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 better chance we have to limit overreaching regulations imposed by the government.
The Rental Housing Academy's (RHA) education program is designed to provide independent housing providers, 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 live classes 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:
- Get Answers Exactly When You Need Them
All members are provided with a basic education ONDEMAND covering WA State landlord-tenant laws and best practices for rental operations. Members can subscribe to the full ONDEMAND Library to access over 100 courses designed specifically for rental housing providers. Content is updated regularly, and new topics are added every month.
- Develop Skills + Retain Knowledge
Seamlessly watch videos, read and download related written materials, and complete interactive challenges that will help you develop skills and retain important knowledge.
Pick Up Where You Left Off
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.
Annual Class Pass
For unlimited access to live online educational sessions for 12 full months, add the Annual Class Pass to your membership for $250.
ONDEMAND Library Subscription
An Annual ONDEMAND Library Subscription can be added to your membership dues for $120, or purchase a monthly subscription for $25.
Setup up your employee training program through our ONDEMAND platform. Select from our engaging course sessions, add your own policies, then prompt and track completion.
Contact Denise Myers to learn more.
CRE Clock Hours & Certificate Courses
Special ONDEMAND courses for real estate continuing education and other training certificates can be purchased individually (not included in ONDEMAND subscription).
Add an ONDEMAND Library Subscription to your member profile to access any of the following courses ONDEMAND. Most courses are also offered live at least once each year. As new courses are developed and offered live, they are added to the ONDEMAND Library. See Calendar for upcoming sessions.Click on the + signs to expand each section and view individual course descriptions.
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.
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.
Enforcing Your Lease Without a Hammer
Under normal conditions, the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act provides legal remedies for both landlords and tenants to enforce the terms of their rental agreement. Under current emergency orders, the remedies for landlords have been effectively eliminated in Washington. While it is always preferable to resolve issues through amicable communication and negotiation, with most legal actions off the table, this is now the only way to resolve problems with tenants. Mediation Counsel, Roger Moss and Attorney, Maxwell Glasson will review and discuss best practices for resolving issues such as non-payment of rent, non-compliance with rules of tenancy, and refusal to agree to new terms.
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 Tenancy Ends Under New Laws
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. New state and local laws have made radical changes to this process. 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. Christopher Cutting, attorney and RHAWA board member, will explain 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.
Legal Use of Security Deposit
A general security deposit can normally be used to pay for any outstanding debt owed by the tenant to the landlord. Unfortunately, it is easy to make mistakes under the intricacies of various laws governing rental property security deposits. This includes a new rule under the emergency moratorium that requires offering a payment plan before using the deposit to pay rental arrears. Attorney, Maxwell Glasson will review all the state and local laws governing the security deposit as well as best practices to follow when collecting and completing refund accounting at move out.
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.
Manufactured Housing Landlord-Tenant Law
A comprehensive 3-part course on the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act (MHLTA). Instructor, Deric Young reviews various aspects of the MHLTA as it relates to all phases of a tenancy including screening of applicants, the rental agreement, legal duties of the landlord and the tenant, preparing and serving notices and the unlawful detainer process. He also discusses regulatory enforcement and the Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program administrated by the Attorney General’s office. Deric Young practices law in the State of Washington, representing Manufactured Housing property management firms and community owners since 2000.
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 Rental Laws (Parts 1 & 2)
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.
Serving Notices on Tenants
Consistently enforcing the terms of your rental agreement is your legal right and responsibility. Neglecting to do so opens you up to serious risks such as property damage, lost rent, and fair housing complaints. With the moratorium finally coming to an end, it will be increasingly important under new laws to adhere to specific procedures for posting notices involving the end of tenancy under RCW 59.12.040. Attorney Carol Li will take you through RHAWA's new and revised Tenant Notices forms, explaining when and how to serve.
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 (Parts 1 & 2)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Property Walkthrough Best Practices
Experienced property maintenance providers, Phil Schaller and Pete Hanks review best practices for communicating with tenants and what to include on your checklist for a thorough DIY inspection. They also share examples of how you can spot the signs of issues and stop major damage before progresses too far.
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.
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.
Bookkeeping for Rental Operations
Keeping track of financial data is not only critical for tax filing and running day-to-day operations, but it is also essential when seeking funding from lenders or investors to take your business to the next level. In this class, property owner and management professional, Enrique Jevons explains how to manage bookkeeping for a few rentals, and what tools to use as you grow. You will also learn basic accounting requirements for tax filing, how to set up bank accounts for rental operations and how to classify expenses and income to align with categories on Schedule E.
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.
Evaluating Multi-Family Properties
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.
Keeping Track of the Money with Excel
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.
Reduce Tax as a Real Estate Professional
For Real Estate Professionals there are potentially significant tax benefits related to income and loss on rental property operations. But what does “Real Estate Professional” mean? You might be surprised to fall within the IRS definition. In this one-hour webinar, CPA Nika Toce reviews how you may qualify as a real estate professional and go over related tax saving scenarios.
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.
Retirement for Rental Owners (Tax Planning)
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 with CPA Nika Toce to plan ahead and consider various strategies for retirement while making the most of your property investments.
