The passage of SB 5600, HB 1138, HB 1440, and HB 1462 made permanent changes to Washington State's Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA) and will require edits to specific RHAWA forms. Please see below how these bills will impact the following RHAWA forms. RHAWA has made all-new Lease Agreements available as of May 31, and the remaining forms will be made available when the new laws take effect on July 28, 2019.
3-Day Pay or Vacate Notice
All Rental Agreements
Dear Resource Desk: My tenant got a job in another state and wants to terminate their lease early – it doesn’t expire until March 31, 2020. What are my options?
This is a pretty common scenario, and the answer is generally the same for most situations where a tenant is terminating early, regardless of circumstance (although there are some exceptions, such as military orders). If you’ve not written a specific “early termination clause” in to your lease (the RHAWA lease does not specify one), you have four basic options which you could consider.
Formal legal advice and review is recommended prior to selection and use of this information. RHAWA does not represent your selection or execution of this information as appropriate for your specific circumstance. The material contained and represented herein, although obtained from reliable sources, is not considered legal advice or to be used as a substitution for legal counsel.
While many homeowners are set to benefit from legislation which revises how excise taxes are charged for real estate transactions, the new, graduated rates will actually bring in millions more in revenue to the state due to their impacts on commercial and rental property. Washington’s current excise tax is a flat 1.28% everywhere in the state. On January 1, state excise tax moves to the following scale:
A ballot initiative which would repeal the REET tax increases, and other tax increases enacted by the legislature in 2019, is currently out in the field and gathering signatures. Initiative 1648 would also require that new taxes enacted by the legislature face term limits unless ratified by the voters.
Unintended Consequences of Seattle City Council’s Proposed Changes to “Notice of Intent to Sell” Ordinance.
The Seattle City Council continues to propose new legislation and amend existing landlord-tenant laws under the premise of addressing housing affordability. At face value, the stated motivation by the City Council is noble; increasing the available supply of affordable housing is badly needed and generally a popular objective among residents of Seattle. However, much of the recent housing-related legislation serves to do just the opposite; instead, it reduces the available supply of affordable housing.
The Seattle City Council’s proposed amendments to the “Notice of Intent to Sell” ordinance is a perfect example of legislation that will do the opposite of the Council’s stated goal. The “Notice of Intent to Sell” ordinance, as it stands today, provides 60-day advanced notice of the owner’s intent to sell a property that has 5 units or more, with at least one unit that is deemed affordable to a household earning at or below 80% median income. The notice is to be submitted to the Seattle Office of Housing (OH) and Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) so that the City agencies have sufficient time to prepare an offer to purchase the property and maintain the unit(s) affordability. It should be noted that in 2017 (the last year Dupre + Scott provided comprehensive multi-family rental data) approximately 87 building sales qualified for the ordinance. Yet, since the implementation of the ordinance, neither Seattle OH nor SHA have provided an offer to purchase one of the buildings containing affordable units.