Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Washington's Four Pending Statewide Landlord/Tenant Changes

The Washington Multifamily Housing Association reports there are four landlord-tenant bills awaiting signature from Governor Mike Inslee as of the end of this year's session, which ends  Thursday, March 12.
  • Senate Bill 5165 prevents housing providers from discriminating against potential tenants based on their immigration or citizenship status. Landlords will no longer be able to require a social security number on a rental application or offer different terms to a tenant based on citizenship status. [Status: on Governor's desk awaiting signature.]
  • House Bill 2535 requires landlords to wait five days before assessing late fees, as well as requiring that housing providers work with tenants who pay rent with a source of income that comes from government service. In some cases, the tenant may not receive their income – such as social security – until the 3rd of the month. In these cases, landlords must allow for a later due date for rent payments to avoid late fees. [Status: on its way to Governor for signing.]
  • House Bill 1694 will enable tenants to ask housing providers for a payment plan if move-in costs are more than 25% of first months’ rent. Tenants can also request payment plans if last months’ rent is required. [Status: on its way to Governor for signing.] 
  • Senate Bill 6378 allows housing providers to refuse to accept cash payments, requires landlords to take community pledges for rent during the 14 days after an eviction notice is issued, prohibits evictions due to non-rent charges such as late fees or damages, and prevents attorney fees from being awarded when a tenant fails to respond to an Eviction Summons. [Status: on Governor's desk awaiting signature.] 

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