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Burien is the 2nd Washington city to pass renter protection laws

The new ordinance puts into place policies that were the highest in priority during community engagement meetings.

Editor's note: The video above is about new renter protection laws in Washington state.

BURIEN, Wash. - The Burien City Council passed policies this week designed to protect renters and improve renter-landlord relationships.

The policies were passed on October 7 and will go into effect on October 15, 2019.

Ordinance 716 establishes the following:

Just cause eviction: Landlords can only evict a tenant for certain reasons and must comply with notification and timeline requirements. They will also need to secure a court order before evicting a tenant.

Also see | Burien City Council approves first-ever rental housing inspection program

Distribution of information: Landlords must provide written information about rental criteria and provide City-produced information packets that include summaries of new rental policies, the Property Maintenance Code, the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, forcible and unlawful detainer laws, and fair housing laws. The packets will be provided in multiple languages.

Deposit requirements and installment payments permitted: Landlords are required to allow tenants to pay a security deposit, non-refundable move-in fees, and last months’ rent in three consecutive equal installments if the tenancy is three months or longer, or two equal payments if the tenancy is month-to-month.

Also see | Seattle mayor signs legislation strengthening tenant protections into law

Notice of sale of low-income housing: Property owners must notify the City of their intent to sell properties if their property contains five or more rental units and at least one of those rental units is considered affordable to households at or below 80 percent of the area median income.

Housing ombudsman: Housing ombudsperson must be put in place with the City to investigate housing disputes, educate and advise tenants and landlords, and assist in resolving conflicts between tenants and landlords.

In 2020 the City of Burien said it will launch a campaign to educate both landlords and tenants on the new policies and the rental housing inspection program.

Also see | Microsoft invests $60 million in King County affordable housing