SB 5435 - Concerning residential rent increases under the residential landlord-tenant act...

Posted By: Daniel Bannon 2023 Legislative Session,

SB 5435

Protecting Tenants By Prohibiting Predatory Residential Rent Practices And By Applying The Consumer Protection Act To The Residential Landlord-Tenant Act And The Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act.

Companion Bill to 1389


Bill Summary

  • Applies to both residential housing and manufactured home communities.
  • Prohibits a landlord from increasing rent more than the rate of inflation (CPI-U) or 3%, whichever is greater, up to a maximum or 7% above existing rent if the rent increase:
    • Is not justified by costs necessary to maintain the dwelling unit
    • Is substantially likely to lead to the displacement of the tenant, or
    • Is used to avoid other tenant protections.
  • Rent increase provisions do not apply to:
    • Dwelling units for which the first certificate of occupancy was issued 10 or less years before the notice of the rent increase.
    • Tenancies for which the landlord is required to reduce rent to 30% or less of the tenant's income because of a federal, state, or local program or subsidy; and
  • Creates a private cause of action for a tenant to recover actual damages, punitive damages equal to 3 months' rent and fees, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.
  • Provides that a violation of the RLTA or MHLTA is a violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
  • Prohibits charging a higher rent or including terms of payment or other material conditions in a rental agreement that are more burdensome to a tenant for a month-to-month rental agreement than for a longer-term rental agreement.
  • Authorizes the Attorney General (AG) to:
    • Investigate practices that violate this section. When investigating, the AG may consider, in addition to any other relevant information:
      • The condition of the dwelling unit, including outstanding repair issues, maintenance costs other than for upgrades, property taxes, etc.;
      • Whether a rent increase was issued to evade protections afforded to tenants; and
      • Whether a rent increase will result in the displacement of the tenant or household.
    • Issue a cease-and-desist letter to prevent predatory practices that violate this section. If the recipient does not comply within five calendar days, the AG may file an action in court with a civil penalty up to $10,000 per;
    • Imposes a civil penalty of no more than $25,000 per violation.
  • Requires Commerce to calculate and publish the maximum annual rent increase percentage on September 30, 2023, and on each following September 30.
  • Includes an emergency clause and an immediate effective date.

Bill History


Sponsors

Trudeau, Saldaña, Frame, Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Lovelett, Nguyen, Robinson, Stanford, Wilson, C.


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