Seattle landlord-tenant law update.
There have been many important changes to Seattle residential landlord-tenant law in recent years. Seattle landlords, contact our firm with questions about Seattle landlord-tenant law.
Seattle first-in-time rule ruled unconstitutional.
Seattle security deposit and move-in fees limitations.
A Seattle ordinance limits security deposits move-in fees. The law limits security deposits to the first full month’s rent. Pet deposits are limited to 25% of the fist full month’s rent. Non-refundable fees are limited to a few specified items, and cannot exceed 10% of the first full month’s rent. Seattle residential landlords are required to accept a payment plan for all move-in costs.
A landlord group challenged the law in court, arguing that the Seattle ordinance violates a state law banning rental caps, and that the law violates the Washington state constitution. A local judge in Seattle upheld the law. An appeal is pending.
Seattle voter registration information requirement.
Seattle law requires landlords to give voter registration information to tenants and prospective tenants. Failure to do so allows the tenant to terminate the rental agreement and/or sue the landlord. The landlord could face a claim for actual damages, attorney fees, and monetary penalties of up to $1,000.
Seattle rental property registration.
Seattle landlords of residential rental properties are required to register the rental property with the City of Seattle. Failure to do so may be a defense in an eviction case.
All eviction cases are heard in Superior Court. That means a King County eviction–if it goes to a hearing–will be heard in either Kent or in Seattle, depending on the location of the rental property. District courts and municipal court do not hear evictions.
Seattle residential evictions require knowledge not only of Washington state landlord-tenant laws, but a familiarity with the Seattle just cause eviction ordinance and other Seattle landlord-tenant laws. If you are a Seattle landlord, it may be wise to consult with an eviction attorney familiar with Seattle eviction laws.
Travis Eller has been representing both residential and commercial Seattle and King County landlords for more than 15 years. He is a MENSA member, a National Institute for Trial Advocacy “Advocate”, and is rated “Superb” by independent attorney rating services.
Eviction cases in King County are heard either in Seattle or Kent, depending on the location of the rental property.