Five Ways to…Brush up on (and Shape!) Rules and Regulations

 Welcome back to Five Ways! Today we’ve got some different ways to keep apprised of the evolving world of state and local rules and regulations for landlords, and to help shape some of them as well.

1. Attend a meeting of the Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture committee.

Seattle City Council is now preparing to pass a final proposal for their mandatory rental housing inspection program, and the next meeting is actually today (2:00pm, City Hall). The meeting will be chaired by Nick Licata and will include a briefing and discussion on the proposal, which was put forth by the Department of Planning and Development. If you’re not able to attend the meeting, they are also holding an open comment period through Monday, July 23rd–submit your comments (and learn more about the proposal) here.

2. Read up on SB 6315, the new tenant screening requirements for landlords–it took effect on June 7th.

SB 6315, which took effect at the beginning of June, was “perhaps the most important byproduct to come out of the 2012 legislative session concerning landlords,” to quote Sean Martin of the RHA. The law’s intention is to provide applicants with information about what personal information will be accessed by landlords, and which of this information might result in an application being accepted or rejected, as they decide whether to fill out an application and pay the application fee. Check out this summary from the RHA for more information.

3. Attend a seminar or webinar to learn more about landlord-tenant law.

Whether you’re a brand-new landlord or you’re ready for an advanced course in landlord-tenant laws, there are seminars (in-person classes) and webinars (online lectures) available to keep your knowledge current. Upcoming seminars in Seattle include New Landlord Orientation, Introduction to Small Claims, Advanced Landlord Tenant Law, and more–click here for more information.

4. Utilize an online landlord resource center.

When working in the rental housing business, questions invariably come up–and that’s where online resource centers can be so helpful. The resource center from the Washington Landlord Association contains easily accessed information on a variety of topics, from evictions to vendors, while the RHA offers resources for both landlords and tenants.

5. Go straight to the source.

Seattle’s landlord-tenant laws and statutes can be found online on the Seattle Department of Planning and Development’s website. Information on rules and regulations are updated on a regular basis, and printed copies of the current information–in many languages–can be picked up at the office of the SDPD if you’d prefer to have a hard-copy.

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