IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Tenant Screening & Income Source

Three new legislations have been presented by WMFHA that are of high-priority.  In short, the first allows tenants to use a portable screening report opposed to landlords charging tenants for other preferred screening services.  In addition, a compromise had been made to approve this bill by extending the required time it takes to return security deposits.  The second bill extends the required notice landlords must give tenants for rent increases of 10% or more, and the third seeks to make legal sources of income a protected class.

Here are more details and links to these bills provided by WMFHA:

SB 6413 / HB 2811:Omnibus Landlord-Tenant legislation / Portable Tenant Screening
Both the House and Senate version of these bills have been reported out of their policy committees and are still alive.
Unlike previous proposals to mandate landlords accept the portable tenant screening reports, these bills focus on only requiring landlords to indicate on their property’s website and on the mandatory screening criteria information that is given to prospective renters whether or not the landlord will accept the “comprehensive portable/reusable tenant screening report”.

The legislation also addresses the issue of a screening company’s ability to report filed eviction cases. The bill requires a judge to make the decision whether the filed eviction case should not be reported on a screening report. This is a requirement WMFHA has consistently insisted upon and believes addresses the issue while not sacrificing important information to the landlord.

In exchange for the industry compromising on these issues, the bill extends the time limit for return of a security deposit from the current 14 days to 21 days.

SHB 2051 /SB 5377: Requiring 90-days Notice for Rent Increases of 10% or more
Seattle already has an ordinance that requires 60-days notice for a rent increase of 10% or more in any 12- month period. These bills would authorize but not require a city to adopt a law that could require 90-days’ notice for such a rent increase. They would also increase the number of people who would qualify for relocation assistance if a property is demolished or substantially remodeled. The House bill passed out of committee last year and is still in the Rules Committee. The Senate bill is dead.

HB 1565 / SB 5378: Makes Source of Income a Protected Class
Tenant advocates and a number of legislators have increased their push for this legislation that would make Section 8 voucher holders and all lawful sources of income a protected class across the state. Advocates of the bill are increasing pressure by drawing media attention to the issue. Make no mistake, although the Senate version died in committee the House version is still alive. There is a continued and strong push for this proposal to pass in the next 30 days.

wmfha_logoThe Washington Multi-Family Housing Association is the Washington State chapter of the National Apartment Association.  A collection of over 90 Property Management companies and owners of multifamily properties, with 950 Apartment Communities representing 165,000 apartment homes, and more than 200 industry suppliers working together to promote and enrich the multifamily housing industry in Washington state. 


  1. Thank you and I appreciate that you’ve posted this good information.
    It will be interesting to see the outcomes as time progresses.

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