The RHAWA office is closed to in-person services until further notice. All classes, meetings, and events are now held online. View calendar.

RHAWA believes strongly that education is a key component to owning and managing rental housing, maximizing the return on your investment, and being a community partner. The more owners and managers who ethically operate their business with a solid understanding of the law, the greater the reduction to overreaching regulations imposed by the government.

The Rental Housing Academy's (RHA) education program is designed to provide independent landlords, MHC owners, and others in the residential housing industry a foundation of knowledge and skills to help them meet legal responsibilities and succeed in the business. RHAWA provides deeply discounted education on rental operations, Residential and Manufactured Housing Landlord-Tenant Acts, property investment, and rental business management. Informal discussions and presentations are offered to explore trending issues and targeted topics of interest in the rental housing industry. RHA's curriculum is created collaboratively so you receive objective and well-vetted information. Our engaging instructors are selected based on tenure in the rental housing business and speaking experience.

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While RHA offers classes both ONSITE* and ONLINE, we are proud to offer our members access to our ONDEMAND learning experience, powered by Litmos. Litmos, a popular learning management platform, is used by companies and organizations around the world to provide professional training and development to millions.

ONDEMAND Experience offers You a Chance to:

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    The Litmos system keeps track of where you left off in any course, down to the exact moment in a video you were watching or the last page in a document you were reading.

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*The RHAWA office is closed to in-person services until further notice. All classes, meetings, and events are now held online.

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Unlimited access to live and ONDEMAND education for 12 full months.

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Training/Certification Programs

Employee Training

Custom tailored employee training programs through our ONDEMAND platform. Pair our engaging written materials and recorded class sessions led by leading attorneys and other professionals with your own policies and rules. 

Contact Denise Myers to learn more.

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Spend your required clock-hours wisely learning what you need to know from attorney Chris Benis and do it whenever and wherever you want. Our 7 Clock Hour ONDEMAND Course on WA State and Local Laws is available now.

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Rental Housing Academy Offerings

RHAWA provides deeply discounted education on rental operations, Residential and Manufactured Housing Landlord-Tenant Acts, property investment, and rental business management. Informal discussions and presentations are offered to explore trending issues and targeted topics of interest in the rental housing industry.

All courses may be attended by both Residential Property Owners and Mobile Home Community Owners unless otherwise denoted. 


Assessing Criminal Records in Screening
Washington State Law prohibits blanket denials of tenancy due to criminal history. Instead, landlords must either disregard criminal history or conduct individualized assessments to determin a business case for denying tenancy based on criminal history. Learn what to consider when reviewing criminal history and how to complete an adverse action notice appropriately.

Death of a Tenant
Walk through how to legally process an accommodation request, determine what might impose an "undue burden" on you as the landlord and engage in an interactive process to negotiate reasonable terms for an accommodation.

Disability Accommodations
Walk through how to legally process an accommodation request, determine what might impose an "undue burden" on you as the landlord and engage in an interactive process to negotiate reasonable terms for an accommodation.

Expansion of Local Rental Laws
While Washington’s Residential Landlord-Tenant Act is comprehensive and governs landlord-tenant law throughout the state, it is only enforceable through civil actions taken by landlords and tenants. It is becoming more common for cities to take the role of enforcer making it much easier for tenants to exercise their rights and inflict hefty fines on landlords. RHAWA’s legal counsel Chris Benis will explain how and where local laws are expanding across the State.

Fair Housing and Unconscious Bias
Due to a lifetime of cultural influences we often exhibit unconscious bias outside of our awareness which can be in direct contradiction to our espoused beliefs and values. Attorney and representative of the Seattle Office of Civil Rights, Michael Chin will explain unconscious or implicit bias and how it may be impacting our reactions and decision-making when working with tenants and prospective tenants. Learn valuable tips and techniques to create policies and practices that will promote equal opportunity housing in your rental operations.

Fair Housing Essentials
Fair housing is a simple concept, but very difficult to apply consistently in the real-world situations you face every day. Take some time to explore the various principles of fair housing, and practice applying them in multiple discussion-based exercises. Washington State and Seattle specific scenarios such as criminal records, housing voucher programs and service animals will be included.