Retiring from Your Rental (Estate Planning)
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.
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.
2021 Dispute and Debt Resolution Workshop
Washington’s Residential Landlord-Tenant Act has always allowed for housing providers to enforce rental agreements using the right to occupy the home as leverage. Under the emergency orders enacted in 2020, this leverage has been eliminated, leaving housing providers with few options if a tenant fails to pay rent or otherwise comply with the agreement. To avoid a deluge of evictions when the moratorium lifts, lawmakers and the courts are scrambling to find a different way to handle non-compliance that keeps more tenants in their homes and paying rent. In this special 4-hour workshop, attorneys and specialized housing mediation experts will prepare you for the coming changes.
2021 Economic Summit
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered what will likely become one of the more volatile periods in the history of the global economy, and what we’ve seen so far is just the beginning. In this year’s RHAWA Economic Summit, we will begin with the big picture to gain a better understanding of how major shifts in employment, consumer behaviors, and other societal trends are likely to affect the economy. Drawing on deep research and financial modeling, James McCafferty, Director of WWU Center for Economic and Business Research will review current trends and discuss how things may play out in the coming years. In response, RHAWA Board Member and co-founder of Commercial Analytics, Candice Chevaillier will be joined by a panel of experts to dig into the details on changes we are likely to see in the rental housing market including the multi-family market, landlord-tenant law, tax law and lending practices. Panelists include Tiana Jackson, Luther Burbank, Brian O'Connor, Commercial Analytics, Nika Toce, Hutchinson & Walter CPA, and Kyle Woodring, RHAWA Government Affairs Director.
2021 Fair Housing Workshop
Fair Housing is arguably the most important type of education for all rental housing providers. Each year, roughly 30,000 fair housing complaints are processed by HUD and other agencies across the U.S. Sadly, many housing providers create unfair hardships for renters either intentionally, by not understanding the law, or simply by not considering the impact of their words or actions. Regardless of intent, an accused housing provider will likely spend significant time and legal expenses to defend the complaint, often paying fines of $10,000 or more. While multiple ONLINE and ONDEMAND classes on Fair Housing are available, RHAWA’s Annual Fair Housing Workshop provides the most current and comprehensive education for housing providers.
2021 Financial Workshop
In today’s uncertain economic climate, it is difficult to know how to best optimize your current strategies and plan for the future. If you already own investment property, that is a great start. But what else can you do to manage risks while improving growth on your investments? Published author and media personality Brian Evans will lead this 3-hour virtual workshop to explore financial planning strategies for property investors in Washington State. He will be joined by practicing CPA Joel Maher and Estate Planning Attorney, Julie Martiniello to take a deep dive into: Best practices for operating a profitable rental property business and managing associated risks; Tax considerations for rental income, capital gains and your estate; Planning for future financial needs such as college and retirement; and Strategies for diversifying and growing your investments.
2021 Legislative Symposium
Panelists Kyle Woodring, Christopher Cutting, Chester Baldwin, Kaitlyn Jackson discuss how the emergency orders have impacted the Washington economy, contributed to the current housing crisis, and will influence many lawmakers decisions on housing issues this session. They then review several of the house and senate policy under consideration this year that will likely affect the housing providers of Washington State. Learn about the proposed policies and how you may be able to influence your representatives as they consider which bills to endorse.
2021 Washington Housing Provider Workshop
Learn everything you need to know about renting out a home in the Washington, including new 2021 State laws, all relevant Federal laws, how to ensure you are following specific local laws*, and best practices for efficient operations. This four-hour workshop will include the following segments:
- Getting Ready to Rent: Finding your local laws including registration and inspection requirements, setting policies, and more.
- Finding a Tenant: Fair and effective screening practices, "Section 8" voucher programs, criminal history assessment, new protects based on transitioning from COVID emergency orders and more.
- Signing the Rental Agreement: Property condition and the security deposit, selection of rental agreement terms and the effects of new "for cause" termination restrictions.
- Working with Tenants: Best practices and notices to encourage compliance with terms, notices to increase rent or change rules, new laws on transitioning from COVID emergency orders and more.
- Managing Move Outs: New "for cause" termination notice periods, security deposit accounting, and more.
New 2021 Washington Rental Laws
With the passing of HB 1236, most tenancies can now only be terminated by the housing provider for one of 16 specific causes, each with its own notice period requirement. A narrow exemption is provided for fixed term tenancies that follow strict rules for initial terms and each renewal. These and other sweeping changes are explained in this 90-minute session delivered by attorneys Kaitlyn Jackson and Chester Baldwin. They will take you through all the details of HB 1236 and SB 5160 and explain how they will affect your rental operations policies and procedures.
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 Laws in 2020
Over the last year, in addition to several COVID emergency orders, Seattle passed an ordinance that governs how you must process tenant requests to add additional occupants during tenancy. Attorney and RHAWA Board Member, Synthia Melton explains all Seattle laws that have gone into effect over the past year as well as any new legislation that may be coming soon.
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.
HAVE QUESTIONS? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Denise Myers at (206) 905-0614.