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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Rental Laws Hurting Small Landlords

People owning property in Seattle for rent are not happy with the rent laws. The city has data analyzed by the Rental Housing Association of Washington that shows Seattle lost more than 3,400 properties in 2021, equaling more than 11,500 units. Small landlords are saying that Seattle’s rental laws are running small providers out of the city.

More data shows that about 2,500, or 75%, of those properties were single-family homes, which are typically owned by small landlords. Some of the small landlords have been around for decades. Some are charging just over $2,200 per month for a two-bedroom. This is well below the going rate.

Some are giving it up and beginning to sell their properties. Exiting is part of the investment strategy for more and more. The city and county have been tough on the small real estate investor. 

Seattle’s rental laws are the reason landlords are leaving. There is a law that that prevents landlords from running criminal background checks. Also, landlords can be required to provide financial relocation services to tenants who qualify. That eats up profits.

The council passed a new law last week to prevent evictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The repayment for past due rent is capped at one-third of the tenant’s current rent. The renter is by law given a “reasonable” amount of time to pay landlords back. 

In the last year, Seattle City Council has passed at least five new rental laws. Small landlords want to be exempt from some of the laws. This maybe the way to bring small landlords that left back to the city.

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