Burien passes rental housing policies
On October 7, 2019, the Burien City Council passed policies designed to protect renters and improve renter-landlord relationships. The new ordinance puts in place policies that were listed as high priorities during community engagement meetings held earlier in the year. Ordinance 716, effective October 15, 2019, establishes rental housing policies that require the following:
Just cause eviction (JCE): This policy states that a landlord can only evict a tenant for certain reasons (see section 5.63.070 of ordinance) and must comply with notification and timeline requirements. The policy also requires landlords secure a court order (RCW 59.18.290, .380) before evicting a tenant.
Distribution of information: This policy requires the landlord provide written information about the landlord’s rental criteria. The landlord will also be required to provide City-produced information packets that include summaries of the new rental policies, the Property Maintenance Code, the Residential Landlord Tenant Act, forcible and unlawful detainer laws, and fair housing laws. The City will also provide summaries in multiple languages to landlords who must distribute the materials to tenants. The policy also requires the City to maintain on its website code enforcement information and information for registering to vote. This information for renters and landlords will be placed on the City’s website this fall.
Deposit requirements and installment payments permitted: This policy requires landlords to allow tenants to pay security deposit, non-refundable move-in fees, and last months’ rent in three consecutive equal installments in cases of fixed-term tenancies of three months or longer, or two equal installments if month-to-month. This is not applicable when last months’ rent is not required or if the security deposit and non-refundable move-in fees do not exceed 25 percent of the first months’ rent.
Notice of sale of low-income housing: This policy requires property owners notify the City of their intent to sell properties if their property contains five or more rental units and at least one of those rental units has rent considered affordable to households at or below 80 percent of the area median income. Notice must be mailed to the City 60 days before the property is listed for sale.Housing ombudsman: This policy establishes the function of a housing ombudsperson be put in place with the City to investigate housing disputes, educate and advise tenants and landlords, and assist in resolving conflicts between landlords and tenants. The City is exploring several different staffing options to fulfill this requirement.
The City of Burien will launch a robust education campaign in 2020 to educate landlords and tenants on the new policies and the rental housing inspection program. The City will also provide information packets, translated into multiple languages, for landlords to distribute to tenants.
The Council also approved a rental housing inspection program in September. The program will be managed by the rental housing inspection program coordinator, who begins November 1.
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What else can landlords do for renters? Find them babysitters, recommend restaurants, schedule doctor appointments???? Do land lords have to be concierges now? Are renters so inept they can't register to vote by themselves anymore. Good lord, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Why don't we make the city government responsible for that instead of land owners.
Lower the rents and pretty sure that would help ,if land owners and landlords where not so greedy in the first place there would be no issue. The federal means and poor laws states No American should pay more than35% of their income for housing , greedy and shady landlords have Americans paying 52% . That's flat out greed.
Both regulations are poorly designed: the inspection ordinance does not even specify what criteria are required! Burien already has an issue with gangs [MS-13 is rife in the Ambaum area] dealing with those tenants just became much harder with JCE. Police calls will be going up... All the direct costs imposed by regulations, taxes and fees get passed on to the consumer/renter in the form of a rent increase. Where is the compensation to the landlord for fill filling civic government work...? Net effect: higher rent.
Sounds great!!! Let’s give more rights to shitty renters and squatters! As if Burien isn’t bad enough already. Why don’t we just invite the druggies and homeless too. Smdh
I parrot Mr. Neighbors comment. Can a landlord evict if the tenant does NOT honor the the "installment" payments ? It is my understanding that courts will only evict for non payment of RENT under the new State Law. Other "non rent payments" must be brought to "small claims" court. Yeah Right. Meanwhile the tenant compounds the amount owing waiting for a court date and judgement which will most likely never be paid....but hey, no sweat off the tenant right ? This while the mortgage on the property still needs to be paid as well as utilities and insurance and real estate taxes. A lot of risk to the property owner. My prediction on all of these "improved" landlord tenant laws will be increased rents. Gonna have to, to cover the risks local and state laws impose.
My goodness how could anyone renter or landlord see an issue with this..... UNLESS your part of why this type of law is made in the first place. It's not a reasonable expectation that someone can uproot their whole life prepare/arrange to move, find another property and do all of this within the 30 day notice required to vacate. Especially when the renter has. Complied with the lease and paid on time..... and most often lately so the landlord can mo e in someone else and charge more for rent. Its heartless and the lack of regulation allowed landlords to have too much control over the lives of those they rent to. I think it was a kindergarten rule that you 'should treat others as you would like to be treated yourself' too bad that the court has to enforce that.
Seems political to me. The City council must have recently received new data showing the number of renter citizens in Burien is growing sharply. This ordinance is only meant to buy votes in the next election, not secure or strengthen the rights of landlord OR renters.
We are now going to have to pay water, sewage, and garbage.