Action Alert: Seatac Tenant Protections Townhall

Posted By: Ryan Makinster Action Alerts,

Seatac City Council considering full list of tenant protections put forward by ARCH
Open House scheduled for on March 10

4-5:30 p.m.: Landlords
5:30-6:30 p.m.: Meeting break
6:30-8p.m.: Renters

To learn more about the meeting go to the City’s rental house webpage by clicking here.

Tenant Protections Ordinance (link)

Move in Fees & Security Deposits
  • All move in fees and security deposits charged by a landlord before a tenant takes possession of a dwelling unit shall not exceed one month's rent, except in subsidized housing where the amount of rent is set based on the income of the tenant
  • Tenants entering rental agreements with terms lasting six or more months may choose to pay their move-in fees and security deposits in six equal monthly installments over the first six months occupying the dwelling unit
  • Tenants entering rental agreements with terms lasting fewer than six months or month-to-month rental agreements, may choose to pay move in fees and security deposits in two equal monthly installments over the first two months occupying the dwelling unit
Social Security Number and Screening
  • A landlord may ask for a social security number as part of the screening process but may not deny an applicant solely because they don’t provide one
  • Alternative proof of financial eligibility such as portable screening reports or other proof of income must also be accepted, where available, if offered by the tenant
Due Date
  • Allows tenants to adjust the due date of rent payments if the tenant has a regular primary source of income, monthly source of governmental assistance, or fixed income source (e.g., social security) that the tenant receives on a date of the month that is incongruent with paying rent on the date otherwise specified in the rental agreement
  • A landlord shall not refuse to rent to a prospective tenant or terminate a lease based on a request for a due date adjustment  
Notice of Rent Increase
Any rental agreement or renewal of a rental agreement shall state the dollar amount of the rent or rent increase and require:
  • 120 days’ written notice for rent increases greater than (3%)
  • 180 days' written notice for rent increases greater than (10%)  
Late Fees
Late fees and penalties due to nonpayment of rent charged to a tenant shall not exceed $10/month

What can you do today?

  • Contact your councilor by phone or e-mail to let them know you oppose this bill.

  • Complete this comment card that goes to the City Council

  • Encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same

What can you do Friday?

Attend the Open House to make your voice heard and let the City Council know you oppose these onerous and unneeded regulations.

Seatac City Hall
4800 S 188th St.
SeaTac, WA 98188
Look for a follow-up Action Alert  describing how you can testify in person or submit written testimony to the city council once the ordinance is filed for council consideration.
Send an Email to Full Council
Position #1
Deputy Mayor Senayet Negusse
Phone: 206.586.1915

Position #2
Mayor Jake Simpson

Position #3
Councilmember Peter Kwon
Phone: 206.418.8033 
Position #4
Councilmember Mohamed Egal
Phone: 206.437.2973

Position #5
Councilmember Takele Gobena
Phone: 206.348.2247

Position # 6
Councilmember Iris Guzman
Phone: 206.247.8151
Position # 7
Councilmember Erin Sitterly
Phone: 206.475.3113

Drafting Your Talking Points

  • Please use your personal experiences, stories and anecdotes when writing or talking to your councilor about the proposal. These are more effective than canned or boilerplate testimony.
  • The following points will be helpful in preparing your testimony and talking points:
    • We are in a housing crisis and the only sustainable solution is increased supply, which the bill does the opposite:
      • Every new burdensome restriction and requirement causes housing providers to leave the market and dis-incentivizes new development
    • Burdensome and does not align with rental property operations
    • Do not know what operating costs, market conditions or other circumstances impacting operational costs are going to be six months out
    • Property taxes are posted one or two times a year with only four months’ notice
    • Insurance premiums change once or twice a year with only 30-60 days’ notice
    • Housing providers will have to mitigate risk by assuming and noticing larger annual rent increases than may be necessary to protect their ability to charge the appropriate amount six months later
  • These regulations place a significant and unwarranted burden on housing providers – especially small landlords, which leads to unintended consequences including higher than expected rent increases and the stagnation or reversal of rental unit development at a time when supply is the biggest issue facing our region
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, your tenants, and the multifamily housing industry.  

Ryan Makinster
Director of Government Affairs

Advocate. Educate. Celebrate.