Rep. Andrew Barkis, R-Olympia

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed a bill into law that will increase the notification process for tenants being displaced from their homes due to demolishment or substantial rehabilitation.

The measure, which was one of the many issues at the forefront of the 2019 legislative session, was sponsored by state Rep. Andrew Barkis, R-Olympia. House Bill 1462 was one of four bills the legislator introduced as part of his eviction prevention package.

“This is one of the good bipartisan pieces of landlord-tenant legislation to pass this session,” Barkis said. “My colleagues and I worked hard with key stakeholders to find a common-sense solution for both property owners and tenants when it comes to relocation. The goal is to allow additional time in the notification process for those who must relocate when a property they are living in is set to be renovated.”

HB 1462 goes into effect later this year.

Under the policy, whenever a property owner plans to demolish or remodel a home, or plans a change of use to the premises, they will be required to provide written notification to the tenant of at least 120 days before termination of their lease. This gives more time to soon-to-be displaced renters to find new housing.

“Time and proper notification is a common problem for the housing industry that most people aren't aware of,” Barkis said. “It came into the public eye with the Tiki apartments in Tacoma last year. With the continued lack of supply, if tenants are going to be asked to relocate, there needs to be adequate time given to ensure they can find another place to live.”

The bill modifies current statute to provide the necessary time frame tenants need to secure new housing, according to Barkis.

“This is a small piece of a very large puzzle of landlord-tenant reform, and remains a key issue I will continue to work on throughout the interim and into the 2020 legislative session,” Barkis said.

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