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Rent Control Bill Introduced in Washington

The Evergreen state is the latest in a growing list to put forward a proposal for statewide rent control. The bill closely resembles California's version of rent control, albeit with the key difference being the repeal of local rent control preemption.

House Bill 2779, filed by Rep. Nicole Macri (D-43), is co-sponsored by Rep. Gerry Pollett (D-46), Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-33), Rep. Timothy Ormsby (D-3), Rep. Laurie Dolan (D-22) and Rep. Beth Doglio (D-22). 

HB 2779 seeks to implement several provisions:

  1. Requires minimum 180 days’ notice for any rent increase exceeding 3 percent.
  2. Allows the resident to terminate the lease at any time after the notice and prior to the rent increase becoming effective and only pay through the date of termination.
  3. Limits all rent increases to 5 percent plus consumer price index (CPI) in any 12-month period above base rent (defined as the lowest monthly or periodic rent paid in the twelve months preceding the date of the notice of rent increase. Base rent does not include amounts paid for utilities.).
  4. Requires service of the rent increase notice to be the same as a termination notice.
  5. Recoverable damages for violating this law would include, treble damages, costs and attorney fees.
  6. Repeals state preemption of local rent control ordinances. 

While there has yet to be a hearing for the bill, as housing affordability challenges continue to drive bad policy at all levels of government, it is as important as ever for the industry to be a part of these conversations to provide their expertise in how to effectively build more housing, address complex challenges and shape housing policy that will affect the industry for years to come. 

NAA will continue to work with the affiliate network to ensure that public policy does not impede but rather enhances the ability of rental housing providers to run their businesses and provide housing to one-third of Americans. 

NAA offers a variety of tools, expert insight, research and resources to assist in making your conversations with residents, media and policymakers all the more effective (including an entire library of resources dedicated to policy issues):

Please stay tuned to for further updates on this bill and other housing affordability issues.