Keep Federal Way Safe and Affordable

Posted By: Heather Pierce (deleted) Advocacy, Law, Management,

Stable Homes Federal Way Initiative 19-001, submitted by Washington Community Action Network (Washington CAN), will be a ballot measure on the Federal Way Municipal Ballot in the November 2019 General Election.

RHAWA is a part of the “No” Committee on the City of Federal Way’s Citizen Initiative No. 19-001 “Concerns enacting rental requirements for landlords and rental rights for tenants."

The No committee’s statement against initiative 19-001 reads, in part:

“The most pressing issue in King County right now is access to safe, affordable housing. Unfortunately, Initiative 19-001 takes us in the wrong direction by jeopardizing safety, driving up rent costs, and reducing the number of available rental units.

There are numerous renter protections already available for Federal Way families, and property owners support all of them. If Initiative 19-001 passes, however, it will create a more dangerous environment for renters. Initiative 19-001 allows disruptive renters to reside in their unit as long as they want, forcing neighboring families to put up with excessive noise, criminal activity, and threatening behavior. The measure even prevents property managers from removing criminals who are living next to their victims. That’s wrong.

Initiative 19-001 imposes new, costly and burdensome layers of regulations that will drive up rent costs and result in fewer rental options in our community. This is what’s happening in Seattle, where a recent University of Washington study showed new laws like Initiative 19-001 have reduced the number of rental units.

Jeopardizing safety, driving up rent costs, and reducing the number of available units is the wrong way to go. We urge Federal Way voters to vote no on Initiative 19-001.”

If passed, the Stable Homes Initiative would restrict a landlords’ ability to end a tenancy to, primarily, the following reasons:

  1. The tenant fails to pay rent after receipt of a 14 day pay or vacate notice.
  2. The tenant substantially and materially breaches a non-monetary requirement of the rental agreement after receipt of a 10 day comply notice.
  3. The tenant commits or permits waste upon the premises, unlawful activity, or ongoing interference with the use and enjoyment of the premises.
  4. A person enters the rental unit without the permission of the owner and refuses to vacate. This provision would not apply to an “immediate family member” of a tenant of record absent a violation of legal occupancy limits.
  5. The landlord, upon 120 days’ notice, seeks to remove the dwelling unit from the rental market to move themselves or an immediate family member in to the unit, to convert the unit to a condo, to demolish or rehab the unit, the unit is deemed by government to be unfit for habitation, or the landlord intends to remove the dwelling unit from the rental market for at least 24-months.
  6. The tenant fails to vacate at expiration of a rental agreement.
  7. The landlord resides in the dwelling unit and no longer wishes to cohabitate with the tenant.

Other noteworthy sections:

Section 4. Prohibiting evictions based upon tenant’s status as a member of the military, first responder, senior, family member, health care provider, or educator.

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