IN THE PAST
For years we have managed rental properties rather well under the Washington State Landlord/Tenant Laws. Yes, there were some areas that needed tweaking to provide a more FAIR AND EQUITABLE treatment of tenants, and Red Roof made adjustments in some cases to that end.
Consider the 20 DAY NOTICE TO TERMINATE TENANCY allowed under the old law… 20 days! Imagine the hardship on tenants to find, apply for, get approved on, pack up and move into a new rental home… ALL WITHIN 20 DAYS!
It just wasn’t FAIR, and that is why Red Roof always tried to give our tenants 45 days notice… more than double what the state law required.
AND THEN ALONG CAME COVID!
Then we entered “THE COVID TIME”, running from March 2020 thru June, 2021… a time when renters were essentially ALLOWED, by law and proclamations, to
- Not pay rent
- Not pay utilities
- Not follow the terms of their rental agreement
And a time when us PMs were required to not do anything about it!
While it is true that some tenants were devastated, had lost ALL their income and couldn’t pay ANY of their bills, we found those folks to be in the minority. Most tenants were able to “pay something” and, when given the chance, readily and thankfully agreed to a TEMPORARY RENT PAYMENT PLAN. Some owners even volunteered rent reductions during this time… without the tenant asking for one!
Do I have strong feelings about THE COVID TIME? Yes.
Is there any point to say more? No.
Moving right along…
Now we are in what I like to refer to as “THE BRIDGE TIME”, working under a Landlord/Tenant Law, REVISED during THE COVID TIME by well-meaning but wrong-headed legislators in Olympia to favor tenants, excessively and unfairly so!
The pendulum has swung too far with these revisions, but until and unless someone fights to change the law again we JUST HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT… and work around what we can in it.
Can we evict tenants that refused to pay ANY rent since March of 2020? Tenants who, in addition to not paying ANY rent, stopped paying the utilities, violated all the terms of their rental agreement by allowing criminals to move in with them, acquired unpermitted pets (pitbulls), hoard trash on-site and are generally destroying the property?
No, of course not! We would be accused of HARASSMENT by the attorney that is provided for them for free… BY LAW.
Instead we must submit to mediation, give them a payment plan… AND WAIT. If they owe 6 months rent then we must give them 18 months to pay what they owe.. BY LAW.
There are many steps that we must go thru BEFORE we can even think about starting any EVICTION against these types of tenants from hell. Fortunately there aren’t that many out there, but when we do get involved with them, it really is a challenging to know what can be done!
Do we like any of all this? No, who would? It’s a bit insane!
Rest assured, though, that Red Roof Rentals is prepared to deal with all these issues AND MORE that now come up on a daily basis in this POST-COVID world.
You will sleep better when we manage your rental!
Yesterday (Thursday, Sept. 23) I was interviewed by KIRO TV and appeared on the 5 o’clock news in response to Governor Insley’s extension of the election moratorium.
– GO TO VIDEO –