DEFINE A “LANDLORD”

The Washington State Landlord Tenant Act defines the landlord as anyone designated as a representative of the owner, including, but not limited to, an agent, resident manager or property manager.  The landlord is required to provide a mailing address either in the lease or prominently displayed at the rental property.  The law further requires any landlord who resides outside of the state to have a designated representative within the county where the rental property is located.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

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SELLING A RENTAL WITH TENANT?

More than just title needs to be transferred at closing if the transaction is regarding a tenant occupied property.  Both funds and information need to be transferred:

  • Tenant deposits, including pet or cleaning deposits

  • Prepaid rent, including last month’s rent deposit

  • Proration of monthly rent, if closing is mid-month

  • Tenant lease

  • Move in inspection report

  • Tenant ledger

  • Tenant contact information

  • Keys – easy to forget since the buyer isn’t taking possession

When ready to vacate, the tenant will be credited all deposits and pre-paid rent, per what is recorded in the lease, regardless of whether those funds were transferred at closing.  If the move in inspection report is not transferred, the buyer will not be able to charge the vacating tenant for any cleaning or damages.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.

 

 

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Criminal History & Tenant Screening

Washington State’s Attorney General’s office has indicated that when screening rental applicants, treating criminal history as cause for an automatic denial is discriminatory.  The AG’s office has filed against a Tacoma property management company because they told a prospect that a felony conviction would be an automatic denial. According to the court decree, the issue is that the applicant was denied without considering, “when the conviction occurred, what the underlying conduct entailed or what the applicant had done since the conviction.”

Having to consider the circumstances of a particular applicant’s criminal history appears to be contradictory to the 2012 Fair Tenant Screening Act.  This act requires that landlords apply the same screening criteria to all applicants. Be cautious if denying an applicant due to criminal history!

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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SEASONAL RENTAL MARKET

The rental market in the Puget Sound region is very seasonal. Highest demand is during the summer months. Traditionally the market slows after schools starts and is slowest during the holiday season.  While there are tenants searching year round, if tenants have a choice on when to move, it isn’t usually during the winter months.  Despite the strong rental market, we’re already seeing days on market increasing significantly in all areas.  For this reason, we often recommend negotiating a lease term that ends during the summer months. This way the landlord will be in a stronger position for negotiations with either the current or a new tenant.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspect of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no Tenants at house sizedwarranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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ROOMMATES ARE PEOPLE TOO!!

Roommates are protected under the Washington State Residential Landlord Tenant Act. We’ve had two calls recently from real estate brokers involved in a property sale where the seller resides in the home and has a roommate/tenant and the tenant is refusing to move out.  If there is no written agreement, the tenant is, by statute, on a month-to-month rental agreement.  If rent is due the first of the month, then that agreement runs from the first of the month to the end of the month.  Notice to vacate must be served just as it would be if the tenant was in the property by him or herself.  Within the Seattle City limits the Seattle Rental Ordinance applies.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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INVESTORS & INSURANCE

investor-and-property-sized-word

In addition, many HOAs have large deductibles in order to keep premiums down.  Finally, the HOA policy will not cover landlord liability.  Even if the mortgage company doesn’t require additional insurance, your client should talk to an insurance agent.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.

 

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SLUMLORD ALERT!

Washington State has a “slumlord accountability” law.  RCW 59.18.085 requires landlords to pay relocation assistance to displaced tenants whose properties are condemned due to code, ordinance or other statute violations.  The relocation assistance shall be the greater of $2,000 or three times one month’s rent.  The landlord must also refund the entire deposit and any prepaid rent.  This assistance is not provided in cases of natural disasters, acts of God or if the violation was caused by the tenant or other unauthorized third party.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspect of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance.

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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CO DETECTORS – WASHINGTON STATE

smoke-detector-sized-word

State Building Code Council: https://fortress.wa.gov/ga/apps/sbcc/Page.aspx?cid=976

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.
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WHO’S ON FIRST???

In our opinion, the best policy for screening potential rental tenants is first come, first served – a policy which the City of Seattle just imposed on landlords.  The law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

1st come first served sized croppedHowever, our policy is that if multiple applications are received at approximately the same time, i.e., no application has been submitted for screening, then the following can be taken into consideration in choosing one application over another:

–          Move in date

–          Rent offered

–          Length of lease offered

–          Whether the applicant has pets

If tenants meet screening criteria we do not try to determine if one applicant is more qualified than another – either the applicant is qualified or the applicant is not.

We have been told by an attorney involved in the drafting of the law that landlords will still be able to choose between applicants based on these specific factors, as long as the landlord communicates this prior to accepting applications.

The process of selecting tenants is becoming more complicated, with greater potential liability, even outside of the Seattle City limits.

We are here to help you and your clients with all aspects of the rental market. Please contact us for further assistance!

There are no warranties, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to this communication. Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.

 

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