Government Affairs + Advocacy Efforts

Working at Every Level

Our lobby team exists to advocate and protect the rights of housing providers in Washington at all levels of government, local, county and statewide. Our proactive efforts ensure that your rights as an independent housing provider are defended from increasing government regulation.

  • Political Action Committee (PAC) exists to elect responsible candidates who will work collaboratively with RHAWA and the rental industry when issues arise. Learn more >
  • Grassroots - RHAWA is made stronger by the involvement of its members. We're always looking for members to respond to show your support by attending mobilizations, emailing elected officials, and sharing your story.
  • Policymaker Resource - We establish relationships with policymakers to ensure that we have a seat at the table, and work collaboratively towards common-sense solutions for our region’s rental housing needs and for rental property owners. RHAWA has cultivated relationships with legislators and political leaders and these established connections allow policymakers to seek our trusted advice and foster fair legislative solutions to industry problems without placing undue burden upon housing providers. RHAWA's strong advocacy program takes the time to educate elected officials about the challenges facing the industry. Research and policy resources can be found here.

Taking Action

RHAWA's team monitors state and federal court decisions that affect landlord-tenant law, rent control, and landlord liability in Washington.

RHAWA's Legislative Committee and Legal Defense Fund (LDF) reviews legislative policy proposals and proactively advances RHAWA's mission and legal objectives by providing legal resources and/or financial support to legal issues, primarily through filing or funding of amicus briefs that will have a statewide impact on members’ business success.

Any member of RHAWA that has an issue appropriate for consideration can apply for our Legal Defense Fund. Once you join RHAWA, you can too.

Advocacy Center
Get live updates about proposed rental housing policy and join the grassroots effort.
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Join a Committee
Take an active role in candidate fundraising, legislative policy, and legal defense.
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Make a Donation
Ensure your property rights are defended and your voice is maintained at every level.
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Public Policy Principles

The legal system should provide fair and equal justice to landlords and tenants alike. RHAWA believes in protecting the general health, safety and welfare of all tenants, and works to eliminate sub-standard rental units by supporting existing state law and local housing, fire and health codes. RHAWA believes Landlord-Tenant Laws should be uniform statewide.

Housing regulations should be fair and should minimize compliance burdens and costs. RHAWA believes housing regulations should not place discriminatory burdens on rental housing relative to other forms of housing.

RHAWA opposes regulatory fees on rental housing that seek to transfer the cost of general public services, including police and fire protection, to rental property owners and tenants. Regulatory fees and user fees must fairly apportion regulatory and service costs based on the services actually provided to individual fee payers. Government should not use regulatory fees and user fees to fund general public services that are available to fee payers and non-fee payers alike.

Government at all levels should carefully weigh the benefits of housing and land use regulations to ensure regulatory costs do not outweigh regulatory benefits. The high cost of compliance with housing and land use regulations, including permitting requirements and development restrictions, are major factors in reducing housing availability that leads to high housing costs.

A competitive rental market provides efficient and cost effective housing to the vast majority of the population. RHAWA opposes rent control. Rent control distorts the allocation of housing resources, discourages investment and upkeep, induces unfair rent discrimination, and creates expensive and intrusive bureaucracy.

RHAWA has long championed rental vouchers for low-income persons needing housing. Vouchers offer an effective, efficient program for providing market-rate housing to those who can't otherwise afford it. RHAWA believes rental vouchers should be a significant part of any low-income housing program.

Respect for property rights is the foundation of a free society and economic prosperity. RHAWA believes government regulations should not unduly or unfairly restrict the rights of property owners to control the use of their property. RHAWA believes housing regulations should recognize and preserve the privacy and property rights of both tenants and landlords.

The public welfare demands open and honest government. RHAWA believes government officials are public servants and should conduct their affairs openly and honestly. Full access to information concerning the conduct of government at every level is a fundamental and necessary precondition to sound governance of society. Public officials are encouraged to fully and faithfully comply with the Public Disclosure Act.

RHAWA believes in protecting the general health safety and welfare of all tenants, and works to eliminate substandard rental units by supporting existing state law and local housing, fire and health codes. Existing laws and codes are sufficient to remedy egregious, unsafe conditions, but only if they are enforced by local jurisdictions.

Rental housing should be taxed uniformly based on value, along with all other real estate. RHAWA strongly supports tax uniformity and opposes taxes that discriminate against rental housing, such as business taxes and regulatory fees that are imposed on rental housing to raise revenue.

GET INVOLVED.  Contact a Membership Specialist today.