According to Multifamily NW, the controversial rent control legislation passed the house a few weeks ago and will be scheduled for a committee hearing on the Senate side soon.  Contact your senator if you do not believe in the bill!

Here is a breakdown of the proposal from Bittner & Hahs, P.C.:

HB 2004 Summary
(As passed by house)

Bittner & Hahs, P.C.

www.bittner-hahs.com

1. No-Cause notices

1.1 Allowed during first 6 months of occupancy (not clear it is the same definition as “first year of occupancy”- time any of the tenants has resided in unit)

1.2 Month-to month (“MTM”), after first 6 months may only terminate for cause

1.3 Week-to week, can still use no-cause

1.4 In MTM no-cause allowed after 6 months, or at end of fixed-term may refuse to renew, with 90 days’ notice only if:

1.4.1 Landlord (“LL”) intends in good faith to undertake repairs or renovations that will cause the unit to be unsafe to occupy during repairs [upon completion of repairs/renovation, must offer to T first];

1.4.2 LL intends in good faith to convert the unit to a use other than a residential use within a reasonable time;

1.4.3 LL intends in good faith to demolish the unit within a reasonable time;

1.4.4 Unit is unsafe or unfit to occupy and LL intends in good faith to undertake repairs within a reasonable time to correct the conditions [upon completion of repairs, must offer to T first];

1.4.5 LL has accepted an offer to purchase the unit separately from any other dwelling unit from a person who intends in good faith to occupy the unit as the person’s primary residence;

1.4.6 LL intends in good faith for the LL or a member of the LL’s “immediate family” to occupy the unit as a primary residence; and LL does not own a comparable unit in the same building that is available for occupancy at the same time that the T receive notice to terminate;

1.4.7 Termination notice must specify the exception and facts supporting the exception;

1.4.8 Pay the tenant at the time the termination notice is given one month’s periodic rent:

(a) This section does not apply to LL of 4 or fewer units (still issue with definition of LL, could include a management company and does not say “own”)

1.5 If dwelling unit is in the same building or on the same property as the LL’s primary residence, and there are no more than 2 units, LL may terminate using no-cause: 30 days during first year of occupancy and 60 days after first year of occupancy.

2. Fixed Term Tenancy

2.1 LL may terminate only for cause.

2.2 Not less than 90 days prior to end of fixed-term, LL MUST give renewal offer for a fixed term at least as long as expiring term.  [Same exceptions as above]. T may accept the offer by written notice at least 30 days prior to end of fixed term.

2.3 If the tenant does not accept the offer for a new fixed term, the tenancy rolls to MTM automatically.

2.4 If LL fails to make a renewal offer, the fixed term rolls to MTM automatically.

3. Penalties

3.1 Termination in violation of statutes:

3.1.1. 3 months’ rent penalty plus actual damages. Penalty can be assessed if notice is incorrect (fails to state exception or facts); and a defense to FED.

3.2 Tenant can bring action for the penalty within one year after T knew or should have known of violation.

4. Rent Control

4.1 State preemption withdrawn and local rent “stabilization” is allowed.

4.2 Program must provide LL’s with “a fair rate of return” “as determined by the city or county”

4.3 Program must provide a process for LL to petition for permission to increase rents in excess of the allowed increases when necessary for the LL to achieve a “fair rate of return:

4.4 Program must exempt any new residential development for a period of 5 years from the date of issuance of the first COO.

5. Emergency Clause

5.1 Effective immediately upon signing by governor

5.2 Applies to all fixed term tenancies entered into or renewed after effective date; and terminations of MTM tenancies occurring after effective date [is termination the issuance of the notice or the date it expires?)