Real Stories Show Why Rent Control Won’t Work in WA

District 2

  • Daren

“Rent control will not allow you to keep up with the market increases that occur with increased taxes, insurance and maintenance. It will create a class system, those who are included in rent control and everyone else. The solution for me will be to sell all residential rentals. The supply will go down if these are purchased by owner occupied buyers. This will reduce the numbers of available units. 

Taxes are increasing at way over 7% in most cases over the last several years. I have one property in WA that had an increase in the annual insurance premium from $6,500 in 2021 to $25,000 in 2024. Labor costs continue to increase for tradespeople. Then you add the fact that if a tenant damages a unit where rent is $1,000 and $1,000 is what you are capped at for your deposit. The cost to paint a unit is $1,000 let alone if the person did damage to your flooring, appliances, drywall, etc… 

This is a no win situation for the landlord that already has to deal with the only state that provides free tax payer legal for the tenant that has not paid rent. Then it takes 6 months to get the tenant out and you cannot recapture any legal fees you incur and are forced to have.”

District 5

  • Michael G.

“I have an acquaintance in central California who has lived in the same rent control apartment for over 20 years. While this may seem like the outcome this Act would foster, she routinely complains about the condition of the property and how her landlords make only the repairs that are absolutely necessary. The landlords never make improvements that aren’t required and the experience for both the tenant and landlord suffers due to rent control. These landlords cannot afford to update this property because the State restricts their ability to charge what is necessary to make these improvements. Nobody is a winner in this scenario. Our State is running full speed at this wall.

My wife and I have invested almost all of our property revenue back into our properties servicing the debt, but also repairing and making improvements. We do this with the understanding that we will someday be able to retire and live off of the revenue generated by a well cared for and loved rental property.
We rarely raise our rents preferring to keep them below market and keep long term tenants. Basically providing affordable housing. The proposed “”Rent Stabilization Act”” or rent control will force us to raise our rents at every opportunity to the maximum, just to make sure we have reserves for catastrophes.

I urge you PLEASE to reject Rent Control, it will hurt the very people it claims it wants to help.

In 2020 the Gov decided that our tenants did not need to pay rent even though we had legal contracts stating so. While they were allowed to defer, our mortgages, utilities, property taxes and all other property repairs and expenses continued to accumulate and demand payment. Many property owners lost everything, others nearly bankrupted, and many other mom and pop landlords were forced to sell or lose their lifelong investments in real estate.

During this time we drained our retirement savings to maintain our few properties, repair roofs, paint and repair damage done by a bad squatter tenants who we were legally not allowed to evict even though the people weren’t on the lease. They were so bad that the tenant above them was let out of his lease because he and his kids didn’t feel safe. We could not get them out and remodel until the eviction moratorium was lifted we are still trying to recover.

Now, once again the State is attempting to force control over their citizens with no regard to the consequences.”

  • Helen H.

“I am in a college town. One big party at the end of the year can result in major damages. The late fee cap of 1.5 % is no incentive for tenants to pay on time, most of my 1 bedroom units rent for $500.00 the late fee of $7.50 does not discourage paying on time. The 180-day notice in a college town could be detrimental to a landlord, for example. If a tenant gives notice and moves in the month of February, the unit would most likely not rent again until May, June July or even August. Leases in a college town typically run off the campus schedule. Mandatory damages of 3 months rent, again, lets use my 500.00 rent, 1500 dollars in damages would easily exceed that amount if there are holes in walls, carpets ruined. We have small claims court, a tenant can take us to court and let the judge decide if the charges are unreasonable.”

  • Kevin B.

“This is a bill that will increase rent dramatically. When you change the risk assessments in a business you increase the cost. The market will get worse there will be fewer people and companies willing to invest in housing in Washington, the harder you make it to protect their investments the less investment you will get! If you want to stabilize the market you incentivize the investors with financial gain not penalize them for providing a service. All of these bills that get proposed never have any responsibilities for the tenants to maintain and take care of the investment. Tenants need to have responsibility; without accountability there is no community and if we only look out for our own interests we never consider our neighbors, that’s the root of the problem.

There is always 2 sides of an issue and a balanced approach would benefit everyone. Having the burden shared would put everyone working towards a better living environment. Not all investment property owners are large corporations some are individuals with debt service on their investments and moderate resources. Not all rental property is in King and Pierce County and not all communities have the same issues. These issues should not be dealt with at a level of the state, more at the city and county where it’s appropriate for their market.

We had a tenant whose lease expired, and was given all the proper notifications that he would be moving out at the end of his lease. This tenant opted to just do what he wanted, and not consider anyone else, the landlord, the property manager, the future tenant, or anyone else making a living working in this community. The lease ended at the end of May, it took till the following March to get the tenant out. There were expenses incurred to find the new tenant a separate place to live, legal fees, involved in removing the tenant, Leaving us with a unit that emptied out, not on cycle, which caused lost rent, and additional cleanup and repairs were needed because the tenant didn’t want to move out.

