Good News and Bad in Major New Landlord-Tenant Law

Swiping legislation that will make major changes to landlord-tenant law will be enacted soon.

Some of the key provisions include:

  • notice to Pay Rent or Vacate extended from 3 days to 14 days;
  • expansion of public funds to pay landlords past due rent;
  • expanded discretion for courts to reinstate the tenancy, conditioned on payment of rent and in some cases court cost.

While the eviction process will take longer, more landlords will actually get the rent they are owed, and in many cases the court costs as well.

We have gotten thousands of judgments for residential landlords over the years under current law. Most landlords never saw the money, as collecting against former tenants of limited financial means is challenging. With the new laws, if the tenant wishes to remain in the property the court may allow this, but conditioned on the tenant paying money owed.

There is an expansion of a publicly-funded program to help tenants pay the back rent and other charges.

In King County, there is also a privately funded source of funds for tenants to avoid eviction by paying what they owe.

These aspects of the new landlord-tenant law will be a vast improvement for landlords.

So, there is both good news and bad news for landlords in the new legislation.

The exact date the new landlord-tenant law goes into effect is not yet determined, but is expected to be late June.

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