Tag Archives: King County Bar Association

Washington aims to make it tougher to evict tenants; after all, a month of unpaid rent is just an “inconvenience” for a landlord

Demorat-run Seattle/King County has a terrible homeless problem that has been festering for years.

It’s been 15 years since King County developed their ten-year plan to end homelessness. As is typical with demorats, they never look to address the core issues of a problem. Rather, they seek out ways to control other individuals’ rights and, of course, get more taxpayer dollars.

Back in 2007 Metropolitan King County Council called for a study of the individuals with mental illness and chemical dependency involved in the justice, emergency services and homeless services systems. They found that the incidence of recent incarceration among homeless adults receiving publicly funded mental health treatment was four times the incidence of those who are not homeless.

So the bureaucrats are fully away that drug abuse and mental illness are part of the homelessness problem.

Also part of the problem? The criminal justice system and lack of accountability that the homeless criminals face. A quick search on our site for “repeat offender” will show plenty of examples of Seattle/King County’s efforts in “criminal justice reform.”

A King County Superior Court judge recently commented on why repeat offenders receive no punishment saying, “We’re just talking about property crime.”

So the bureaucrats are fully away that the criminal justice system does not work in favor of the law-abiding and taxpaying citizen.

Now bureaucrats have a new plan to address homelessness: Give renters more protections.

As reported by MyNorthwest.com: “The proposed standards would require landlords to give good or just cause, covering up to 18 cited issues by Tenants Union, including nonpayment of rent, noncompliance with lease terms, and chronically late rent payments, among other reasons. Landlords would not be able to evict for retaliatory or discriminatory reasons. Recent studies have indicated a correlation between evictions and growing rates of homelessness.

In their article I clicked on the “recent studies have indicated a correlation” to find out exactly who authored this study. Imagine my surprise when I found it to be the Seattle Women’s Commission and Housing Justice Project (a homelessness prevention program of the King County Bar Association). Not exactly non-partisan entities without any direct stake in the homeless matter.

You can read the full report at the MyNorthwest.com story.

Excerpts from their study:

From the Executive Summary: While a month of unpaid rent might be an inconvenience for a landlord, an eviction can mean life or death for a tenant. National research shows eviction is one of the leading causes of homelessness. Despite these serious societal consequences of systemic evictions, a deep analysis of eviction causes, process, and outcomes has never before been carried out in Seattle. Because the city is experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis, and we knew anecdotally that this crisis disproportionately impacts marginalized communities such as women, people of color, and people in poverty, the Seattle Women’s Commission (SWC) and the King County Housing Justice Project (HJP) decided to undertake research to fill this gap.”

Rebalance the Scales of Justice: Limit non-rent charges and the imposition of attorney’s fees, expand courthouse-based resources to include social services and financial assistance, and limit reporting of landlord-tenant debt unless reduced to judgment.”

Make it Possible to Pay Rent: Require landlords to offer payment plans, increase time periods to cure nonpayment of rent, and increase subsidies to tenants at risk of eviction.”

I was a landlord in King County until I sold my property in 2015. I can tell you that missing payment for one month of rent and covering other charges would have been a MAJOR inconvenience that would have caused me great stress. Not all landlords are flush with bundles of cash to cover their mortgages in case tenants can’t pay. And I know of ZERO mortgage companies that would accept a “payment plan.”

But Seattle/King County bureaucrats don’t think that way. That would require addressing core issues of those who they seek to keep dependent upon the government. And it wouldn’t allow them the opportunity to seek more taxpayer dollars in the name of “solving” a crisis.

DCG

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