Action Alert: Bellingham Rent Increase Notification

Posted By: Ryan Makinster Action Alerts,

Rent Control Bill Scheduled for Hearing Tomorrow – Take Action Now

 HB 1389 is scheduled to be heard tomorrow at 1:30pm in the House Appropriations Committee.

We don't need members to testify, just to sign in CON to the legislative record.
Please click NOW on the link below to sign in CON to the legislative record and let Appropriations Committee members know you oppose this Rent Control legislation.

What you need to do
  • Click the link below to take action and sign in to the legislative record with a position of “con”
  • Complete the required fields, click the “I’m not a robot” captcha and hit send
  • Share this Call to Action with your friends, colleagues and suppliers

Tell (H) Appropriation Members, You Oppose 1389

Applies to both residential housing and manufactured home communities.
  • Prohibits a landlord from increasing the rent more than the CPI-U or 3%, whichever is greater, up to a maximum or 7%. Commerce is required to calculate and publish the maximum annual rent increase percentage.
  • Contains a VERY complicated "banking" process to carry forward the ability to give an increase later if not given in that year.
  • Prohibits a landlord from increasing the rent in the first 12 months of a tenancy.
  • "Rent increase" is defined to include any new charges added to a rental agreement that were not identified in the initial rental agreement. For example, new parking, utility, or other charges.
  • Requires a landlord that increases rent above the limit to include facts supporting the exemption in the written notice of the rent increase.
  • Creates a private cause of action for a tenant to recover actual damages, punitive damages equal to 3 months' rent, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. 
  • Provides the following exemptions from the maximum annual rent increase limit:
    • Dwelling units that are less than 10 years old.
    • Tenancies for which the landlord is required to reduce rent to 30% or less of the tenant's income because of a federal, state, or local program or subsidy.
    • If a landlord has paid for improvements to the dwelling unit that cost more than 4 months' rent and the improvements were made during the 12 months preceding the notice of the rent increase, then the landlord may increase rent for the following calendar year by up to 7%, or 4% + the maximum annual rent increase percentage for the calendar year, whichever is greater. 
    • If a landlord is experiencing significant hardship in complying with rent control for the current calendar year due to a disparity between the local costs for providing housing and the statewide costs for providing housing, the landlord may request an individual exemption from Commerce. 
Take Action Now
Please let me know if you have questions about this bill, and thank you for raising your voice and taking action on behalf of WMFHA and the multifamily housing industry.  

Ryan Makinster
Director of Government Affairs

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