New Tacoma Rental Housing Law

The City of Tacoma has passed a new rental housing law that changes landlord-tenant law in several important respects. The law goes into effect February 1, 2019.

New eviction notice requirements.

The new Tacoma law requires 60 days notice for no cause evictions, as opposed to state law which requires only 20 days notice. The Tacoma 60-day termination notice applies no only to month-to-month tenancies, but also to terminating a lease. Washington state landlord-tenant law requires no additional notice to terminate a lease as the parties agreed to the termination date in the lease contract.

The Tacoma law requires 120 days notice when a tenant is displaced by demolition, substantial rehabilitation, or change in use. Tenants are entitled to relocation assistance when displaced by demolition, substantial rehabilitation, or change in use. Landlords are responsible for half the relocation assistance.

Tenant Information Packet.

Tacoma landlords are required to provide an information packet to all tenants and prospective tenants, including all existing tenants and at all lease renewals. The tenant information packet will be created by the City of Tacoma and published on its website.

Payment of Move-in Costs by Installment.

The new rental housing law requires landlords to accept move in costs including security deposits, non-refundable move-in fees, and last month’s rent in installments. Installment payments are over three equal monthly installments, due when rent is due. If the rental agreement is for a period less than three months, the tenant may elect to pay in two equal monthly installments.

The landlord may serve a 10-day notice to comply or vacate upon a tenant’s failure to make a monthly installment payment.

Landlords may require upfront payment of the actual costs of a tenant screening report.

Rent increases.

The new Tacoma rental housing law requires landlords to give 60 days notice of any rent increase. Note this applies to all rent increases, and is not limited to increases of ten percent or more as in Seattle.

Washington landlord-tenant law requires only 30 days notice of rent increases.

This provision goes into effect in December 2018, although the remaining provisions of the new law do not go into effect until Februrary 1, 2019.

Conclusions.

Violations of the Tacoma Rental Housing Code may give a tenant defenses to eviction in an unlawful detainer action, and may result in civil penalties against a landlord.

This is a short summary of some of the major provisions in the new Tacoma Rental Housing Code.

Consult with an attorney for advice about compliance with Tacoma landlord-tenant law.

Tacoma Government Passes 90-Day Notice Rule

Tacoma Government Passes 90-Day Notice Rule

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