January 29, 2021

Tenants Union 2021 Legislative Priorities


SB 5160 - Off-ramp to the state moratorium on evictions will provide just cause protection for two years and prohibits evictions for unpaid rent during the moratorium. Requires repayment plans and mediation before landlords can file for evictions and provides a right to counsel for tenants at eviction proceedings.

SB 5139 - Prohibits rent increases for six months following the end of the state moratorium and proclamation on evictions. Limits rent increases to Consumer Price Index (CPI) from six months to one year following the end of the moratorium.

HB 1236 - Just Cause Eviction. Without Just Cause Eviction renters across the state can get evicted without any reason by simply given a 20 day notice. Tactics like these are used to get around typical eviction processes. This legislation requires landlords to provide cause, such as failure to pay or comply, before evicting renters. We support legislation that holds landlords accountable.

HB 1277 - Increases real estate transaction fees by $100 to establish a permanent rental assistance fund.

HB 1220 - Supporting emergency shelters and housing through local planning and development regulations, would modify the Growth Management Act to specify that special consideration for low, very low, extremely low, and moderate-income households must be incorporated in the housing element of comprehensive plans.

HB 1300 - aka Damage Deposit Reform. Defines "normal wear and tear" so tenants are not forced to pay for replacement carpets, flooring and major appliances when they are old, worn and worthless. It also requires documentation for the cost of repair for damages charged to the tenant. Tenants are often charged a flat rate of repair with no documentation of actual costs this bill will require landlords to present receipts for costs of cleaning and repair.Gives tenant option to be present during walk through at move out so they can dispute charges immediately.


HB 1228 - This is the landlord alternative to SB 5160, providing an off-ramp to Gov. Inslee's proclamation and moratorium on evictions but does not provide just cause protection. It also ends the moratorium permanently. This means landlords can collect tax payer funded rental assistance to pay for a tenant's total unpaid rent during the pandemic and once they are paid can immediately evict the tenant even when all unpaid back rent is paid in full and tenant is current.