Integrity is an important part for any community. When people sign a contract they should be required fulfill their obligation, I believe we need to have standards, but there is a tipping point where you go too far over the line and put the burden on one party, which is not reasonable. In our current landlord tenant laws, there is a 10 to one burden on the landlord versus the tenant. This is not an equitable distribution responsibility. Continuing to absolve people of responsibility perpetuate’s a cycle of dependence and doesn’t teach people the skills they need to survive in the real world. We need to facilitate growth not dependence!”

District 6

  • Mallory

“I recently had someone move into a brand new unit and stayed for 6 months. They destroyed the vinyl, carpet and paint. It amounted to 6k in damages. Their rent is $2600. They are refusing to pay what they owe. It’s not my fault the cost of labor and materials has gone up. How come I have to pay all this money to repair damage to my unit and am now going to have a more difficult time getting an appropriate deposit up front. I already can’t do anything to collect money. The collection agencies can’t even collect. So I just continue to lose money and it makes me want to stop working as a landlord in this state. This job is no longer enjoyable. I feel like I constantly have ridiculous hurdles to overcome and my hands tied behind my back.”

District 8 

  • Ron T.

“Our renters tend to be in their late thirties to mid 40’s in age and tend to take care of rental homes like a teenager might take care of a rental car. At our Seattle rental the renter did over $20,000.00 in damage and we only recovered $3,000.00 thanks to our King County court system that tends to believe landlords are evil. Our Kent, WA rental, the previous renter destroyed the kitchen pantry doors, the primary bathroom door, and punched holes in the walls of one of the bedrooms. Do you know how much it costs to get contractors to a home to do repairs? Insurance costs went up 30%. Attorney Fees to go after renters who have destroyed our property? And you want to limit what I can charge for rent? For damage deposit? YOU?! You don’t have any skin in my game. You do not suffer the losses. After property taxes, new roofing, carpeting, paint, plumbing repairs it makes no sense to keep a home for rental income. We can do better in a money market or the stock market. In the last 10 years every one of our friends has sold their rental properties AND moved to Arizona or Florida while you busy-body thugs pass these laws taking control of our possessions. Just how arrogant can a group be? This law says it all. All you folks do is create more Homeless waving your child’s magic wand thinking can solve problems you have created in the first place.”

District 19

  • Jason A.

“The fees, taxes and charges for landlords will stop yet we cannot pass the cost on to renters therefore it will NO LONGER be a business. It will wind up costing the landlord instead of it being profitable.

We had squatters for 7 months and could not get them out because of the laws. They trashed our place and we even had to pay for utilities for them all the while. It took 1000’s of dollars to fight and repair. It was a total of 1 year to get back on the market. Rental loss was $19,800.00. The government has everything backward.”

District 20

  • Christopher F.

“Small investors will not want to invest in rental properties that have these kinds of restrictions.

Cost of legal proceedings and maintenance costs are rising at an unsustainable rate. Capping rent increases adds significantly to the risk associated with owning rental property. Many have and many more people are getting out of the business as there is too much risk. This bill makes matters worse.”

  • Dale P.

“Over time, I will lose ground to inflation. I will not be able to respond to the free market supply and demand. Until someone figures out how to stabilize the value of the US Dollar, and every single local economy, it makes no sense to stabilize rents. It is simply unfair.

We (yes, it affects my wife too) had to evict a paraplegic because his drug induced rages woke up and scared the neighbors repeatedly. 

Four different tenants in the unit above him moved out over the years while we were trying to be patient with the offender. Every one of these move outs cost us more money.


This individual had no resources so a lawsuit to cover the damages would have been a waste of time and money. 

We have lots of stories across 30 rentals. We made MANY sacrifices to purchase these properties. We could rant for hours about how we have been abused by tenants. 

My wife and I (both retired) are contemplating liquidation of all our rentals and moving to a landlord friendly state. One where personal property rights are protected.”

District 23

  • Monica H.

“With rent control in effect, as a small-time landlord (my home that we are keeping for when we return from military service) I would be faced with the difficult financial strain of absorbing essential maintenance costs and be forced to reduce investments in improvements and nonessential maintenance. This, in turn, could decrease the value not only of my home, but of the surrounding housing. Rent stabilizations more often ends in blight and not a neighborhood of pride of person and place. I currently have a tenant who is all but “squatting” on my property and refusing us access to make needed maintenance repairs, including re-roofing my home. This individual has also filled my house – the home that my family and I intend to return to upon completion of military service – with piled high junk that shows evidence of animal and insect infestation. The repair work will be extensive to say the least. I know that we have already had to cover the costs of exterior insect and animal damage to the exterior because it was not reported and the resultant damage was thousands of dollars. If I cannot hold tenants responsible for damages caused, I might as well not rent at all and further contribute to the housing crisis. Small landlords also need protection and not just renters. My home is my investment for my children’s future so that they may have a home to return to in Washington State and complete the collegiate education there. I don’t want to give up on my dreams for them because of policies that have been proven in other states and by economic experts that rent stabilization ultimately HURTS rather than protects those legislators claim to want to help – and don’t forget, small-time landlords are also your constiuents for whom you also have a fiduciary duty to advocate on behalf of.”

District 25

  • Brett A.

