No one should lose their home without a reason

SHB 2453/Macri Requiring Cause to Evict Sign on Letter

Sign on letter urging the Washington State House of Representatives to move HB 2453/Macri: Requiring a landlord to have a reason to evict

HB 2453 would close a significant loophole in Washington’s tenant protections and fair housing laws by requiring landlords to have a legitimate reason to make someone move. Right now, Washington State only requires that landlords provide 20-days “no cause” notice meaning that the landlord does not have to disclose the reason for the termination. Allowing landlords to mask the reason for termination upholds discriminatory and retaliatory reasons that are otherwise not allowed under current law. Everyone should be given the opportunity to defend themselves, especially when eviction and loss of home are at risk. Requiring cause not only exposes the reason for termination, it requires that the reasons be fair.  

HB 2453 will advance equity by:

·     Closing a major loophole in Washington’s Fair Housing protections,
·     Requiring non-discriminatory reasons for termination of tenancy.

Discrimination is real and renter households in Washington are disproportionately people of color. People of color also experience evictions and homelessness at much higher rates than white households. Protecting renteres is critical to protect communities of color and to prevent homelessness.

Households of color are disproportionately renters:

·     69% of black households rent in Washington, compared to only 33% of white households.
·     57% of Hispanic or Latino households are renters in WA.
·     66% of Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander households are renters in WA.

After the first year of tenancy, SHB 2453 requires cause to evict. Below are the causes allowed:

·     Nonpayment of rent,
·     Breach of lease or rule,
·     Nuisance or disturbance to neighbors,
·     Landlord wants to move their family into the home, remove the rental from the market or convert to a condo,
·     Owner wishes to end a shared living arrangement,
·     Owner offers new rental agreement and tenant refuses to sign,
·     Tenant misrepresented key facts in their application for housing,
·     Tenant has chronically failed to pay rent in a timely manner,
·     Landlord wants to do substantial rehabilitation or renovations,
·     Other good cause that the landlord can show.

 Other jurisdictions that require cause to evict:

Oregon, California, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Washington DC, Chicago, New York City, Seattle, Burien, Federal Way