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Washington State Senate Considers Slate of Owner-Friendly Bills

Washington State

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Senate is considering four bills aimed at helping rental property owners by expanding and clarifying the different processes related to evictions, as well as clarifying rules on late fees. All four bills have the support of the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association.

Co-sponsor Sen. Don Benton (R) is Chair of the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, the initial committee of referral. The specific provisions are as follows:

  • SB 5218: Allowing the use of unlawful detainer for at-will tenancies – amends the unlawful detainer statutes to require a 20-day notice to terminate an at-will tenancy. The original period of notice was 30 days, however the committee recommended a substitute shortening it.
  • SB 5219: Allowing a three-day notice to pay rent to include all fees – allows a landlord to serve a three-day notice to pay rent, and requires a tenant to include any associated fees, including late fees, in the repayment.
  • SB 5220: Allowing for money judgments against tenants after alternate service – modifies existing statute regarding service of eviction lawsuits by posting and mailing. This would allow for a money judgment to be entered if the tenant answers and defends against the lawsuit.
  • SB 5221: Allowing for disposition of tenant’s property after eviction – allows landlords to dispose of any tenant property removed from a unit during a physical eviction after a five-day waiting period. The original bill would have made this at the tenant’s expense; the committee reported it with a substitute removing that language.

Once approved, the bills must receive a second reading in the Rules Committee before coming up for a final vote before the full Senate. The crossover deadline is March 11. Republicans maintain a single-seat majority in the Senate; while Democrats have a four-seat majority in the House.


Source: Washington Multi-Family Housing Association; Washington State Senate