How to Legally End a Tenancy
Although the vast majority of tenancies end when the resident decides to move out, sometimes a rental owner has reasons to end it as well. Depending on the terms of your agreement, the local jurisdiction and why you want the tenant to move out, there are different procedures you must follow. RHAWA’s legal counsel, Chris Benis explains the legal requirements and share his own methods for respectfully communicating with tenants.

How to Apply for Mitigation Funds
Landlord Mitigation Funds provide landlords with an incentive and added security to work with tenants receiving rental assistance. This fund has recently been expanded to support eviction reinstatement payment plans provided for in new laws effective July 28, 2019. Learn how the program works and answer your questions.

Just Cause Termination Laws 
Just Cause "Eviction" laws restrict the rights of the landlord to terminate month-to-month tenancies. Introduced to Seattle in 1981, similar laws are now in place across the states of California and Oregon, as well as the WA cities of Federal Way and Burien. A state-wide version will be proposed in Washington State's 2020 Legislative Session. This 90-minute webinar provides an overview of Seattle's "Just Cause" ordinance and the variations spreading along the west coast. Instructor, Jeffrey S. Bennett has been representing Northwest landlords in diverse legal matters for more than 25 years. 

Managing Tenant Debt
Most tenants pay on time, but occasionally you may need to deal with tenant debt. Some may lose the means to pay, some may dispute a charge and others may simply refuse to pay. Attorney, Christopher Cutting explores your legal options and best practices for communicating with tenants under various conditions, including emergency eviction and fee moratoriums.

New Roommate Rules for Seattle
Another new ordinance went into effect in Seattle on July 1, 2020. This complex law governs how you must process tenant requests to add additional occupants during tenancy. Special protections are provided for those who qualify as “immediate family members” under a new, broad definition. Attorney, Kaitlyn Jackson explains the new law and discusses other considerations such as occupancy policies and fair housing guidelines.

New Seattle Rental Laws
In 2019 Seattle City Council passed several new tenant protections bills that went into effect in 2020. In this 2-hour seminar, learn the details of each ordinance and how they will impact your operations. RHAWA's government advocacy team, Kyle Woodring and Heather Pierce explain each law and discuss how to adjust policies and procedures for rental operations.

New Washington Rental Laws
Learn the details of three state legislature bills that went into effect on July 28, 2019. Attorney Christopher Cutting explains the sweeping changes to the eviction process in Washington State, as well as many other changes impacting standard notice periods and how tenant payments are processed. Best practices to protect your business under the new laws will be discussed.

Seattle First-inTime Tenant Selection
In this class, learn the details of Seattle's newly reinstated First in Time law and required procedures for advertising, screening and offering tenancy and how to select tenants following all of Seattle's laws. Seattle Attorney, Christopher Cutting reviews all the details of the First in Time ordinance and how to safely complete the tenant selection process in Seattle taking into account other related Seattle laws such as Source of Income and Fair Chance Housing.

Seattle Just Cause Eviction
Seattle's Just Cause Eviction Ordinance was passed in 1981 in response to mass evictions that took place during the development of the convention center. Seattle Attorney Christopher Cutting will review the details of the ordinance so you can have a clear understanding of how you can legally end month-to-month tenancies in Seattle. 

Seattle Landlord-Tenant Law
The landlord tenant laws of Seattle are unique and not always intuitive – and unlike State laws, come with direct enforcement measures. Review everything you need to know to comply with the City's laws, including Just Cause Eviction, Rental Registration and Inspection, and many other regulations and fair housing laws, old and new.

Selection and Use of Leasing Forms
Your lease or rental agreement serves as a binding, legal agreement between you and your tenant and must thoroughly address the rules, responsibilities, policies, and conflict resolution procedures for the tenancy. In this 2-hour class, Attorney Chris Benis reviews each section of RHAWA's rental agreement form and explains how to select various options to reflect the specifics of your property and operating preferences. He will also review required and optional lease-signing addenda and those that can be used to update your agreement throughout the tenancy.

Service and Assistance Animals in Housing
When hearing news about pigs and peacocks on airplanes, you might wonder what kind of animals you may be required to accept on your rental property if presented with an accommodation request. Seattle area attorney, Jeana Poloni has represented clients in many cases related to accommodations for disabled tenants. In this one-hour webinar, she dispels the myths and walks you through new HUD guidelines that clarify recommended best practice.

