Last week marked the ‘half way point’ in the legislative session. February 14 was the last day any bill could receive consideration in its house of origin. If a bill did not receive a vote on the House or Senate floor by the 14th, it is considered 'dead' for the 2018 legislative session.
The next deadline is Friday, February 23, when any bill that moved forward last week, must be heard in the policy committee of the opposite chamber.
Here’s a summary and recent activity of all the legislation we are following in this session.
State Legislative Actions
Notice of Termination of Tenancy. The House version of this bill is dead. The Senate Bill passed out of the Senate without an amendment creating clarity between the RLTA and the Unlawful Detainer statute. The failure to add the amendment is fatal to the intent of the bill. If the bill passes, rental housing providers can avoid any increased notice by serving a notice under RCW 59.12.030.
We continue to educate lawmakers on this flaw in the hope that we can reach a common sense understanding on this bill. As of this writing, it has not been scheduled for a public hearing in the House.
Source of Income Protections. Last Thursday, the Senate considered the amended House Source of Income bill. WMFHA testified seeking one amendment to include prevailing party attorney fees in any private action resulting from an alleged violation of the law. You can read more about this issue in the Week 5 Legislative Update. The House bill is set for an executive session hearing in the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee on February 20.
Your Voice Matters!
Do you manage property in the City of Seattle? The University of Washington is conducting a survey, to better understand the practices and perspectives of landlords and property managers in Seattle. The survey is part of the Seattle Rental Housing Market Study and is being conducted at the request of the City to develop an unbiased and objective assessment of the experiences and perspectives of Seattle landlords in the current rental housing market. Through this independent study, we will better understand the possible impacts of several changes to rental regulation that have taken place since 2016. You can complete the survey online here. The survey is open for the next two months.
Federal Legislative Update
Bipartisan legislation to mitigate abusive lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 620, ensures that the intent of Title III of the ADA -- to provide improved access to public accommodations for disabled Americans -- is accomplished. It does this by eliminating incentives for complaints of ADA non-compliance motivated purely by financial gain, which have grown substantially in recent years. Specifically, H.R. 620 requires that business owners receive proper notice of alleged compliance issues and provides a 120-day opportunity to cure an alleged ADA deficiency prior to the initiation of a lawsuit.