Barkis introduces eviction prevention package to help solve the state’s housing affordability crisis

Washington state's housing affordability crisis affects both homeowners and renters. Rep. Andrew Barkis has introduced several pieces of bipartisan legislation aimed at reforming the eviction process.

Barkis' Eviction Prevention Package would provide protections for tenants facing financial hardships by allowing them more time to avoid eviction. It would also provide education and information on the available resources tenants can access to avoid eviction.

“This bipartisan package provides common-sense solutions to a growing crisis that's placing burdens on our low housing supply and causing major problems for tenants and landlords,” said Barkis, R-Olympia. “The majority of the problem stems from the inability of people to stay in their current home. Time is critical when tenants are facing situations that could lead to eviction, which is why we need eviction reform. There are also resources available out there for tenants facing eviction, which need to be brought to the forefront. This package addresses these key issues.”

The following four bills are included in the Eviction Prevention Package:

  • House Bill 1463: Relates to changes in notice requirements with respect to tenancies in order to enhance stability for tenants by providing tenants more notice time – from a 3-day notice to a 5-day notice.
    • Many tenants are unnecessarily brought into the unlawful detainer process due to a lack of knowledge of residential landlord-tenant laws and unfamiliarity with how to access available information and financial resources.
    • In order to provide additional stability and resources to tenants, this policy intends to provide additional time for tenants to comply with terms of their rental agreement, and creates a compilation of tenant resources to allow tenants easier access to the tolls available to keep them in their homes.
    • This policy will also require landlords and the Department of Commerce to provide additional informational materials to help tenants understand their rights and responsibilities, and available resources to assist them.
    • Financial resources often exist with the community to assist tenants with temporary financial assistance when tenants cannot pay their rent.
  • House Bill 1462: Relates to providing notice of plans to demolish, substantially rehabilitate, or change use of residential premises.
    • Under this policy, whenever a landlord plans to demolish or substantially rehabilitate a premises, or plans a change of use of the premises, the landlord will provide a written notice to the tenant at least 120-days before termination of the tenancy. This will allow more time for soon-to-be displaced tenants to find new housing.
  • House Bill 1460: Relates to notice requirements for rent increases.
    • This policy continues to require 30-days written notice of a rent increase of 10 percent or less, and now requires 60-days' written notice of a rent increase of more than 10 percent.
  • House Bill 1461: Relates to notice for termination of a residential tenancy.
    • This policy will increase the required notice period given by either the landlord or the tenant to terminate a rental agreement from 20-days to 30-days.

“We have to look at the housing issue from all fronts. There's a common theme in my policy package – it's about giving people more time to stay in their homes thereby lessening the burden on limited supply,” continued Barkis. “There's been a lot of studies done recently pertaining to people being evicted. We're trying to help those who are financially struggling to have a better opportunity to remedy and stay in their home. This package is a vehicle we can build on, with goodwill and compromise to find additional common-sense solutions.”

 The 2019 legislative session began Jan. 14 and will run 105 consecutive days.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov