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Burien Joins Other Local Cities with New Tenant-Favoring Housing Reforms

December 4, 2019

New Housing Ordinances
original article
On October 7, 2019, the Burien City Council passed policies designed to protect renters and improve renter-landlord relationships. The new ordinance puts in place policies that were listed as high priorities during community engagement meetings held earlier in the year. Ordinance 716, effective October 15, 2019, establishes rental housing policies that require the following:
Just cause eviction (JCE):

This policy states that a landlord can only evict a tenant for certain reasons (see section 5.63.070 of ordinance) and must comply with notification and timeline requirements. The policy also requires landlords secure a court order (RCW 59.18.290, .380) before evicting a tenant.

Distributing Information:

This policy requires the landlord provide written information about the landlord’s rental criteria. The landlord will also be required to provide City-produced information packets that include summaries of the new rental policies, the Property Maintenance Code, the Residential Landlord Tenant Act, forcible and unlawful detainer laws, and fair housing laws. The City will also provide summaries in multiple languages to landlords who must distribute the materials to tenants. The policy also requires the City to maintain on its website code enforcement information and information for registering to vote. This information for renters and landlords will be placed on the City’s website this fall.

- summaries of the new rental policies

- the Property Maintenance Code
 
- the Residential Landlord Tenant Act

- forcible and unlawful detainer laws

- and fair housing laws
New Tenant Information Packet (**COMING SOON**)
"More Than Just a Check"

A FREE GUIDE TO BECOMING A RENT COLLECTING PRO

Download this free E-book and learn how to:
• attract (& keep) great tenants
• avoid time-consuming processes
• be set up for long-term success
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More Than Just a Check

A FREE GUIDE TO BECOMING A RENT COLLECTING PRO

Download this free E-book and learn how to:
• attract (& keep) great tenants
• avoid time-consuming processes
• be set up for long-term success
DOWNLOAD NOW - FREE
Deposit requirements and installment payments permitted:

This policy requires landlords to allow tenants to pay security deposit, non-refundable move-in fees, and last months’ rent in three consecutive equal installments in cases of fixed-term tenancies of three months or longer, or two equal installments if month-to-month. This is not applicable when last months’ rent is not required or if the security deposit and non-refundable move-in fees do not exceed 25 percent of the first months’ rent.

Notice of sale of low-income housing:

This policy requires property owners notify the City of their intent to sell properties if their property contains five or more rental units and at least one of those rental units has rent considered affordable to households at or below 80 percent of the area median income. Notice must be mailed to the City 60 days before the property is listed for sale.

"More Than Just a Check"

A FREE GUIDE TO BECOMING A RENT COLLECTING PRO

Download this free E-book and learn how to:
• attract (& keep) great tenants
• avoid time-consuming processes
• be set up for long-term success
DOWNLOAD NOW - FREE 
More Than Just a Check

A FREE GUIDE TO BECOMING A RENT COLLECTING PRO

Download this free E-book and learn how to:
• attract (& keep) great tenants
• avoid time-consuming processes
• be set up for long-term success
DOWNLOAD NOW - FREE
Rental Housing Inspections
original article

The Burien City Council approved on September 16, 2019 Burien’s first rental housing inspection program. The new program will be designed to help the City of Burien proactively monitor housing conditions in rental units, and help prevent habitability issues that have occurred in buildings in the past.

Details of the program will be developed over the next year, in time for inspections to begin in 2021. The City will conduct extensive outreach to landlords, property managers, and renters in 2020 to prepare them for the new program.

For questions about this program, please contact the Rental Housing Inspection Program Coordinator at [email protected].

Requirements

The ordinance requires a health and safety inspection of the following rental housing types located within Burien city limits by a qualified inspector every three years. Only 20 percent of units will be inspected by every three years.

  • Apartments
  • Duplexes
  • Triplexes
  • Four-plexes

The following housing types are exempt from the inspection requirement: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, mobile homes, manufactured homes, hotels, motels, institutions, shelters, transitional housing, accessory dwelling units, and rental units owned, operated, managed, or inspected by a government agency.

Penalties

Owners of properties that do not meet the health and safety standards will need to make repairs and pass a re-inspection prior to renewing their multi-family business license. Failure to do so may result in penalty fees and business license revocation.

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LandlordSolutions does not provide legal advice. The information we provide is general information for landlords. If you need legal advice or have questions about the application of the law in a particular matter, you should consult a lawyer.

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