“We charge and have always charged a full 1/3 less than market rent.  By capping rent increases, we can only raise our 1 br rent by $21 without undue restrictions. We do all we can to keep our tenants who have marginal incomes and we always treat them with respect. This bill will penalize us for doing so. It means that landlords who have kept rents high will be limited in further increases but those of us who have been generous with lower rents will be punished and will even be unable to keep up with our mortgage + the continual increases in insurance, utilities and taxes. We also have single family homes we manage. Those will be sold and likely be taken off the rental market. Please think through the implications of this bill and others like it!”

District 26

  • Dave R.

“Rent Stabilization will make it impossible to provide economical rent for the residents of Bremerton. Rents will go up if I can’t adjust as per costs from the onset of the rental term, as to recoup expected increases in insurance, repairs, and taxes.  This bill hurts tenants, landlords, and the community. The last tenant that was evicted took 3 months, finally vacated property, without paying several months rent, removed property from the unit, and still owes a court ordered amount over $6500.  That amount did not cover the light fixtures, doors, fire extinguishers, toilets, sinks, kitchen sinks, heaters, appliances, etc that had to be replaced because they were either damaged or stolen.  It was discovered after the fact that the tenant had “sold” many of these items prior to vacating.  Over $5000 worth of repair/replacement was necessary.  So I have a court order and I am still out over $11,000.  I would rather have a property sit empty than not be able to protect my investment.”

  • Alan S.

“I am a grocery worker who has worked 6 days a week for years to maintain a rental property & keep my head above water. With every new law in favor of tenants, it’s become increasingly less cost effective for small mom & pop landlords to provide housing for the public. The maintenance costs alone are tough enough. I supplement in hopes to have some form of retirement one day but the new law proposal hamstrings me where I’m feeling compelled to sell. Laws for tenants have put me in a position where I’ve had to subsidize a tenant for 4 months not paying rent until I could get him out legally. The cost of a lawyer, utilities, loss of rent, massive damages done to the house, all while paying for my own mortgage & bills forced me to work without a day off for months as I had to take money from credit cards to cover. I’m a grocery store worker & don’t make a lot. The system seems unfair & unjust in circumstances like these and unfortunately it happens all to often as those in the think tank allow it to do so.”

  • Loren J.

“I had an application from a Ukrainian family with ZERO CREDIT and ZERO RENTAL history. They offered me 6 months rent in advance. I said I prefer the deposit increased to 3 months rent. My reasoning if they don’t pay,, hopefully I can get them out in the 90 day period the deposit covers. If I did not have that flexibility I would NOT RENT TO THEM. New roofs 5 years ago on 2 duplexes, $22,000. New paint on 2 duplexes $8,000. A tenant did not notify me of leaking dishwasher. They continued to use it and it destroyed the floor. I had to take up the vinyl, and the sub floor. I had to drill holes in the base of the cabinets and run heaters and fans to dry out the plywood floor. The process took me 3 MONTHS to get repairs made and new floor AND VINYL.

I just renewed 3 leases with tenants and did not raise the rent. In the future I think I will always need to raise the rent 7%. Why because you guys scare me. I need to take some uncertainty out of my rental business. YOU and your AGENCIES have created much of the problem. Your regulations are excessive. You should review how YOU have increased rental costs. For Instance I had a gravity drainfield fail because I failed to keep tree roots out of the system. The system had been serving the property for 50 years. FIFTY YEARS. I was not allowed to install another gravity drainfield for $5,000. I had to install a pump and pressure system for $13,000+. Kitsap County Health Inspector agreed it was silly since the other system had worked 50 years.”

District 27

  • Steve K.

“I have a single family home that I have kept as a rental unit for over 20 years. If I am required to carry the full burden of this new law I will need to sell the house. I prefer to keep it as a rental unit. I am fine with reasonable laws that protect Tenants but please do not pass laws that put the entire burden on the small landlords. Look for Rental assistance funds to help tenants. I have a mortgage, Insurance, Taxes and maintenance and can not afford to pay all of these things if/when I do not receive a rent payment.”

  • Eric K.

“As a small landlord (with 3 single family houses) rent stabilization would force me to sell.  Along with eviction bans, caps on deposits…etc., rent stabilization will make every one of my rentals lose more money on an annual basis than I could ever afford along with increasing the overall risk on the investment to the point where it would be financially negligent for me to keep them.  These programs harm the small investor and will only benefit the large investor who can spread out the risk. If you want to help struggling renters come up with a feasible rental assistance program.  That way they funds go directly to keeping people housed.

I currently have a tenant 4 months behind on rent.  He is working hard to get caught up so I continue to work with him but in the meantime over $10,000 behind and getting worse every month.  He’s applied for rental assistance but has been denied because the funds run out too quickly.  I will have to serve him eviction notice soon.  If you’d like to help him, help him (and all renters directly) with direct assistance.  I can’t continue to bear the cost and will be forced to evict and then sell. It’s time to stop villainizing housing providers and helping both the provider and the tenant.  It’s important to remember that housing providers are just investors…we are NOT required to provide housing.  Investors will leave the marketplace which will lead to less inventory and higher rents.”

  • David D.

