Kirkland passes new protections for renters to address affordability

Oct 14, 2022, 10:10 AM
Kayaker paddles by Kirkland homes. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

New protections have been put in place for renters in Kirkland.

According to a press release from the city, the city council voted 4-3 to pass an ordinance that creates tenant protections with two key provisions.

Housing prices drop from spring peak as rental rates continue to skyrocket

The adopted ordinance focuses on two regulations:

  1. Notice of Rent Increase – housing providers are now required to provide a minimum 120 days written notice of rent increases greater than 3%, and 180 days notice of rent increases greater than 10%. These would not apply to subsidized housing, where rent is set based on the income of the tenant.
  2. Limits on Move-In Fees – there is now a cap on move-in fees and security deposits of no more than one month’s rent. This cap does not apply to subsidized tenancies, where rent is set based on the income of the tenant and allows tenants to pay in installments.

“The economic impacts of the pandemic and inflation continue to burden both our renters and housing providers,” said Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold in a quote from the press release. “Although there are no simple solutions to the housing-related challenges in our region, these tenant protections help provide stability and clarity to both housing providers and renters.”

The city said the ordinance is intended to build on the challenges of affording housing in Kirkland.

Some recent efforts by the city include the adoption of interim affordable housing targets in October 2021, adopting the city’s Housing Strategy Plan in 2018, and the creation of affordable housing as a priority in the city’s 2022 Legislative Agenda.

The city is developing educational materials for housing providers to assist them in meeting the new regulations. Those materials will be available on the city’s website when complete.

More information on the ordinance can be found in the staff memorandum for the August 3, 2022, council meeting. The ordinance as adopted can be found on the city’s website.

MyNorthwest.com has reached out to the Washington Landlords Association for comment but has yet to hear from them at the time of this publishing.

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Kirkland passes new protections for renters to address affordability