Rent Control Fever is Spreading to WA: RHAWA needs your support to inoculate WA from this epidemic!

Posted By: Sean Flynn Advocacy, Fundraising,

As we face the final days of 2019, there is little doubt RHAWA has endured the heaviest number of regulatory attacks in decades. The drastic transformation of legislative bodies throughout western Washington from the 2018 midterm election has put business and development interests to the test, but no one has seen the intensity of policy proposals and inflammatory rhetoric that our industry is currently experiencing.  

To match this assault, RHAWA has extended significant resources, leveraging private polling data, public relations experts, and increased focus on advocacy with our in-house staff. We have engaged with industry partners to launch an anti rent-control campaign, and are working as the official “No” campaign for the  Federal Way Just Cause ballot initiative.

We need your support today to secure the resources required to maintain these campaigns and prepare for the inevitable rent control fight ahead of us. 

Both Oregon and California passed radical just-cause policies and rent control laws. The Washington state legislature enacted the most dramatic changes to the Residential-Landlord Tenant Act since its inception in 1973, while local governments in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston and Spokane counties continue to consider further regulations that were not successful at the state level in 2019. 

The sheer volume of policies being considered is daunting, but even more concerning is the coordination and ideological fundamentalism spearheaded by tenant and social justice activists being co opted and branded by a broader number of local and state lawmakers. Without consistent, aggressive and informed advocacy by RHAWA and its partners, the current political climate presents a potentially devastating effect on the small landlords struggling to operate in our state.

Below is a list of the major policies considered or passed in 2019, along with policies that are coming before lawmakers in the coming year:

  • Federal Way Just Cause Ballot Initiative
  • Federal Way Rental Inspection Program
  • Auburn Rental Inspection Program
  • Burien Just Cause
  • Burien Renter Information Packet
  • Burien Rental Inspection Program
  • Burien Installment Payment Plans on Deposits and Move-in Fees
  • Seattle Domestic Violence Rental Damages
  • Seattle Notice of Intent to Sell 
  • Seattle Unauthorized Occupancy Protections 
  • Seattle Local Rent Control
  • Seattle 180-days Notice to Increase Rent
  • Tacoma Installment Payment Plans on Deposits and Move-in Fees
  • Tacoma 60-day Notice to Terminate Tenancy
  • Tacoma 60-day Notice to Increase Rent
  • Tacoma Renter Information Packet 
  • Tacoma Renter Relocation Assistance 
  • Renton Rental Inspection Program
  • Kent Rental Inspection Program
  • Kenmore 90-day Notice to Increase Rent
  • King County Just Cause
  • King County Renter’s Commission
  • King County Inclusionary Zoning
  • King County Relocation Assistance
  • Olympia Renter Protections
  • Kent Just Cause
  • Tacoma Inclusionary Zoning
  • Tacoma Just Cause
  • Lynnwood Renter Protections
  • Everett Renter Protections
  • Spokane Renter Protections
  • Statewide Just Cause
  • Statewide Security Deposit Payment Plans
  • Statewide Criminal Record Ban for Tenant Screening
  • Statewide Rent Control 


If you have any questions about how these policies came to fruition, RHAWA’s efforts on behalf of the industry, or how new policies impact your operations, please reach out to the government affairs team for more details.

RHAWA  needs the time, funding and expertise of its members now more than ever. Please join our efforts by taking action and contributing to the RHAWA PAC today.

Sean Flynn
RHAWA PAC Chair and Board Member

Heather Pierce
Deputy Director of Government Affairs