“Last year I had to replace my roof at $20,000 and a new water line at $10,000. Insurance rates are going through the roof. How will I be able to not raise rents? I will need to sell all of my units and the new owner will have to raise rents way more than I would to cover his costs of purchasing.”

  • Teresa M.

“Rent Stabilization will be a very negative thing. I serve a 62 & older population, capping rent at 7% when utilities have been going up 8.5 – 10% leaves no room to plan for a budget.  Then expecting new building of multi-family apartments to pay for this bill will stop building. Dealing with damages from pets, or infestation of bed bugs, can cost a landlord over $3000.00 just to replace flooring, that does not take into account painting, blinds, and appliances. If I have to do a full rehab on a unit it costs me over $8000.00 per unit,  not to mention if you are denying a landlord due process to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent, or an out of control pet problem, unacceptable unit condition. This costs a landlord more money to complete the process, then what ends up happening is you lose good residents because they move out due to the problem tenant not moving.  Landlords do not want to do evictions. We make money by having our units rented. My fear is these kinds of laws will cause boards to sell their properties because they can’t run them and pay the bills. I know my board is very concerned about these laws and we are truly a non-profit business. If the apartments can’t pay for themselves these units will disappear. Low income Senior Housing should be a priority.  We need balanced laws and fees that take into account the real cost of doing business.  We do not need more restrictions, and fees and another layer of bureaucracy to deal with.”

  • Scott W.

“I was just hit with a 34% increase in my property taxes. It amounts to a $5000 per year increase. It’s an 8 plex and will now require a $52 per UNIT per MONTH increase just to cover the taxes. That does not include the increase in utilities, insurance, inflation, labor costs, utility increases and on and on. Someone drove through a wrought iron fence at another property a couple of months ago and the bill was $19,000. My insurance only paid $10,000 and they are now threatening to cancel my insurance. How on earth am I supposed to keep my rents low when all of these costs need to be paid?  And you want to cap my rents?  How about capping property taxes?  Ever think of that?”

  • Janelle C.

“My husband and I provide affordable housing, well below market rate, and work with our tenants as an important part of our community. Over the years, we have mentored many young renters on jobs, managing finances, and life skills. It is an amazingly meaningful part of our work. We live in half of a duplex and live modestly. The income from our rentals is not supplementary, it is essential household income. My husband does the repairs himself and I manage the property.

Over the 13 years we have been housing providers, there have always been unexpected costs and repairs. Our units were all built in the early 1970’s. We had major water pipe repairs on 2 of the units. My husband spent a month, nights and weekends, digging out the water pipes entering the townhouse, digging under the townhouse as well, and replacing all the fittings and transitions from outside lines into interior pipes. 

Another year, we discovered that the roofing on the 3 bedroom unit, which was brand new when we bought it, was done improperly. There was no plywood underlay, and the flashing around the chimney was on backwards, and was leaking into the fireplace. This is the one area my husband is not comfortable in doing himself. We paid for an entire roof replacement, all new plywood, and re-flashing on the chimney. 

Our rental property investment is the largest investment we have. When we made the decision to be housing providers, we decided that the risk of not being more diversified was ok because it was a stable investment where we felt we could manage our risks. That is no longer the case. If rent control goes through, along with all the other restrictions that come with it, we will move our rental units into privately owned condos.”

  • Tammy B.

“I have lived here my entire life and today was my first time going to the Capitol. The Capitol is beautiful!!  

I was there to fight for my owners, who have worked hard for what they have.  Their livelihoods weren’t considered during COVID, when the state made sure to let the tenants know, they didn’t have to pay rent because the landlords/owners were not able to do anything to them.

We weren’t allowed to give:

  • Notice to comply, letters
  • Pay or vacate letters
  • Rent increase letters
  • Renewal with rent increases letters
  • Non-renewal of lease letters

We weren’t able to do anything for almost 2 years!  And now they all want more.  

My personal experience of my 72 unit complex was many tenants took complete advantage and stopped paying rent knowing they wouldn’t get evicted.   This is the problem.   The more you continue to give to the tenants the more they want.   This is why they don’t want to work.   Why would they when you give them everything and leave the landlord with nothing.   My delinquencies were over $120,000 at one point.   Now the eviction process is out of control and the state is the ones at fault.   My first eviction was for non-payment of rent, 1 person household that moved in at one time 12 others that were criminals in my secured building and was continually told we had to go through the process that took 6 months.  

We have a current eviction, again non payment of rent since June of 2023.  Did all the right things and then she gets a free attorney after being a no show for court and this free attorney starts talking about how confusing the notice to pay or vacate was.   What is confusing, SHE HASN’T PAID RENT IN 8 MONTHS.  There is nothing confusing about that.  So we are having to start all over, it will be well over a year of no rent before we can get her out.  Oh and she moved in with her BF that was just released from Prison after 23 years. 

This madness needs to stop. Bring back the 3 day Pay or Vacate notices, late fees of more than $10.  Then watch all these people go get jobs. Homelessness was out of control like it is now. That’s another issue saved for another day. 

The horror stories are endless.”

  • Dustin C.

“I was about to rent out my house, but with a cap on damage deposit, rent increase limits, 180 day eviction notice. It’s taking away the rights of the landlord and putting the rights into the hands of the tenants. It’s unrealistic.”

