Olympia Passes Relocation Assistance

Posted By: Carter Nelson Advocacy News,

The City of Olympia recently passed another round of tenant protections. Under this new ordinance, housing providers must notify tenants of their right to relocation assistance when increasing rent by more than 7%. The amount of relocation assistance they are then required to pay is two and a half months rent, or $2,000, whichever is more. The tenant has 45 days to request relocation assistance from their housing provider. The provider then has 31 days to pay the relocation assistance. The tenant could then move out at any point after receiving relocation assistance, with a 30-day written notice. If they don’t move out before the rent increase takes effect, they must pay the new rent amount and repay the relocation assistance. The ordinance also gives a resident the right to break their lease early after receiving a rent increase notice that raises rent by more than 5% or by 7% or more over a 12-month period.

The ordinance also limits fees. Late rent fees are now capped at $10 per month. Fees for damages or actual costs incurred by housing providers, including improvements, can still be applied. When it comes to screening and application fees, housing providers can only charge the actual cost of completing it, according to state law. Pet deposits are still limited to 25% of monthly rent that can be paid over a three-month period. Lastly, the ordinance allows tenants the ability to install cooling units in their homes.

These additional protections go into effect on May 21, 2024.