Seattle homeowner sells rental, says he doesn’t want to ‘be a landlord here’

Oct 20, 2021, 4:58 AM | Updated: 8:17 am
A sign advertises a house for sale. (File photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
(File photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

There was a Seattle home listing that was brought to the attention of the Dori Monson Show in which the person who listed the home, and is a landlord, said they’re selling it with their tenant it in.

“Personally, I’m not interested in being a landlord in our little communist corner of the country anymore when you no longer really own the property you paid for and took the risk to own,” the post says, in part.

Seattle landlord says new requirements could shrink rental options

The person who listed this house is attorney Lincoln Beauregard. He says Seattle is passing laws where he, as a landlord, can’t dictate how much he’s going to rent his property for, and that he has no recourse if his tenants don’t pay rent.

“I just don’t want to be a landlord here anymore,” he said. “I don’t want to provide housing to people, I don’t want to be part of it.”

Beauregard is selling his house in West Seattle with the current tenants in it, for what he says is a “big discount.”

“They’ve been OK tenants over 10 years,” he said. “My rule with them is they have to pay me 12 times a year, but it doesn’t have to be every month. So sometimes they might miss a month, but they’ve been very honorable people and always made up for it. And that might be their lives.”

“I don’t have any animus towards them. I just have an animus towards the fact that … I don’t own my own property anymore,” he said. “Why would I try and make a house available to, I think you said your relatives or whoever, under the terms where I don’t really even have any control? So that’s my problem.”

What is pushing Beauregard to leave even more so than the eviction moratoriums, are local laws, including one that doesn’t allow landlords to raise the rent without a months-in-advance warning.

“And I know there’s regulations that I think I have to help people move and I can’t choose who is going to live in my own house,” he said. “So why in the world would I want to have invested money in a house that I can’t control when I can take it and put it in the stock market and do better?”

There is a pending buyer, he says, who is a developer that will let the tenants stay there.

“I’m in compliance with the law, but I end up eating $50,000 or $100,000 just because of the laws they’ve enacted,” Beauregard said.

He added that he’s sure the buyer has a long-term vision for the property, but he doesn’t know what it is.

“But the limited information I know about them is they do they take rentals, I think they improve them, and then they keep renting them, but I don’t know much about them,” he said.

Dori says what the city is doing is that it’s making it tougher for the working class, the middle class to find a place to live because of so many restrictions. Plus, people like Beauregard may decide to be done being a landlord, then the buyers either knock it down or flip it, and “all of a sudden the market gets squeezed of available inventory and that drives rents up.”

“My house is a perfect example of that,” Beauregard replied. “I told you the rent is $2,000. According to all my data, it’s rented for probably 10% below market. I’m a believer in trying to, one, the people have been very nice, I don’t want to overcharge them. And I don’t want to cause turnover.”

Washington landlord takes out full page ad telling others to ‘refuse to rent’ in October

“So now what’s happened, in my example and maybe others, is that I’m selling my house for below market, I’m taking a hit,” he added. “The people who have a vision for this investment property, they’re going to do something to increase the value. And eventually the nice, hardworking family in that house who’s paying $2,000 a month isn’t going to be able to afford what they’re going to want to charge them.”

“They’ve lost, I’ve lost, and the only people who have won are the people who can feel good about enacting these laws that aren’t subject to them,” he said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Seattle homeowner sells rental, says he doesn’t want to ‘be a landlord here’