Tacoma Rental Regulations
The City of Tacoma put new rental regulations into effect on February 1, 2019. In this 90-minute webinar, you will learn all the details from Christopher Cutting, attorney and RHAWA board member who participated in the stakeholder process.

Washington Landlord-Tenant Law
Knowing your legal rights and the rights of your tenants is critical to your success as a landlord. This class provides a broad introduction to landlord-tenant law and an overview of the Washington State Residential Landlord Tenant Act (RLTA). Even experienced landlords are encouraged to review the RLTA every few years, as the law is regularly revised.

Deposit Disputes
Learn best practices for avoiding and winning deposit disputes. Also, what is fair and will stand up in court if needed.

Domestic Violence in Rental Housing
Special rights are provided for victims under Washington landlord-tenant law, and recently the City of Seattle has enacted additional protections. This class reviews laws and best practices to follow whether your tenants are the perpetrators, the victims or both.

Effective Rental Operations
In this 3-hour seminar, you will be introduced to your basic legal responsibilities as a landlord, how to rent your unit to the best possible tenant, enforce your rental agreement and manage efficient operations. Everything you need to know when you first get started as a Washington landlord. 

Establishing Positive Tenant Relations
Learn the secrets for establishing and maintaining positive tenant relations throughout your tenancies with all kinds of personalities.

Fair Housing and Tenant Screening
Reviews how to properly screen applicants while minimizing the risk of expensive fair housing claims.

Handling Repair Requests
One of your most important responsibilities as a rental owner or manager is to make sure the property is habitable. In addition to routine inspections, this means responding appropriately to repair requests, whenever they happen. Learn what your legal obligations as well as best practices are.

Hassle-Free Tenancies
Learn how to follow effective policies and procedures for tenant screening and selection, lease signing and tenant orientation, regular inspections and on-going communications with your tenants.

How to Interpret a Full Credit Report
Far beyond a simple score, the RHAWA full credit report provides specific and complete details on the applicant's financial history allowing you to determine their debt to income ratio and insight into their current level of financial responsibility as well as past hardships or other issues less likely to impact tenancy. In this 90-minute session, RHAWA's Director of Screening will explain how to read and interpret the report.

Maintenance Fundamentals
This class dives into important maintenance issues and considerations you need to know about single-family homes and multi-unit buildings – including prompt responses to repair requests, proper notices to enter, regular inspections, budgeting, major repairs and replacement, maintenance schedules, updating, enhancements, and some cost-saving repair tips.

Marketing Your Rental
Marketing your rental is more than posting an ad. You'll need to do some research and set a competitive rent. Create photos that highlight the best features of your property. Include compelling details in your ad and make sure it's posted on the most popular rental websites. Select a process for showing your property that results in qualified applicants. Learn insider tips and best practices for getting the most out of your marketing efforts.

Posting Notices
Walk through the various legal notices and how to properly use them to enforce your agreement.

Routine Inspections
As a rental property owner, not only is it in your best interest to stay on top of building repair and maintenance, it is your legal responsibility to ensure the property meets basic habitability standards. For these reasons and more, routine inspections are a must. Learn what to look for and what could happen if problems are missed. 

Screening & Evaluating Tenants
This class reviews tools and best practices for screening and evaluating tenants.

Screening Criteria That Works
Walk through the process of creating your own tenant screening criteria designed to help you identify low-risk tenants for your rental.

Screening International Applicants
Have you ever received an application from someone who has recently immigrated to the U.S. or is here on a student or work visa? Learn what documentation to look for and how to appropriately assess potential risk.

Seamless Tenant Turnover
Reviews best practices for lease signing, move-in/move-out unit condition assessments and other issues related to tenants moving out, plus making the unit ready for the new tenant.

Seasonal Maintenance
Learn what to inspect and what routine maintenance you should be doing on your Pacific NW properties as we head into Fall and Winter months. What can you easily do yourself, and when should you call in the pros. 

Setting Effective Pet Policies
Learn best practices for setting restrictions and requirements for pets, processing reasonable accommodation requests involving animals, and managing risks associated with pet damages.

