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Legal Changes to Rental Housing in Washington State

In recent years, a number of new laws have been introduced to the world of residential rental housing.  As the experts in our field, we track these developments closely and adapt our procedures accordingly on behalf of our clients in the interest of maintaining legal compliance.  It seems an ever-moving target among smaller local jurisdictions (city, county) and we adapt in real-time.  At the state level, changes are typically made once per year and in 2021 a fairly significant new law (HB1236, to be exact) will influence our practices going forward.  This will likely be a change for anyone who has owned or managed rental housing in Washington state, historically.  The theory of “just cause” now applies to all month-to-month tenancies throughout the state, and also to fixed term leases under certain conditions.  Notably, in Seattle this applies to all leases.  The most significant change that this requires is for the landlord to deliver more advance notice to the tenant (generally this will be 60 days, possibly more under certain conditions) prior to the expiration of a lease term.  Whatever is coming next, whether it be a lease renewal, rent increase, lease termination, owner selling or moving back, etc., the tenant must be given notice ahead of time, and again that notice is generally going to be at least 60 days, in some cases more.  We felt it was important the publish this in our blog so that prospective clients may be aware.  More than ever, an experienced property manager in your corner is a fantastic way to navigate the ever-changing legal landscape surrounding rental housing, and nurture your investment.

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