  • Melanie A.

“On two recent vacancies, the cost of damages together with the wear and tear left by the tenants exceeded one year of rent. One unit sustained damage our insurance company called “rough living” as well as bullet holes and resulting damage created by a drive-by shooting in what is considered a “nice neighborhood”. Other damages included multiple foot long holes in the walls, carpet that was never cleaned and has to be replaced. In 30+ years of living where we do  “Normal wear and tear” comes nowhere close to the condition a family that had been there for five years left us with. A simple paint job and cleaning can’t even come close to getting it back in livable condition. This single family home will be sold as soon as all work is done, likely taking one more unit off the rental market.  The cost to rehab it and make it presentable again will exceed $30,000. Taxes and insurance cost over $6,000 a year. The mortgage is $1700 a month. Taxes and insurance are escrowed. Another single family home we originally purchased for our daughter ended up being rented out when a job transfer forced a move. Due to rising costs of taxes, insurance, maintenance etc. that too will be sold. Taxes and insurance as well as partial utilities run us around $5000 a year. Some costs are escrowed into our $1600 mortgage payment. A tenant who lived in a duplex we own for 8 years at below market rent left so much damage we spent the equivalent of two years rent to make it habitable again.  Repair costs ran over $25,000. Taxes, insurance, utilities run us over $5000 a year. Thankfully, that building is F & C. It is now rented out at market thru a property management firm.  When feasible, we will be selling that as well. That one together with the other unit could potentially be re-rented as well.  We have been approached on several occasions by investors who want it for the lot and it could potentially be expanded to create more housing but that remains to be seen. 

Increasing taxes, insurance rates, interest rates, construction costs etc are making it hard for small businesses like ours to continue being landlords.  

Imposing the types of policies being proposed will only compound the inability of small rental owners like us to continue to operate. We cannot afford to carry non paying tenants for months on end. When a tenant doesn’t pay rent, we still have to find money to pay mortgages, taxes and insurance. When a tenant causes damage, with the increasing cost of construction, deposits are often insufficient to cover repairs. Proposed policies all seem nice for potential tenants but make the cost to the property owners unsustainable. At one time rentals were looked upon as great investments. Not everyone can afford to buy homes. Many small landlords like us offer an opportunity for people to live in houses vs apartments. Sadly we, like many other small landlords, can no longer afford to be in this business. Before passing these laws, I ask that those who make these decisions consider very carefully the impact this will have on people like us. I realize we are in the minority and our voices are being drowned out by the majority. Unfortunately, this minority provides the majority of single family rental homes. With the shortage of affordable homes available for sale, many first time home buyers may be happy to take them off our hands reducing available rentals.”

  • Stan S. and Colleen G.

“We have been housing providers since 1996. We keep our homes in immaculate condition AND keep rents below market. Why? Because we care about our tenants and appreciate that their rent payments help us buy homes that will provide income when we retire. 

At least that was the plan. 

There are other investments that do not carry the risk, unpaid labor and stress of being a housing provider in a state that does not respect or value the folks making homes for other people. HB 2114 piles on top of Measure 1 and other changes Tacoma City Council has made in the last few years. We can no longer use our discretion to choose a tenant. We have no remedy should a tenant choose to not follow their lease, including paying rent. These are our houses. We gave up our lives to purchase and renovate them. We have scars all over our bodies from working on them! Bottom line is that we have 28 years of experience, 28 years of relationships with people who have lived in our care. We know what it takes to sustain our business and keep tenants happy.

We cannot hand keys to a stranger if, once they take possession, we have no control. If we have no remedy. Defense to eviction? Mandatory damages? AG office oversight? 

THE GOOD (or not as bad)

During the pandemic we had a tenant who raised rent on themselves by $150/month. They valued how hard we worked to care for their home and garden and knew their rent was well under market. They couldn’t understand how they got extra unemployment but housing providers were supposed to suck up the costs of providing housing with or without rent payments. (We couldn’t understand that either. Interesting how the lack of value for people who make homes for others extends through today with proposed HB 2114.)

Unfortunately when they moved out, the carpet tape they had used to secure rugs destroyed the wood floor. Pulling on the tape ripped off finish AND wood fibers. Their $2000 deposit covered only 20% of the cost to lay LVP. 

THE BAD (very bad)

In another home, tenants were perpetually late with rent even before the pandemic. By the end, they were one full payment behind. During restrictions, they broke their lease repeatedly. They adopted a dog and three cats and pet sat for other people. They had bird seed and other animal food all around the property. Bird seed attracts rodents. When they got rats, they refused to hire pest control as required by their lease. We took on that expense of $135 per month. We had to replace water pipes four times because of chewing. We had to replace the gas line. We had to dig down to the footer and install wire mesh. We had to rip siding off the house to fix leaks in the wall behind the shower. We had to replace parts of the sill plate that softened due to the moisture. By the time the rats were gone, we had spent more than $20,000 on repairs. By the time the tenants were gone, every surface was damaged and/or filthy. They took what they wanted and left the rest. We had to repair or resurface every square inch of the property inside and outside. They had broken siding, destroyed window trim. Baseboards were broken, some missing, door frames splintered. The wood floor, which had been refinished just before they moved in, needed refinished again. The gas range, new when they moved in, had to be discarded. Between the two of us and friends who helped, we put in over $80,000 in unpaid labor.  Material costs were in excess of $13,000. 

