Landlords in Seattle recently received notice that a new city ordinance, the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance, has been approved which will require landlords to provide voter registration information to prospective and current tenants. Landlords who did not receive this notice should confirm that their rental housing properties are registered with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections as required pursuant to Seattle’s Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance. For more information about registering your rental housing property, you can go to: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codesrules/licensingregistration/RRIO/ownersmanagers/default.htm.
The required voter-registration information has been included in the Information for Tenants packet on housing laws prepared by the Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections that landlords are already required to provide to prospective tenants (whether or not they sign a rental agreement), current tenants at each renewal of a tenancy, and month-to-month tenants on an annual basis.
Landlords can download the Information for Tenants packet and print it out for new and prospective tenants. As to existing tenants, landlords are required by the new ordinance to send the packet to them immediately. Landlords may transmit this packet to existing tenants electronically. The Information for Tenants packet can be found online at: https://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cs/groups/pan/@pan/documents/web_informational/dpdd016420.pdf
The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance will be administered and enforced by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. Failing to provide an Information for Tenants Packet, which includes the required voter-registration information, may expose a Landlord to penalties, including a $500 citation for a first-time violation and a $1,000 citation for each subsequent violation in a five-year period. Additionally, tenants, who do not receive such a packet from their landlord, may terminate their rental agreement and file a civil action against their landlord where the tenants may recover damages, attorney fees, court costs, and a penalty up to $1,000.
Should you have any questions or concerns about how this new ordinance impacts your rights as a landlord or tenant, feel free to reach out to the attorneys at Holmquist & Gardiner, PLLC.
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