Barkis responds to passage of bill seeking to reform residential tenant protections

Recently, the state House of Representatives, on a party-line vote, approved Senate Bill 5600 relating to residential tenant protections.

This bill attempts to reform current statute by making a number of changes to the residential landlord-tenant act.

Rep. Andrew Barkis, R-Olympia, provides the following comments on the party-line approval of Senate Bill 5600:

“We agree there is a problem in Washington state with current law surrounding the landlord-tenant act. The disagreement occurs on the solutions on how to reform current law.

The majority party continues to introduce bad policy focused on several extremes. Their proposals and reforms push more regulations on the housing industry. These ideals are not ground in common sense.

My caucus has offered several real solutions to solve the root cause of this problem, not just the symptoms. We do not want to add new eviction tools to the process. It is about reforming the process to help property owners keep good tenants in their homes who have met unfortunate circumstances. We also want to protect property owners’ rights. They bear so much risk when faced with tenants who fail to meet their rental obligations and financial commitments.

It is all about providing the right balance.

It is disheartening to know that the majority party could not work with us to approve several good amendments to improve this policy. The legislation, as it passed, is indicative of what the majority of those involved, and those most affected by this policy, want.

I had hoped we could take care of some of the key components of this problem this session. Unfortunately, we fell short.

There were ideas and solutions on the table to get to the root cause and provide necessary change to the actual problem. Policies like this is not the way to do it.

We will continue to work hard and fight for those tenants who truly are facing hardships, while also protecting our property owners’ rights. I’m disappointed a bi-partisan solution could not be achieved.”


Washington State House Republican Communications