Ultimately we lost even more because we couldn’t risk re-renting after changes the City of Tacoma made to the landlord-tenant regulations. We sold the property. Taxes and commissions and fees ate up at least $90,000 from proceeds. We’ve lost all potential income going forward. Tacoma lost a rental home. 

Oh, and the tenant never caught up on rent.

THE UGLY (legislation)

Currently the legislature is only considering tenants who are not earning enough to afford market rates for homes. There are other people that should count. All other tenants and housing providers. These arrangements have to work for all of us.”

District 28

  • Payton

“Rent stabilization will affect my employment and housing as I am currently an onsite property manager. It could affect rental office employees’ pay as it limits the owners income. With rent stabilization, housing providers and investors will have no incentive to continue providing these services. Rent stabilization can limit housing supply and discourage property owners from upgrading their properties.”

  • Cindy H.

“Damage done to an apartment that had not paid rent for months, waiting for the eviction process to play out in court.  Cupboard doors ripped off, holes in the walls, unauthorized pets and the damage the pet caused, roaches and extermination fees, trash left behind, all the flooring had to be replaced, doors had to be replaced, the frame of the door where the door had been broken into by the resident.  The rent and utilities not paid and damages caused where well in excess of $40,000.  On a small property that is a huge loss.”

  • D. D.

“We have consistently provided high quality dwellings that allow renters to be proud of where they live.  We work very hard to establish well-maintained and safe settings for all of our tenants.  This is expensive!   This works very well for all.

Many of the priorities in bill HB 2114 (Rent Stabilization) work directly against the landlord’s ability to sustain the following:  a quality living space, a friendly and trusting relationship with tenants, and encouraging personal responsibility for tenants.  All of the above serve the greater good.

How can the state encourage the construction of ADU properties and at the same time suggest such a detrimental bill as HB 2114?”

  • Don L.

“I just purchased a small apartment complex from an estate where it was owned for 40 years.  The rents were extremely low.  The selling price was based on current market rents.  If I cannot raise rates to current values, I will have to pay substantial money out of my pocket each month to the point I will not be able to sustain and will lose the property.  The property needs updating in insulation, energy windows, plumbing, electrical, heating, paint and cosmetics.  I will have no money to do any of these.  The tenants are excited to have a new owner who wants to do upgrades and are willing to pay additional rents. You are killing the rental market from people who are willing to invest in this State to provide reasonable housing at great financial risk.  This is not a game, it is a business.  The rental market is fine and healthy.  What you are trying to do will kill it, only reduce the number of units making rents much higher in the long run.  I also currently have 3 rental houses and I have contacted my real estate agent to sell. I will take my proceeds and invest in another state where the government stays out of the rental market and is not trying to destroy it.  Idaho is a good example (also where my daughter lives). Stay out of areas you know nothing about and have never experienced.  Owning rental real estate is a tough business and you are making it a lot harder.  These decisions will come back to haunt you and the people who need it the most, my tenants.”

  • Hwa S.

“Currently, the cost of labor and price of materials is very expensive.   Landlords have to pay the mortgage, various management and maintenance expenses (roof clean and replacement, fence repair, appliance replacement, overgrown tree and yard maintenance, remodeling after tenants move out, hire plumber, check for water leaks, etc…).  Landlord’s economy will become difficult, it will be difficult for me to provide for the needs of my tenants.   

The rental business will be very difficult to continue, I think people who do not work hard, are not very stressed like we are all the time.  

I hope the government gives a little more consideration to the difficulty of the landlord.”

District 29

  • Gratitude House

“I have had multiple people up and leave in the middle of their lease with their apartments when behind in rent with no notice, no forwarding address etc . Completely thrashed. One month rent for deposits does not cover damages to apartments. 

Doing this makes it harder for the people that do have a few properties to keep those properties going. Everything is going up in price but we would not be allowed to recoup some of the rising cost in rent or be able to charge a certain amount for a deposit to cover our losses. I understand there is a housing crisis, but making it harder for the landlord is not helping anybody. It will make it so that us smaller landlords have to sell to bigger corporations, and will make it harder on the tenants in the long run.”

District 30

  • Kris H.

“I will sell my properties and not be a landlord any longer.  I already provide affordable rents, yet my costs continue to climb. Trash haul away to the tune of $12,000 after paying $6,000 in eviction fees and then had to put the house back together to the tune of $48,000.  And after all of that, the tenant owes me more than a year of rent (thank you Gov Inslee during Covid).  All along, I had to continue to pay all of the expenses on a home I didn’t even live in.   I had never raised his rent in the 10 years he lived there and that was the appreciation I received.  You all think that landlords are awful people and have endless pockets, but that is just not the truth.  I’ve always been a good Landlord, but have had many bad tenants over the past 30 years.”

  • Jon K.

