy, not demanding, communicative and extra plus if handy, can help take photos and put a patch on things until I send someone. These are difficult things to put on a screening criteria. I once had someone who appeared qualified. Then they wrote casually Hey, we’d to add a fence and for me to foot the material cost. Sorry, hey? Do they know how to build a fence? This could be good if I want a fence and they do a great job. But what if it’s not built to my specifications, it’s shoddy or sloppy? What if it ends on over the property line!? I’d rather spend my time looking for more deals/have coffee with a friend/sleep/… than have to deal with this mess. Or avoid by picking another equally qualified applicant




 

I wouldn't own property in Seattle for any reason. The city council is proposing immunity for crimes for anyone who claims mental illness, poverty, or drug addiction. So basically every person who commits a crime. They can walk into your house, steal you blind, and there will be nothing you can do about it. Sounds crazy? It's real:

https://www.kiro7.com/home/cri...

First in line makes sense to me. If they meet your criteria and they want to apply let them. Seattle is tenant friendly but may be its rightfully so. Maybe landlords shouldn't be making personal judgement calls. I know when I have made snap judgement calls I was totally wrong. The ones I thought would pay late paid early and the ones that seemed like responsible people weren't. 

I would be hesitant if credit checks weren't allowed. Currently they still are, but that might change too. All the more reason to House Hack. You have a little more leniency on what you can do in terms of background and criminal checks because you will be living in the house.

I have 5 units in Seattle. It's a market I know and will continue to invest in. I am willing to roll with the punches. Haven't had an eviction yet in 5 years. Maybe if I did I would be singing a different tune.