MEMORIAL DAY

NEVER FORGET
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WASHINGTON STATE LANDLORD/TENANT LAW TO CHANGE

The Washington legislature made significant changes to the Residential Landlord Tenant Act.  The changes in Senate Bill 5600 go into effect on July 27, 2019 and include:

~A 60-day notice to increase rent will be required unless the rent amount is based on income.  Outside of Seattle and Tacoma, currently a 30-day notice is required to increase rent.

~A 14-day notice will be required to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. Currently, a landlord can issue a 3-day notice to vacate for non-payment of rent.

~Judges will be able to consider “equitable factors” such as hardship or illness, when asked to grant an eviction order.

Additional notice time will be required if a landlord gives a notice to vacate due to demolition or other change in use of the rental property.  Landlords are also required to apply payments towards rent first and other charges, such as late fees, legal fees, or utility payments after rent is paid.

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

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 not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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AFFORDABLE SQUARE FOOTAGE

“Rent Café” recently did a survey to find out the maximum square footage that can be afforded in various cities, if no more than 30% of the median monthly income was spent on rent.

In Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Boston, this would result in less than 300 square feet of space. In San Francisco, 407 square feet could be afforded and in Seattle, 479 square feet. 

Cities where about 1,000 square feet could be afforded are Gilbert, AZ, Chandler, AZ, Plano, TX, and Henderson, NV, all offering about 1,000 or more square-feet worth of space.

The full article is here: https://www.rentcafe.com/blog/apartmentliving/how-much-space-can-you-rent-on-median-income-in-the-100-largest-u-s-cities/

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

 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 not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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TENANT NOT FOLLOWING THE LEASE RULES?

If a tenant is not complying with a term of the lease, the tenant can be served with a 10-Day Notice to Comply.  This notice is given to a tenant who is violating a term of the lease, such has having an unauthorized pet on the property. A specific clause of the lease must be referenced in the notice.  It is often difficult to prove a 10-Day violation.  Whether or not rent has been received is (typically) easily documented; whether or not the tenant is maintaining the yard is a matter of opinion.  The property is re-inspected ten days after the notice is served to see if the tenant corrected the violation.  Another violation of the same lease clause later in the term will require a new 10-day notice.

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

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 not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & A RESIDENTIAL LEASE

A victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking may terminate a rental agreement without penalty if specific steps are taken.  Any prepaid rent must be refunded, and the deposit must be accounted for as if the entire term of the lease was fulfilled.  Additionally, the landlord may be required to remove a tenant from a lease if a co-tenant provides a domestic violence restraining order against a co-tenant.  In a recent Fair Housing sex discrimination case, a landlord was fined $20,000 for failing to remove a tenant and change the locks.  The tenant who filed the request was a mother of minor children and had a court protection order.

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

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 not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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INVESTMENT PROPERTY ADVANTAGES

There are tax advantages to owning an investment property.  These may include the following tax deductions:

In addition, the purchase price may be depreciated based on a set depreciation schedule, even if the property is actually appreciating in value.

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

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 not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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WASHINGTON STATE – LEASE TERMS

At the end of a lease for a specific term, unless the lease is terminated, if the tenant stays in possession and the landlord accepts rent, the lease automatically becomes a month-to-month agreement.  All other terms of the initial lease remain in effect, even if no extension is put in writing. Any changes to the terms of the original lease would require a 30-day notice.

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

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 not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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FAIR HOUSING APPLIES – LANDLORDS TAKE NOTE!!!

The Second Circuit Court recently ruled that a landlord may be liable under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for failing to take action to address a racially hostile housing environment created by one tenant targeting another, when the landlord knew of the discriminatory conduct and had the power to correct it!  In Francis v. Kings Park Manor, the court determined that the FHA is not limited to preventing discrimination during the buying or leasing of a property, in fact, the FHA is intended to end all forms of discrimination that interfere with an individual’s enjoyment of their housing. 

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

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 not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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TACOMA WASHINGTON – NEW RENTAL LAWS

Tacoma’s new rental housing code includes a requirement that landlords provide information about tenant rights to current and future tenants. 

  • When a tenant applies for a rental, they can be given the information via link, www.cityoftacoma.org/rentalhousingcode.     
  • When a tenant is given a lease to sign, they must receive a hardcopy of the information and the landlord must receive acknowledgement of receipt. https://cms.cityoftacoma.org/OEHR/rentalhousing/TenantInformationPacket.pdf  
  • All existing tenants are to be given this information in written form and, “landlords must obtain tenant’s signature documenting receipt of such information. If the landlord gives a tenant a notice of violation, the landlord must include a “notice of resources.” 

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

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 not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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FAIR HOUSING COMPLAINTS

HUD tracks the number and type of Fair Housing complaints filed.  In 2017 there were 8,186 complaints filed based on federal protected classes and alleging retaliation.  The largest percentage were claims of discrimination based on disability.  These include cases regarding requests for service animals and accommodation requests.

Protected Class # of Complaints  % of Complaints
Disability   4,865 59.4%
Race     2,132 26.0%
Familial Status 871 10.6%
Retaliation   834 10.2%
National Origin 826 10.1%
Sex    800 9.8%
Religion 232 2.8%
Color 192 2.3%

These do not include complaints filed at the state or local level, where there are more protected classes.

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

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 not rely solely on this information. We encourage our clients to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial and/or residential real estate matters as they can be complicated and confusing.

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