“The proposed measure effectively places an often overwhelming burden on private landlords.  If signed into law, HB 2114 will promote the creation of conglomerate rental housing ownership that can only survive with the highest volume of revenue due to the excessively slim margins that the bill creates.  Instead of local ownership, housing will eventually be sold to the largest ownerships that can afford to ignore a lesser individual return on investment. To hopefully avoid major unexpected expenses, we opt to promote goodwill through modest rent increases for our best tenants.  It has been our experience that if we put in the effort to make our tenants’ lease terms comfortable and trouble-free, our tenants will reciprocate.”

District 31

  • Jason C.

“Repair costs have tripled over the past few years as well as the risk of defaulting tenants. This is in addition to the increased property taxes and insurance premiums. If this law passes, I will sell my rental house and invest in stocks. Recently the main line on my rental leaked and I spent over $7,000 replacing it. Then the next month the dishwasher went out and the cost to replace it was over $1000 with install and disposal of the old dishwasher. Just these two issues exceeded over 3 months of rent. This does not include the increase in property taxes or other repairs that have come up.

This proposed legislation has several aspects that will be detrimental to landlords and will only shrink the rental housing supply partially in single family properties.  In addition, the month to month at the same rate as leases will only cause tenants to have to move out at the end of their lease rather than extending for a short period.  Recently, my tenants asked to rent for an additional two months as they were planning to move at the end of the school year.  If this becomes law, we would not allow that since it gives tenants “just cause protection.”

District 34

  • Steve G.

“It will force me to raise all of my rents all the way up to fair market value and keep them there! I have always tried to be fair with my tenants but this bill takes the control away from me, and forces me to try and keep them to where a 7% increase will cover any costs I might have to absorb. Many of my units are 30-40% below fair market, so now I will be penalized because I have always tried to be fair. This leaves, me no choice but to raise them all the way up (probably forcing some of my tenants out) Otherwise I am stuck with them literally taking many years, if I decide I want to turn them over to a property manager. Then I’m stuck eating the cost for years till it gets caught up to fair market value. DON’T PUNISH REASONABLE LANDLORDS. 30+ units”

District 35

  • Amanda

“There are so many reasons Rent Stabilization will affect me and a majority of my community. We saw first had during the COVID Eviction Moratorium that halting rent increases had a major impact on new/transitioning residents because landlords could not increase rent for over 2 years. We saw rent increases across the board, state wide. Lowering/capping late rent payments only encourage renters to pay rent late, which cost landlords/housing providers more money that they have to pass on to their renters. Offering housing to the public as a landlord isn’t a privilege, as written in some texts, but an investment and we shouldn’t be punished for it. This is their right to have investment homes and provide LOCAL housing options to residents in their community. Most of “bad seeds” aren’t local mom/pop landlords but corporate investors that are just trying to get top dollar in multi-family apartments/condo/townhouse communities and any regulations should be targeted in that direction, but that would just pull more investment dollars out of the state. So what really should be the focus of topic is Zoning. Getting more duplex’s/ADUs etc. into our community that otherwise wouldn’t be allowed. A renter let their cat pee over and over in the same spot that soaked into the subfloor, drywall, trim etc. It cost over $10,000 in labor and materials to fix and 2 months of vacancy/loss rent.”

District 39

  • Teri J.

“I am writing to express my strong opposition to the proposed HB 2114 that includes a 7% rent cap, restrictions on late fees and move-in fees, and other measures. While I understand the intention behind these provisions, I believe that they would have detrimental effects on our community, particularly by exacerbating the housing crisis that is already a pressing issue.

Implementing a 7% rent cap and restricting late fees and move-in fees may seem like measures to protect renters, but in reality, they could have unintended consequences that worsen the housing affordability crisis. By imposing such stringent regulations on landlords, we risk discouraging investment in rental properties and limiting the availability of housing options for residents.

Furthermore, the requirement for a 180-day notice for rent increases over 3% and a 20-day lease termination for rent increases in violation of the 7% cap could create instability in the rental market. Landlords may be hesitant to make necessary adjustments to rental rates, leading to deferred maintenance and deterioration of rental properties. This, in turn, could negatively impact the quality of housing available to tenants.

Additionally, the ban on lower-priced fixed-term leases versus month-to-month arrangements could limit flexibility for both landlords and tenants. Fixed-term leases offer stability for both parties, allowing landlords to secure income and tenants to plan their housing arrangements with certainty. Banning such leases could disrupt this equilibrium and further complicate the rental market.

While consumer protection and oversight are important, the proposed extension of the Attorney General’s office oversight and enforcement, as well as mandatory damages and defenses to eviction, may create burdensome regulatory requirements for landlords. This could deter individuals from entering the rental market or prompt existing landlords to divest from rental properties altogether.

In conclusion, I urge you to reconsider the proposed HB 2114 and take into account the potential negative impacts it may have on our community’s housing situation. Instead of implementing restrictive measures that could exacerbate the housing crisis, we should focus on implementing policies that promote affordable housing development, incentivize responsible landlord practices, and protect the rights of both tenants and landlords.

Thank you for considering my concerns.”

  • Rick F.

