Washington Regulation Update – Keep up the pressure

The two bills pending in Washington State legislature reported over the last couple weeks did not make it to the floor by the required timeline and time is running out for them, it is crucial to continue the pressure on the State legislature as some senators are pursuing options to overcome the opposition by our allies.

Legislation

A Position on Washington HB 2537 and SB 6291 “An Act Relating to Tenant Screening”

Update: On Feb. 27th the bills did not make it out of the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing, and Insurance Committee. The bills are therefore (likely) dead.

The Problem:  There have been reports of some consumers who have experienced delays in obtaining rental housing due to the costs associated with consumer reports obtained by property managers and landlords to qualify the consumer’s tenancy. The state of Washington’s Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA), which regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants, acknowledges that screening reports are an important part of this relationship.  Further, the Washington State Legislature has “…found and declares comprehensive tenant screening reports are a necessary and fair solution for both applicants and landlords”[1]. Despite the importance of these documents to all parties, legislation now pending in the Washington state legislature (H.B. 2537)) would both lower accuracy and increase the potential for fraud in these documents, exposing both landlords and the prospective tenants to incorrect housing decisions.     

Legislation Resident screening Tenant Screening

CA Fee Increase on Public Records

Governor Brown’s 2013-2014 budget could prove catastrophic to California’s property management companies, real estate agents, landlords and employers if passed as currently proposed. The budget includes a “per case” search fee for criminal and civil court records which will create an undue burden on California businesses and increase the threat to public safety in the rental housing community.

Legislation Property Managers Resident screening Tenant Screening

HUDs New Ruling on Fair Housing Standards

Since 1968, the Fair Housing Act has both protected the rights of individuals seeking a home and simultaneously given landlords and property managers a code of ethics with which to conduct business.  This policy has been modified to cite specific groups of people who should not be discriminated against, as well as provide guidance as to what may constitute taking improper adverse action against an applicant for reasons beyond your requirements to gain housing.  Now taking a new step in this guidance, HUD is formalizing rules that follow a national standard for determining whether a housing practice violates the Fair Housing law based on an unjustified discriminatory effect.

Legislation Property Managers