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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THE GROWTH OF RENTAL PROPERTIES

Nationally, single-family rentals (detached homes or townhomes) are developing faster than any other portion of the housing market.  These rentals outpace both single-family home purchases and apartment rentals.  Locally, nearly half of all Seattleites are renters.

Between 2006 and 2016, according to census data analysis by Rentcafé, renter share in Seattle increased by 13.6 percent, while ownership share decreased by 10.1 percent.  As of 2016, 48.5 percent of Seattle residents were renters. “And with 12,000 new homes entering the Seattle market in 2017—and none of them being condos—we seem poised to be a renter-majority city sooner rather than later.”

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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FROZEN WATER PIPES?

It’s cold outside

Frozen pipes can occur even in occupied properties.  Here are some tips for prevention:

Locate the main water shut off before a broken pipe occurs. 

Disconnect all hoses; if the water freezes in the hose, it can break the spigot. 

Most new spigots have a shut off valve inside the house or garage; shut off any spigots with this feature.

Put spigot covers on all outside faucets.

Make sure that there is some heat on in the house at all times, including when no one is home.

Keep the garage door closed so any heat will be kept inside.

If the temperature drops below 20° during the day, let water trickle in all the faucets.

In periods of extreme cold, leave cupboard doors open under sinks on exterior walls so the heat will get to the pipes.

If none of the foregoing works, sell your house and move to Florida! 🙂

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 CONSIDERS MORE RENTAL REGULATIONS

Senate Bill 5600 would include some significant changes to Residential Landlord Tenant Act.  The potential changes would:

Change the pay rent or vacate notice from 3 days to 14.

Remove the option of a set term lease that expires at the end of term; a notice to vacate would always be required. 

Require a 60-day notice for all rent increases.

Allow a tenant to cure any judgment for non-payment within five court days by paying the principal amount of the judgment. This would reinstate their tenancy.

Increase the penalty for a landlord deliberately including prohibited provisions in a rental agreement from $500 to one month’s rent or treble damages, whichever is greater.  

Require landlords to provide estimates or invoices for charges for damages in deposit accountings.

THIS IS NOT THE COMPLETE LIST!!!

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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RISING RENTS

The average rent across King and Snohomish counties dipped 2.9 percent in December compared with the prior quarter, according to a new quarterly landlord survey by Apartment Insights/RealData.

Rents across the region had soared 48 percent over the previous five years. The Seattle area led the nation in rent hikes in 2016 and early 2017, according to Zillow.

A separate Apartment Insights/RealData report found the average rent across Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston counties were up slightly from the previous quarter and grew 7.8 percent from the previous year, indicating the South Sound rental market is now significantly hotter than King County, even as it remains a much more affordable option.

While rents continue to drop in King and Snohomish counties, largely due to the number of new construction apartments, rents have increased in Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

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

WWW.CBBAINRENTALS.COM

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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Discriminatory Language in Deeds

Starting in the 1920s, many neighborhood covenants throughout the region allowed only white people to rent or own property. Fair housing laws made these covenants unenforceable in the 1960s, but a new state law allows owners to strike the them from property deeds.  As of January 1, a new law allows owners to file a request with the county auditor striking the discriminatory language from the deed. There’s no fee to file a “restrictive covenant modification” document, which legally strikes the provisions from the deed, although it does not physically erase the words.

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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HAPPY HOLIDAYS

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“MERRY CHRISTMAS” OR “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” ???

Landlords and HOA boards must consider Fair Housing laws when considering what, if any, holiday displays they will permit in their communities.  A U.S. district court recently awarded a family $75,000 when the homeowner’s association prohibited a charitable event that would include decorating the home with approximately 200,000 lights, a live nativity with a camel, live music, hot chocolate, photos with Santa, and portable restrooms.  The judge cited the HOA president’s remarks, “I am somewhat hesitant in bringing up the fact that some of our residents are non-Christians or of another faith and I don’t even want to think of the problems that could bring up.”  Using religion as a reason turned this into a Fair Housing complaint.

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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