“I have 4 rental units in Marysville . These are my only source of income other than social security.  The issues in the rent control bill that affect me the most will be:

1.5% late fee max; that is $30 on $2000 rent.  This is not an incentive to pay on time. I have  

Bills to pay that cannot wait for a tenant to pay rent .  

One month rent cap on move in fees.   This will not even cover damages I usually incur when a tenant leaves. And then I cannot collect last month rent so it’s too easy for a tenant to move out and skip out on the last month’s rent.  I recently incurred $3200 in damages on a small studio that I had only collected $1000 deposit on.  So I’m out $2200 plus another months rent as it took 3 weeks to replace carpet and fix and repaint  walls before I could show the unit to prospective tenants . So I’m out over $3500 I’ll never recoup.  Low deposit limits will take away any incentive tenants have to keep the premises in good shape.  

180 day notice of rent increase is not reasonable! I guess I’ll just give them the notice when they sign the lease so I don’t miss the time slot. The clause on not having a lower rate for a lease versus month to month will mean all my leases will pretty much revert to month to month .  Lenders like to see longer term leases so refinancing will be more difficult.  

These rentals are my retirement.  I worked hard for 45 years to build up a portfolio I can survive on.  Now it’s going to be compromised by unreasonable legislation aimed at large companies.”

District 40

  • Pam A.

“[2114] will disincentivize reinvestment in property, decreases available rental property and similar to today’s higher mortgage interest rates will lock tenants into current housing due to fear of losing lower rents, this will result in fewer available units on the market. This rent control measure also encourages sale of current long term rental housing due to inability to raise rents and encourages conversion to short term housing which is not impacted by this HB amendment. You are not price locking any other consumer necessities, such as fuel, groceries, hotel rates, short term rental rates, property taxes, vehicle costs, transportation costs, etc. Why are you just punishing the rental owners that sign away everything but their first-born child to get a commercial loan for rental investment and deal with the maintenance and tax increases along with all of the other new landlord/tenant laws that favor tenants over owners. We just purchased a 40 year old 6-plex for the purpose of rental income and reinvestment. Our rental income is our retirement income. There are 6 existing tenants in the building. The units are old and in need of capital improvements. Due to previous owner in nursing home, the rents are currently way below market rate. Our plan is to spend money to improve the property, fix leaks, roofing and siding issues, remodel bathrooms that are desperately in need. Our goal was to work with the tenants and make improvements slowly, but in order to do that, we have to raise rents closer to market rates. Your amendment does not allow for capital improvement rent increases, just new construction. The only other way we can raise the rent is at move out. We would prefer being able to justify rent increases over 7% with capital improvements as justification. Our property manager doesn’t even want to take on this property due to the current under market rate rents. With your rent control locks on rent increases how do you expect building owners to pay for capital improvements and maintenance?”

District 43

  • Dan T.

“This bill would remove incentives for renters to pay on time, causing me to be late with my mortgage. It will also stop me from offering any month-to-month leases. I just had a renter move out last week owing $5,470 in unpaid rent and even more after I calculate major damages (approx $4,000). And we only had a $1600 deposit!”

District 47

  • Mel C.

“Rent stabilization is nothing more than Rent Control, which has been proven to not work. I have owned and operated 18 single family rental homes in the Puget Sound area for the past 39 years. Landlords often incur very expensive repairs for roofing, plumbing, appliances, carpeting and flooring and these costs have been growing much faster than the rate of inflation the past 4 years. Proposing a cap on rent increases will only cause landlords to sell their properties and invest the proceeds elsewhere. This causes the pool of rental homes to decrease, which in turn raises demand and ultimately the rents. The legislature needs to learn from other large cities that failed after creating rent control. 

I’ve had three tenants during the past 10 years who failed to pay their rent, and caused extensive damage when they moved out.”

Districts 22, 26, & 28

  • Stefany C.

“I work as a portfolio manager for a Western Washington property management firm with close to 3000 units. Changes in our operation over the last two years have shown an extreme negative impact on not only our owners but more importantly our residents. Passing this bill would only add to the negative repercussions for tenants in our properties. Currently due to the cares act, tenants who pay their rent late receive a 30 day pay or vacate notice. This is replacing what was once a three day vacate notice years ago. Across all counties we have seen that tenants with financial issues are not paying their rent until the last possible day where a new month’s rent has now been charged. They are essentially snowballing debt to where they cannot recover, and our eviction rates have skyrocketed. The only recourse we have to motivate tenants to pay their rent on time is charging a reasonable late fee. Our properties charge a one time late fee of $125 after a 5 day grace period. If this was capped at 1.5% then we would have a much higher percentage of residents paying late. For our lower cost units this late fee will be less than $20 which is not enough to motivate on time payments. Furthermore, late payments result in long lasting negative impacts for these residents. Ownership will not renew residents that chronically pay late and with the passage of the bill, there would be many more of them. Also, a common requirement to be approved for housing involves a rental verification. Our criteria, much like many others, does not allow approval for applicants with more than two late payments in the course of a year. While I understand the need for affordable housing and do not believe 7% rent increase is unreasonable, the vast amount of delinquency our properties will endure, will push ownership to ask for higher rental rates for all new residents. This bill will, without a doubt, backfire in its attempt to lower rental costs in Washington.”

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