RHAWA Call to Action: SB5600 Intends to Increase Pay or Vacate Notice to 14 days!

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

Heather Pierce | Deputy Director of Government Affairs

Washington State legislators are already hearing bills that would drastically alter the RLTA and impact how you do business!

On Wednesday night, Senator Patty Kuderer dropped SB5600, which intends to increase the PAY OR VACATE NOTICE TO 14 DAYS and seeks to restrict owners from ending a FIXED TERM LEASE AGREEMENTS AT THE EXPIRATION OF A LEASE.

Details on how SB5600 will impact rental owners if passed are available below.

Attend the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Full Committee Hearing
Date Monday, January 28
Time 1:30pm
Place John A. Cherberg Building (304 15th Ave SW, Olympia) Senate Hearing Room 2

This is what this what SB5600 seeks to change to the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA)
  1. Increases Pay or Vacate Notice from 3 to 14 days.
  2. Requires civil legal aid resources listed on the pay or vacate notice.
  3. Requires “plain language” on the pay or vacate notice.
  4. Creates definition of rent which excludes all other costs and fees. Removes exemption form the RLTA for employees of the landlord.
  5. Removes language that states that leases end when they expire. Limits landlords ability to end a lease, requires termination of month-to-month lease.
  6. Requires a 60-day notice for rent increase.
  7. Landlord’s must apply payments to rent first, as defined in section 2.
  8. Landlord's can not evict nonpayment of fees.
  9. Instructs the court to provide relief to a tenant defending a writ of restitution if, in the court’s discretion, relief is appropriate in the interest of justice.
  10. Allows a tenant to cure any judgment for non-payment within five court days’ by paying the principal amount of the judgment to reinstate their tenancy.
  11. Changes the bond amount to what will be on the amount of rent due either in the judgment or in the case of alternative service the court shall determine the amount of the bond based on the rent claimed.
  12. Increases the penalty for a landlord deliberately including prohibited provision in a rental agreement from $500 to one month’s rent or treble damages, whichever is greater.
  13. Requires landlords to provide copies of estimates to charge for damages at the end of an tenancy.
  14. Requires landlord to provide documentation to not be liable for withholding a security deposit.
  15. Removes the court’s discretion and requires court to award two times the security deposit if a landlord intentionally refuses to provide documentation of damages

Questions about the hearing process, or interested in testifying and want talking points?
Contact Heather Pierce at: (206) 905-0611 | hpierce@RHAwa.org