HB 5435 - BAD Bill

Bill Title: Concerning residential rent increases under the residential landlord-tenant act and the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act..

Committee: Housing
Companion Bill: 1389

Bill Summary:

  • AN ACT Relating to residential rent increases under the residential landlord-tenant act and the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act; adding new sections to chapter 59.18 RCW; adding new sections to chapter 59.20 RCW; prescribing penalties; and declaring an emergency.

What the Bill says:

  • A landlord may not increase rent above 4% or 7% depending on circumstances in any 12 month period and may not increase rents between tenants if they increased rents already in that 12 months. This applies to residential housing and manufactured home parks.

Our Summary Opinion:

  • This bill works fairly well for mobile home parks where a tenant has a house and it’s personal belongings to move. Some form of reasonable rent increase restriction should apply in that circumstance which would adjust to accommodate the increased costs of maintenance, landscaping, watering, plus utilities and property tax increases. That needs to be reconciled in the verbiage to cover that plus any small profitability increase. When property taxes explode like they have here in Washington state this last three years the 4 percent in this bill would never cover that cost thus this makes the bill undoable. With regards to apartments and single housing units to suggest that a rent cap is reasonable at all is simply ridiculous. As a prior landlord I can personally testify that the cost associated with repairs from tenants is upwards of $15,000 easily per unit. A rent cap would stop any property developer from considering building and any property management company from doing business in this state. The only part of this bill that is fair is the part that says “12 months” because most rental agreements are 12 months minimum and the tenant should have the ability to count on a stable budget for that period to plan on. You could set a minimum notification of 60 days for any rent increase and a maximum of only one increase every 12 months. That is in my opinion reasonable and fair. The only way to freeze the amount of any rent increase is if you freeze the amount of utility and property taxes that the government can increase and you eliminate the tax shift status used in this state. Consider my property taxes have doubled in 10 years and you can see how your 4% per year would never cover them. Why would I pay for someone else to live on my property for less than the cost I incur? You really need to vote no on this bill.

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