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Renters get a bit of breathing room with Washington's new laws

New tenant protection laws began Sunday in Washington state, including more time to pay rent before eviction and longer notice for rent increases.

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — As of Sunday, hundreds of new laws went into effect for Washington state – and one of the more talked about changes involves new protections for renters.

Gone will be the days of the three-day pay or vacate. That rule will be replaced with a 14-day pay or vacate.

The idea behind the change is to give people more time to come up with the money and not have to worry about being without a home.

The other big change is the notification on rental increases. That expands from 30 days to 60 days, unless you live in subsidized housing.

A post on the KING 5 Facebook page received several responses from renters and landlords.

Victoria Laughlin has rental properties in Chehalis. She writes that she has no problem with the 60-day notice for rent increases, but admits she has a hard time with the three-day to 14-day change on the eviction process. 

She’s not alone. Several other landlords replied with similar thoughts. Renters who commented were mostly in support of the changes. 

In Washington state, there is no “rent cap” so landlords can theoretically raise the price as much as they want as long as they give proper notification.

A study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that, at Washington state's minimum wage of $12 per hour, a renter would need to work 75 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom unit at a fair market rent.

One property manager who did not want to go on camera said they expected push back from residents on the changes. When asked why, they said that despite the grace period they give for tenants until the 5th of each month to pay, they would place the 14-day notice on a tenant’s door on the 2nd day of each month, if they didn’t pay on the 1st.

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