From the NewsWashington State

WA Lawmakers to Reconsider Tenant Protections

Below are a few excerpts from article by Crosscut: original article found here

“Several state lawmakers say they plan to revisit proposals outlining new protections or limiting rental increases for mobile home owners and others in the coming session after some previous bills stalled amid broader housing legislation last year.”

Rent stabilization proposals

“During the 2023 session, Sen. Yasmin Trudeau, D-Tacoma, introduced SB 5435 – which would hold any rent increases to at or below the rate of inflation for both residential and manufactured home tenants. The proposal would have also created a “cause of action” for tenants to seek reimbursements for rent paid above the allowed increases. The bill failed to advance beyond the Housing Committee, but the senator has plans to reintroduce an updated version next year with input from her House colleagues such as Rep. Emily Alvarado, D-Seattle.”

“Rep. Nicole Macri, D-Seattle, similarly introduced legislation last session to link allowable rent increases to the rate of inflation, but it also would have made violations of tenant rights subject to the state’s Consumer Protection Act to open up new potential civil penalties.

In the last session, both Macri and Ramel’s (Rep. Alex Ramel, D-Bellingham) measures moved up the legislative chain – but the two opted to prioritize Ramel’s bill. Macri told Crosscut she intends to introduce a refined version of her previous bill that would “take the best of 1389 and 1388.” The updated measure would entail a more specific, “straight limit” on rent hikes and determining what constitutes new construction and hardship exemptions.”

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim “plans to look into potential pass-through programs to enact property tax exemptions for low-income seniors who own their homes or the lots underneath. A legislative assistant in the office noted that a reduction in lot fees is something “traditional rent control or rent stabilization policies couldn’t offer.””

Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds “who also serves as the chair of the House Housing Committee, said he plans to join his house colleagues in pursuing new rent stabilization measures.”

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