Working with Roommates
Reviews policies and practices to address screening and income requirements, mid-tenancy roommate changes, responsibility for damages and cleaning and other unique situations.

Working with Subsidized Tenants
Anytime you turnover your rental, you may find yourself working with a renter who has a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) as part of their income. Several cities and now the entire State of Washington list "source of income" as a protected class, which means it is illegal to discriminate against those who use rental assistance such as Section 8. In this 90-minute webinar, Seattle Housing Authority staff will demystify the process and walk you through the typical landlord experience when working with Section 8 tenants.

Build Your Portfolio with Equity Lending
It may be difficult to work with traditional lenders right now, but there are still other financing options available for investment property owners. Beth Johnson, RHAWA Board Member and Managing Partner with Flynn Family Lending will review several strategies to consider, depending on your business needs.

Estate Planning for Property Investors
Understand the general concepts of Estate Planning as well as how owning investment properties can complicate your estate for your loved ones. There are taxes, partnership matters, and family issues to be considered. Whether you own one rental property or one hundred, it is important to plan for how your legacy and rental business will be dealt with after you pass away.

Keeping Track of the Money
In this class, you’ll become familiar with tools and best practices that will help you determine your cash flow and streamline tax filing.

Planning for Reserves
Learn the importance of how a capital plan can assist with maintaining your properties and planning for large inevitable expenses. We discuss the different types of capital plans, how the plans are calculated and red flags that you can look for at your own properties to identify potential issues early and avoid unforeseen repairs. 

Property Management Contract Review
Review examples of property management contracts and discuss what you should and should not agree to. You will learn what services and rates to expect and how to protect your interests as property owner.

Reinvesting with 1031 Exchange
Property investors have a powerful tool for building and preserving their real estate wealth. The IRS 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchange allows investors to defer paying capital gains taxes from the sale of investment real property, if the proceeds are immediately re-invested into "Like-Kind" property. An experienced Qualified Intermediary will take you through the myths and facts on regulations, prohibitions and logistics of using these valuable tools. We will also explore specific strategies for various situations and market conditions.

Retiring from Your Rental 
Many people with rental properties figure they’ll just keep collecting rent until they die. But is that a realistic expectation? It’s easy to be caught off guard by unexpected taxes and other burdens when attempting to exit the rental business to retire. Take some time to plan ahead and consider various strategies for retirement while making the most of your property investments.

Running the Numbers on a Property
In this 60-minute webinar, Candice Chevaillier, Principle of the Lee & Associates Northwest Multifamily Team, goes through the basics of how to “run the numbers” on an apartment building. Topics covered will include how to understand current and market rents, an explanation of expenses, how to determine a cap rate to compare various investments and a look at financing options..

Structuring Your Property Business with LLCs
In this seminar, learn about the many potential benefits to running your rentals as a business using LLCs and how it’s done properly.

Tax Depreciation Rules for Residential Rentals
Did you know that while taking depreciation is not technically required by the IRS, it is expected?  Even if you do not take depreciation write offs over the years, you are required to pay tax on the allowable depreciation when you sell the property. CPA and Partner with Hutchinson & Walter, Nika Toce will explain this complicated and little understood aspect of rental property taxation in this 90-minute online session.

Taxes for Rental Owners
Best practices for the small landlord on how to structure your business and taxes to take advantage of commonly overlooked deductions. New items for the current tax year will be covered as well as some thoughts on the changing tax environment for the future.

Rental Market Update
Thinking about when and where to buy or sell? In this 60-minute webinar, Candice Chevaillier, Partner and Co-Founder of Commercial Analytics reviews current rental housing trends in the Seattle-Metro area. She explains the latest data on supply, expected demand, vacancies and rent growth

Working with Tenants in Crisis
When a tenant experiences a crisis that temporarily impacts their ability to stay in their home, it is in everyone’s best interest to connect them with the support they need. Juanita Unger, Program Manager at Housing Connector, along with some experts in the field, have a conversation and provide tips on establishing and maintaining productive communication with the tenant during a crisis, as well as information on how to locate appropriate resources for various situations. She also shares a bit about what Housing Connector is doing to support our property partners through times of crisis.

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HAVE QUESTIONS?  Contact our Click to send an emailClick to send an emailDirector of Learning or at (206) 905-0614.


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