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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chemtrailssuckMichael GarrisonWilliamJackie PuppetDCG Recent comment authors
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William
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William

They might as well say that homelessness disproportionately affects marginalized groups like homeless people. They talk in circles making no distinction between cause and effect. Here in MA the housing laws say in effect, tenants good, landlords bad. Once someone moves into your house it’s not your house anymore. And yes if you depend on rental income to make mortgage payments the mortgage holders give you little slack. There’s no such thing as a payment agreement. The mortgage is the payment agreement, if you get behind it’s all or nothing. I’ve had bad tenants and it’s very difficult to get… Read more »

Watertender
Member
Watertender

I know people that have gotten out of the rental property business because of non paying tenants. Their property was destroyed and the parasites moved on to ruin another place. The horror stories are amazing and sadly true

Jackie Puppet
Member

I used to own a 2-flat, and a long-time tenant stiffed me the last 3 months of their residency, of course forfeiting their security deposit. They left the place a shithole, too. Eviction in Ill-annoy can only happen after 3 consecutive months of non-payment. I knew where they somehow bought a house, and wanted to go over & trash it myself, but I figured I’d have been busted. Having an ex- who didn’t know how to save also made it tougher. And the 2-flat was sold for exactly the same price we bought it years earlier, which means we had… Read more »

William
Member
William

Here you can file for eviction for any reason if the tenant is month-to-month, a “tenant at will”. But of course a landlord can’t evict, only a judge can. It rarely happens, especially with “single moms” and never with “minorities”. No one wants to risk being accused of racism, then your life is ruined. The process is you first have to file a 30-day notice to quit which has no force. Tenants ignore it. Then you can file for eviction at 200 dollars a person, so say a woman with two kids is 600 dollars. Then there is “discovery” period… Read more »

chemtrailssuck
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chemtrailssuck

That’s why landlords want first months rent, last month’s rent, damage deposit, references and they do credit and possibly background checks. And even then they can still get screwed.

Steven Broiles
Member

A month without rent may very well be more than just a “mere inconvenience” for a landlord: It could mean his or her financial destruction. Certainly some safeguards are in order. New York City, oddly enough, was at the vanguard of some safeguards back in WW II. Landlord-tenant courts here in NYC tend to side with, or at least favor, the tenant. This is to prevent mass homelessness. In 2018 when I was arrested, I could not pay my rent for five weeks. My landlord was verbally abusive over it and threatened to evict, but thanks to my attorney, I… Read more »

William
Member
William

Jersey is pretty solidly liberal so I don’t imagine their housing laws are much different than they are in MA. “Moving to evict” and “evicting” are two different things. Here you begin the process with either a 30-day notice or a 14-day notice. The 14-day includes a “cure”, which is catching up back rent. Neither has any legal force, only a judge can evict. The only landlords here who are successful are slumlords with multiple properties and lawyers on retainer. They are able to get bad tenants out quickly, they have it down to a science. And they put no… Read more »

Alma
Member
Alma

And to think that state carries George Washington’s name, what a shame!

Michael Garrison
Guest
Michael Garrison

My research shows that it’s a lack of money and high rents that cause homelessness.

chemtrailssuck
Guest
chemtrailssuck

Hey, at least they aren’t forcing land lords to give free rent to homeless…well not yet anyway.

Great way to get people to become land lords there. Not. Reading how bad Seattle is, if we ever get to go on vacation, we’ll steer far away from there.