2010 Legislative Report

LEGISLATIVE FINAL

2010 State Legislative Session

- Tim Seth & Charles Beck -

In this second season of the 2009-10 Legislative session, over 30 new landlord-tenant laws were re-introduced....six passed into law and were signed off by the Governor. All the others died in the process...thanks to the coordinated/cooperated efforts of WLA and other landllord lobbying interests! To be reconsidered next session, sponsors must redraft and reintroduce such as new bills. We will be ready. Meanwhile, many thanks for the optional PAC donations being submitted with dues billing payments!.

STATE BILLS

HB 2745 - EPA Lead Paint Compliance. Implements compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s renovation, repair, and painting rule in new lead paint construction/repair standards. (See related article herein...”New Lead Paint Law”.) Briefly, there are new requirements for contracting workers to be certified/trained in the dealing with lead paint (on properties build earlier than 1978). In part due to urging by WLA (Tim & Chuck), Spokane Representative Matt Shea (Dist 4) got an ammendment passed to exclude said requirements on minor repairs (eg. door knob hole in wall). Passed and Signed by Governor

SSB 5798 - Medical Marijuana. Provides that health care professionals shall be excepted from liability and presecution for the authorization of marijuana use to qualifying patients for whom, in the health care professional’s judgment, medical marijuana may prove beneficial. Passed and Signed by Governor

ESB 6261 - Utility Collections. In response to the problem of rental owners getting stuck with large public utility bills racked up by contracting tenants, this bill would limit landlord liability to 4 months of past due utility (including public power). Submitted by the Washington Landlord Coalition of which WLA is a member, WLA supports. Passed and Signed by Governor

SB 6459-S - Inspections of Rentals. Authorizes a local municipality to require a landlord to provide a certificate of inspection as a business license condition. Requires a qualified inspector to only investigate a rental property for building and housing code violations that substantially endanger or impair the health of safety of tenants and their neighbors. Authorizes issuance of a search warrant to certain code enforcement officials that have not implemented a mandatory third party inspection program for the purpose of allowing the inspection of any specified premises to determine the presence of an unsafe building condition or certain violations. This legally crafted legislation covers a lot of detail in an attempt to balance the needs of government building officials with the rights of landlords and tenants (against undue intrusions by government). Hopefully, this will put to rest all the city code violation turmoil going on in their attempts to foster reasonable standards. Passed and Signed by Governor

SB 6591-S - Human Rights Complaints. Revises the procedure for complaints filed with the Human Rights Commission. The idea is to allow the Commission to close a case and cease further investigation where they find no reasonable cause of an unfair housing practice. Passed and Signed by Governor

SB 6749 - Real Estate Transfer. Expands the seller disclosure requirements in the transfer of commercial real estate. Passed and Signed by Governor.

Copies of these bills will be available at WLA’s Spring Conference. Otherwise, WLA members may call the WLA office at 888-753-9150 for a courtesy mailing.. Copies of these bills are also available from the Washington State Legislative Information Center:

PO Box 450600, Olympia WA 98504-0600, phone 360-786-7573, web site: www.leg.wa.gov
(Note: try the Web site, click bill info...works great!)
You can also call in your legislative concerns on the legislative hot line: 1-800-562-6000

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