Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rental Licensing Adopted in Prosser, WA -Seattle Considers Doing Same

Hesitation not being part of the Prosser, WA City Council agenda, the town quickly adopted a rental licensing and inspection program on 26 May. The new law will take effect on 1 January 2011. You can read an article in the TriCity Herald on the topic by clicking here.

Essentially, the City Council decided to pass a place-holder law to avoid the restrictions placed on rental licensing by the Washington legislature's Bill 6459 (click here to read about that statute) which allows rental licensing and inspection codes passed before 10 June 2010 to be exempt from the new state law. The town of Pasco already has a code in place that will also be grandfathered under the bill passed in Olympia last March. You can read Pasco's rental licensing code by clicking here and scrolling to Title 5, Business Licenses and Regulations on page 106. Prosser essentially borrowed the wording of the Pasco ordinance while planning to amend it at a later date to conform to the local situation.

Seattle is also now considering a licensing and inspection law. There, an officer with the Associated Students of the University of Washington testified before the City Council in support of inspections of rentals echoing the stance of the Editorial Board of the Western Front student newspaper of WWU. (Click here to read about the Western Front editorial) The program in Seattle would pay for itself under a fee charged to landlords. You can read an article on the Seattle licensing debate by clicking here.

It appears, then, that Bellingham is not alone in its pursuit of ensuring the safety and health of renters. Our Mayor and City Council should take note.

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