The Washington state Legislature passed a sweeping reform of the law governing landlord and tenant relations in an attempt to reduce evictions and incentivize landlords to rent to low-income tenants. The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee to sign into law.
SB 5600 extends the “pay or quit” notice from three days to 14, meaning that a tenant behind on rent has two weeks to rectify the situation before a landlord can demand that they leave the unit. If the matter ends up in court and a judge finds for the landlord, the judge can take certain factors into account when they lay down their final judgment.
Those factors include payment history, the ability to pay and whether or not their inability to pay stems from a one-time event, among others.
It also creates the Landlord Mitigation program, which allows landlords to seek up to $1,000 in reimbursement for move-in upgrades, up to 14 days’ rent loss and up to $5,000 in qualifying damages caused by a subsidized tenant during tenancy.
“This new legislation creates a more equitable and humane eviction process,” according to a press release from the Washington Community Action Network (CAN).
The Rental Housing Association of Washington (RHAWA), a landlord advocacy group, said that the legislation would not solve the problem of housing affordability.
“We must urgently address the rising cost of scarce housing in Washington,” said RHAWA Executive Director Sean Martin in a statement. “Unfortunately the new rules do nothing about the fundamental need to build more housing for our state’s current and future residents.”
King County Executive Dow Constantine issued an executive order requiring future, long-term lease holders at King County International Airport follow local immigration and human rights ordinances to prevent federal officials from transporting immigration detainees using aircraft chartered there.
That means that companies entering into long-term leases for hangars and other facilities would abide by ordinances that require a court order to secure local cooperation with immigration enforcement activities.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t have to file passenger manifests or flight schedules with the county, according to a press release, nor can King County officials board planes to inspect passengers or cargo.
According to a study out of the University of Washington Center for Human Rights, deportation flights from the airport have carried roughly 34,400 people over the past eight years.
“We will not be party to the ongoing intimidation and bullying of this administration,” said King county Councilmember Joe McDermott in a press release.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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