Shoreline City Council passes tenant protection law

Dec 13, 2023, 11:34 AM | Updated: 4:05 pm


Rent stabilization is not an issue the state Legislature will take on this session. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Shoreline has now joined Tacoma in passing laws to protect tenants.

The Shoreline City Council approved a new ordinance that establishes additional protections for Shoreline tenants, above those already provided under the Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA, RCW, 59.18).

Background story: Tacoma ‘Tenant Bill of Rights’ wins by fewer than 400 votes

Ordinance 966 adds additional notice requirements for base rent increases. For base rent increases greater than three percent but less than 10%, landlords are required to provide 120-day notice. For base rent increases of 10% or greater, landlords must give at least 180 days notice.

All move-in fees and security deposits cannot exceed a combined one month’s rent. Tenants have the right to pay these fees in installments. The number of installments depends upon the length of the lease.

Late fees cannot exceed 1.5% of the tenant’s monthly rent.

A tenant may propose, in writing, that the landlord change the due date for rent in the rental agreement to a different day of the month if the tenant’s primary source of income is a regular, monthly source of government assistance.

Max Gross: Seattle landlord secures a key win against nightmare tenant

A landlord may request, but can’t require, a prospective tenant to provide a social security number or other type of tax identification number for screening purposes.

The new ordinance also outlines fee structures:

  • All fees must be listed in the rental agreement.
  • A landlord may not charge a fee for a tenant’s access to common areas and/or a prorated share of utilities for such areas or for the performance of any landlord duty required by the RLTA.
  • A landlord may not charge a fee associated with the issuance of a notice to a tenant, even if the notice is required by state law, including but not limited to a fee for preparing and delivering a notice regarding late payment of rent, a notice to pay or vacate, or a notice of noncompliance with a rental agreement.

The new rules go into effect Dec. 19.

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